We are officially in the homestretch… Truthfully, I feel as if I have been pregnant for 5,011 weeks. I can’t see my toes. Hell, I can’t see my vagina. Anything from the waist down (legs included) are a complete guessing game. As I've written before, this pregnancy has not only felt completely different than my previous pregnancies, but it has taught me some beautiful lessons along the way. I have learned to trust my body. I have learned to lean into the truth that I know what's best for me and this body that serves me every single day. I’ve learned that my joy… my happiness is imperative. I discovered that placing boundaries in order to protect my joy is not only necessary but wise. I have begun to practice what I preach in regards to leaning on my village! Truthfully, this has been easier said than done.
During this pregnancy of Baby Stereo, I have been busier than ever! At least busier, than at any time during my previous pregnancies. Between juggling postpartum doula clients, to planning and executing Moms In Color Events, to simply being a mama while my husband is traveling abroad for work, its been a lot. I've had to be a lot more gentle and kind to myself, and rid myself of the notion that somehow, someway, I could balance it all at once. I had to be present and in the moment. The moment that I tried to take on too much would prove to be the moment that my pregnant body would let me know that perhaps I should slow it down.
Around 29 weeks, I started having Braxton Hicks. No biggie. Totally normal for these warm-up contractions to begin. But then, I noticed that these practice contractions would become a bit more intense depending on what I was doing or viewing (Side Note: Dear pregnant people, be mindful of what you take in visually during pregnancy. More on that later.) Around 31 weeks, the Braxton Hicks became a bit more intense. At 33 weeks, (after watching something online that perhaps I shouldn’t have…) I had a Braxton hicks contraction that felt a bit painful. Was I in early labor? I couldn’t be. That week, my midwife and I both decided that perhaps it was time for me to journey to the exotic destination of bed and couch island.
While on bed and couch island, I decided to try out my new Bloomlife Monitor. Bloomlife is a women's resource that allows preggo people to monitor contraction information in real time. It provides information such as the duration of contractions, as well as frequency via a sensor gently placed three fingers below your belly button. The Bloomlife monitor gathers this information without the use of ultrasound and is completely non-invasive/ passive. This means, that this monitor is safe for continuous use. For me, the non-invasive component played a big part in my decision to take this monitor for a test drive. I’m a super chill mama, who has opted to have a homebirth. I am super reluctant about putting any "beepy" things on my body. This felt like a good middle ground for gathering information regarding what was happening in my body and not feeling as though I was feeding the technological monster. What I loved about the Bloomlife is that it doesn’t tell you when to call the midwife or when to pack your bags and head to the hospital. It is simply a tool to empower you to make an informed decision. The contraction information gathered can be viewed on your mobile device via the Bloomlife App.
Lastly, I feel that combining intuition with a resource such as the Bloomlife Monitor can be super helpful in supporting parents as they gear up to their labor journey. The monitor can be used simply as confirmation of your intuitive instinct. Which leads lead me to my final point. Trust yourself. Know yourself. If you are the kind of birthing person, who by seeing information real time, provides you peace, then the Bloomlife is for you. If you are the kind of birthing person, who by seeing information real time, could leave you feeling overwhelmed… Perhaps it may prove beneficial to have a friend, your partner, or your support system keep an eye out as the contraction monitor does its thing! Do what brings you the most peace and comfort. Do what feels right for you, and what leaves you feeling most empowered and supported. Gather all the joy… all the peace… lean into your deep intuitive birthing essence.