Week Thirty-Nine

Week39

So after the excited post I wrote last week, who thought I would still be here writing a week thirty-nine post this week?  NOT ME!

For the past two weeks I’ve been experiencing prodromal labor… contractions and signs that labor is imminent but without a steady progression that leads to “real” labor.  It’s been so discouraging.  For about 8 days straight I woke up with the thought, “I’m going to have this baby today!” only to be wrong again and again.  I have contractions every day for hours, including ones that are in my lower back, wrap around my whole abdomen, and go down my legs.  It feels very “real” but the contractions don’t get stronger and closer together as they will in true labor… they just fade away after a few hours.  I hit a wall emotionally Wednesday last week and spent a LOT of time crying.  I really didn’t expect to go “early” this pregnancy until all of the signs started happening that made me think that labor was near (when it actually wasn’t).  If any of you have had prodromal labor, I am so sorry.  It’s the worst.

My word for the week is “volatile.”  I cry at the drop of a hat and I’m feeling very emotionally unstable.  I am praying lots for God to give me grace and patience as I wait on His timing for our baby’s birth, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy.

I keep getting everything ready (food cooked, laundry done, house cleaned) only to have to start over again in a few days since I still haven’t gone into labor.  Definitely a roller coaster emotionally!

I’m so thankful I’ve had many friends encouraging me this week, as well as my mom and my mother-in-law.  Everyone is excited to meet our baby too, but they are encouraging me to look to the Lord.

So, as you pray for us, here are some requests this week:
-that I would be patient with God’s timing which is so different from my own desires
-that this baby would come really, really soon
-that we would glorify God in this time of waiting

Thanks for your support!

Natural Postpartum Kit

I’m not sure how many (if any) men read my blog, but if you are male and reading this, things are about to get awkward.  Lots of discussion about the realities of postpartum recovery (some parts of which are not too pleasant), so consider yourself fairly warned!

Before I have a baby, I prepare a small box of supplies that I call my “postpartum kit.”  This includes everything I’ll need as I recover from having a baby!  And since this is my fourth baby, I’m pretty confident that I have all my bases covered!  It’s much easier to assemble all of these supplies ahead of time rather than rushing out and buying things right after the baby comes.  I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.  But I really do use pretty much everything on this list each time!Creating a natural postpartum kit: everything you need to recover quickly after birth | Feathers in Our Nest

My Natural Postpartum Kit

Arnica Gel

This stuff is great for helping heal bruising and swelling from the birth.  I use it on my face and anywhere else needed!

Witch Hazel

Totally one of the best things to use on hemorrhoids. ‘Nuff said.

Perineal Spray (DIY… see recipe at bottom of post)

Trying this out for the first time.  I think it will really help my nether regions recover quickly after birth!

Sitz Bath

My hospital gave me one charged me on my bill after Vera’s birth, and it was so nice to use!  I used it the most after her birth since I had a little bit of tearing.  It is very soothing to use.

Postpartum Bath Herbs

I think the product I have is slightly different than the one I linked to above, but it’s very similar.  You can use these bath herbs in a regular bath, in a sitz bath, to make a concoction to spray on your bottom using a peri bottle, or to pour over pads and freeze to make “padsicles,” as one of my friends calls them.  It’s a very versatile product and is so helpful for healing.

Peri Bottles (free from hospital)

I love these bottles.  Everything “down there” is so swollen and sore, so filling a peri bottle with warm water and using it for gentle cleansing after using the restroom is so nice.  They’ll let you bring a bunch of these home with you, but you really just need one.

Earth Mama Bottom Balm

I can’t say enough good things about this stuff.  It’s great for hemorrhoids and for using anywhere that is still healing.  It’s nice for tears/stitches if you had any tearing.  It almost has a numbing effect when you apply it!

Fenugreek

For all the breastfeeding issues I have overcome (clogged ducts, improper latch, cracked nipples, mastitis, etc.), supply has never been an issue for me.  Still, I like to take Fenugreek immediately after the birth and for the first few days or so as my milk comes in and my supply is established.  If you’ve struggled with poor supply, this is the herb to take.  I usually have to stop taking it after a week because it works so well!

Mother’s Milk Tea

Again, this is a product to help aid lactation.  I keep it on hand just in case!

Lanolin

If you’re breastfeeding, you must get this.  Your nipples will be tender (and maybe even quite sore) at first, and lanolin is safe to use for soothing your nipples while breastfeeding.  It’s all natural and is the best thing I’ve found for that issue!  If you don’t need it right away, you may need it down the road.

Bamboobies Cloth Nursing Pads – overnights and regulars

I stopped using disposable nursing pads a long time ago and made the switch to Bamboobies.  Not only are they much cheaper in the long run, they also are super soft and they don’t “crackle” under your clothes the way disposables do.  The overnights are best for the first few weeks if your supply is strong and you have a heavy letdown.  After that, they’re great for using overnight.  I usually start using the regulars during the daytime around 6 weeks postpartum (or so).  I saw a huge reduction in clogged ducts once I switched from disposables to reusable Bamboobies, so that’s another plus!

Evening Primrose Oil

This supplement is great for regulating hormones, and we all need that postpartum!

Ibuprofen

This is what my practitioners recommend I take as I heal from my birth, so I went ahead and bought a bottle to have when I get home from the hospital.

Pill Container

In the sleep-deprived haze I will be in postpartum, I decided that using a pill container (from the Dollar Tree) would be a good idea.  I also write down what medications I take and when so that I remember to take my next dose on time!  I keep all that info in a notebook, along with when I fed the baby, how long the feeding was, and on what side I nursed them.

Shower Cap

I think I stole these from a hotel we stayed at (but you can get them at the Dollar Tree).  Postpartum, you’ll want to take a shower every day and sometimes twice (between the bleeding, the milk leaking everywhere, and the baby spit-up and poop incidents that are bound to happen), but you may not want to wash your hair every time (or at least I don’t!).  I like having a shower cap on hand so I can take a quick shower without having to wash/dry my hair every time!

Maxi Pads

At first I use the jumbo ones at the hospital, then I gradually work my way down to reasonable sized maxi pads.  Trust me, your husband does not want to go shop for these for you (it’s confusing enough for you… imagine how he feels!), so do him a favor and pick up a few packs in varying sizes so you’ll be prepared!  You can expect heavy bleeding for about ten days and lighter bleeding for four to six weeks.

Essential Oils

Of course I have my stash of essential oils on hand!  I have Trauma-Gone and Vetiver on hand specifically for helping balance my mood/hormones after birth.  Gentle Healer is another one I have on hand in case I have tearing that I’m healing from.  Frankincense and Lavender are also great for healing inflammation.  This post lists lots of other ways to use essential oils postpartum.


As mentioned above, I made a Perineal Spray to use this time.  Here’s the recipe!DIY Perineal Spray for Postpartum Healing and Soothing | Feathers in Our Nest

Postpartum Soothing Perineal Spray

3 Tbsp. witch hazel
1 1/2 Tbsp. aloe vera
3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Clary Sage
2 Tbsp. filtered water

Combine all ingredients in a 4 oz. glass spray bottle and shake well.  For even greater relief, keep chilled in the fridge before using (not necessary, but nice!).  Shake well each time before applying.

Is there anything else I didn’t mention that you always like to have on hand after a birth? Share in the comments section so others can be prepared as well!

ALIESHA CALDWELL IS A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR SITES TO EARN ADVERTISING FEES BY ADVERTISING AND LINKING TO AMAZON.COM.
Disclosure: I have included affiliate links to the essential oil company I use and trust.