pregnancy

Grapefruit-ful month

Five months (today) or 23 weeks (tomorrow) and baby girl is now the size of a grapefruit!

Crazy. This month has brought a lot of exciting milestones: the anatomy ultrasound, the halfway point, & the point of viability.  Plus, she’s getting very big with her movements and predictable in the timing of them (like always when I’m lying down)

I shared this on IG (@030318babysurprise), but our anatomy ultrasound  at 20 weeks turned up a slightly abnormal heartbeat called a PAC.  My doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it, but I will have to have an echocardiogram done in about 10 days (basically a high level ultrasound), to determine if there is anything more concerning about it.  The structure of the heart, itself, looked good, and she reassured me that many babies outgrow it (some even before birth), as well as a few adult friends of mine saying they have it to this day and it doesn’t slow them down.  Out of all the things to turn up on an ultrasound, it feels probably the least alarming, but I still hate the fact that there is something there at all.

The halfway point of this pregnancy technically came at 20 weeks, but I think it should be more like 22 weeks, seeing as how we didn’t find out for the first 4 and that would leave us with 18 & 18 on either side of 22.  Either way, now we are beyond both of those, which means we have less time left in this pregnancy (Lord willing) than we started with.  Unbelievable!

I certainly wouldn’t mind an earlier babe this time (somewhere between 39 weeks and 41 weeks sounds ideal).  And one of my biggest prayers this time around is that I will not have to do another induction.  While the planner in me loves the thought of being in control of the date and having everything lined up in order for it, I know my mental state going into those too well and struggle with that aspect of it.

When people ask me how I’m feeling, I usually say one of two things: 1) about as good as it gets for me during pregnancy (we are about to tip the scale to the bad side again…). Or 2) I’m doing fine physically but not mentally.  This pregnancy, more than the others as I can recall, I have struggled with fear (but only for labor and delivery), excitement (well lack thereof), and another missing piece of the joy of nesting (a combo of life being so full right now and also the lack of control I had over this one)

One thing that has been very present from the start of this pregnancy was a strong fear about labor and delivery.  I realize that encompasses about 6 hours, give or take, of a given pregnancy, but I could not stop thinking about.

Prior to getting pregnant, every time I heard a traumatic birth story or was reminded of the pain, I rationalized it away, thinking I’ll never have to do that again.  I even remember saying aloud, directly after Sibby’s birth, “I’ll never do that again!”, although by the idyllic hospital day two, I was already recanting my words.

This time it felt forced upon me, and I think that was part of the fear. I did not choose this, this time.  I did not want to do this again.

Things came to a head about 2 weeks ago when I clicked over to YouTube to watch (someone I admire’s) birth story, which turned into an unexpected traumatic epilogue and showed a lot of live footage of labor (contractions and hospital stuff). The fear came up from the subconscious right into the foreground and gripped me so hard, I did not know if it would leave or not.  I realized then that I needed to turn the fear over and release it so that I could move forward with excitement and love for this baby.

I read a book intentionally dealing with fear and pregnancy (though I would not recommend it), and have spent a lot of time in prayer about it.  Ever since that night, I’ve not had the gripping fear again, it has been replaced by peace.

The nesting and excitement piece I mentioned makes me a little sad, because usually that is my go-to pregnancy emotion and the thing I look forward to during the darker moments.  I believe part of this is me over-thinking everything (I’ll go into more detail on this in a later post).

Anyway, despite these lagging emotions, I have been able to accumulate a few necessities for this baby.  I found good deals on a new carseat and stroller (still keeping our double BOB, just needed something less cumbersome for dr appointments and errands with 2 under 2–yikes–still scary to say that).  I’ve been thinking of the “little girls’ room” (vs. the big girls’ room) and how to decorate it.  And just this week I’ve started sewing a few little things for a new baby layette.

This month I have de-graduated my running back to walking.  My initial goal was 24 weeks but 22 weeks was my stopping point.  Physically, it just became too much but I’m thankful that this weather has stayed so pleasant and I’ve been able to stay very active still.  So far, I don’t notice any difference with this pregnancy that involved running versus my other ones that involved only walking, so I’m not sure it made much of a difference.  Hopefully, it will be easier to graduate back into it though, postpartum, since I didn’t take so much time off from it.

Another, rather unpleasant, side effect from this month was a bad stomach virus that gripped me for about 48 hours.  Just to prove how pregnancy doesn’t well suit me, even in the second trimester, I didn’t even realize I had anything until the side effects starting coming from all corners of the earth. I just thought the cramps I was feeling were normal pregnancy pains for me (because they are, especially in the evening).  Anyway, I get one or two of these things every pregnancy, AS WELL AS, morning sickness, which makes me think God is just trying to cure me of my fear of puke.  Well, it’s working.

Aside from that unpleasantness, I’ve been enjoying cooking this month and haven’t been too bothered by food.  Occasionally, I’ll get a bit of heartburn, but nothing to write home about yet. As fall enters, I’ve been spending some free time on Pinterest, planning soups and slow cooker meals, and dreaming of the holidays.  Although I’m not 100% myself, I’m thankful that I’m feeling pretty good for a pregnancy and I’m excited about all of the festivities to come with very excitable little ones.  It’s nice that while we have our go-to traditions, they are still young enough, and transitions have come often enough, that we haven’t been locked into too many things yet.  Each year feels like a fresh start to try and see what sticks best for our family.

Four months and counting, and thankful for every one I get with my last “homegrown” babe.

-smk

Hearts of Palm

It’s October 3, and we’ve now bridge the four month mark. According to thebump.com, baby is the size of an artichoke!

I am 18 weeks now and, though still not to the halfway mark, in a weird state.  I have fully embraced this pregnancy, as I have had due knowledge of it for the past 14 weeks, (longer than a trimester). I have crossed finally past the threshold of sickness and dodgy energy levels, only to be met by my growing stomach as the new reminder there is life inside.  I am still able to do everything I want, but having to be mindful of limits due to the size of the one growing in me.

For now, it has still remained hidden from strangers, those who offer up the polite and kind remarks about how they “had no idea I was pregnant”, but it is coming.  Depending on how I fit my shirts, I either appear to be slightly over my normal weight, or growing something artichokey in size at the center of my body. Not a win either way.

I am down to the last few pairs of regular jeans that fit me and know it’s only a matter of time and discomfort before I pull out the elastic bands.  Once I see those, it is a long journey of learning to love them, but there is an undercurrent of a rallying cry with this “one last time”.

By all accounts it’s still summer here, and could be for a while.  But I have a hatred of all but one pair of shorts and few flattering tanks left.  It’s probably time to spring for some maternity clothes but we have such few days left in this season, it seems futile to purchase those of the warm weather variety.  With this baby coming in, so they tell me, early March, I hopefully will be back into “normal” clothes by the time I’m in need of them next summer. So I move through it, ill-fitting clothes bearing witness to my discomfort.

I think we have settled on a name. This is big for us.  A moment of time that I relish, but feel hesitant to embrace this time.  I think because this is my last baby I will name, I feel decelerated by the concept of finality.  Right now, this name is being put through every test I can think of.  Does it fit our mold?  Do I love the meaning?  Will I still like it on a teenager?  Is it edgy enough for us?  Is this good enough for a grand finale?  Do I like it as much as the other girls’ names?

Still I catch myself scanning for birth announcements and ruminating on new names, trying them out in my daydreams for a bit, and on my tongue if they are lucky.  Everything around me has become a potential naming source, a network for helping me cross that final bridge.

I think it’s a good sign that I keep coming back to the one after all of these.  So I will hold onto that thought, close for now.

What I do like about the potential name is that it has multi-layered significant meaning. But that is all I will say for now.  I suppose we will do a name game again at 30 weeks, though it’s going to be tough to think of clues I haven’t already used 3x over!

Sleep has become a contemptuous master and one that I will fight with for the remainder.  I am evermore thankful for a king size bed when I am pregnant.  Each night, I carefully set up my throne with two pillows for my head and a pillow to cushion each side.  That way if I accidentally roll to my stomach or back, I have something soft to protect me from going fully prone.

All of these items must be weightily moved in the middle of the night for my, no less than, four trips to the bathroom.  Getting less than nine hours of sleep also makes for an unwelcome afternoon slump and a day of mentally fighting against laziness.  I have become not only a guardian of my children’s rest, but my own.

I am careful in sitting up now, not wanting to, for lack of better words, blow my abs out on this baby.  It feels silly to use your arms and elbows so much to reach a sitting position, but I hope my protection will pay off in the reward of no diastasis recti.

Every time I am still and restful (which, with three little ones, equals about an hour a day before bed), I feel her little limbs tapping around in my belly.  It still brings a rush of excitement and hope that a tiny, unknown being is alive in there, growing to join our family in about 5 months.

After a stressful or exhausting day, feeling her move gives me a little edge of hope and I’d like to think of this is a small allowance from God to remember his kindness towards us and His control over our lives.  I am still amazed at He how is piecing this storyline together and still waiting with expectation to see how He finishes it.

But for now, this feels a good place to be.

-smk

Just peachy

As much to your shock as mine, we have ended the first trimester and moved on to trimester two with our little surprise!

On Saturday I turned 14 weeks, and baby is now the size of a peach.  A peach!  I truly can’t believe sometimes how fast this is going or really that I have another thing inside of me that’s growing so exponentially every week.

She is, however, starting to make her presence known as I am starting to feel the earliest flutters and kicks that remind me of her wakeful status.  It seems early to detect movement, but my placenta is not in the front this time (as it was for Sib and MG), so I am able to feel a little more freely in the front.  Plus, being a mom four times over means you just know when you start to feel them. It’s the same ingrained feeling as when you feel that first wave of morning sickness and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are pregnant.

I said in my last few posts that a few things about this pregnancy have been different, but many things similar.  My nausea is starting to fade, other than resurfacing in the evening, usually around bedtime.  My energy still greatly wanes in the afternoon, and sometimes a nap is required to get through the day, but still, greatly better than the days of just wanting to stay in bed all day long.  My appetite is still largely present and probably will remain so until the very end.  If I don’t get lunch right on time, the queasiness resurfaces and my whole body lets me know it.

My cravings this time around have been very consistent with the past: cheese, carbs, sour candy, water (my thirst has been off the charts).  Aversions include: some meat, vegetables, and some sweets. Often, I crave slushies or sour candy and water in an effort to slay what feels like an impossible thirst to quench.  Cheese always sounds good to me, and many lunches were made out of grilled cheese and some kind of smooth soup throughout the first trimester.

One major difference in this pregnancy has been that I have kept up with my running.  In the past, running made me feel very out of breath and light headed, but this time it has been different.  Now don’t get me wrong, I went from running 100% of my runs, to about 75%, and now down to 50% (stopping to walk when I feel overheated or heartbeat too high), but it still feels like a great accomplishment and I hope to keep going for as long as I can.

Another thing that has felt different is the way the doctors and nursing staff treats you when it’s your fourth baby.  The approach seems to be more hands-off and respectful of my past. This is something I craved with the first pregnancies, but only just now earned.  Hopefully, this pregnancy will be as smooth and uneventful as my last ones.

This first trimester has brought a lot of decisions too.  We had to find a new doctor down here, and decide where to deliver.  My main criteria with the hospital was somewhere close (i.e. not an hour away this time), and one that had laboring tubs.  That narrowed the list down to two.  Of these two, I was able to choose based on the doctor I wanted and a few other minor things.  Overall, this decision felt rushed and forced, not the excited anticipation I felt the past few times.

I haven’t lost sleep over this decision, though.  As sleep has come easily to me.  Really,  I want to crawl into bed as soon as the girls are safely tucked in and read for an hour before my eyelids become impossibly heavy.  I am thankful, though, to skip afternoon naps and to sleep the entire night through with just a few 2 minute wake-ups.

I’ve also been making a list of items to buy.  We did give away a lot of our baby & maternity items in a moving purge, and as Sib outgrew them.  Thankfully, my sister is willing to lend me some things as her baby outgrows them.  Still, we will probably need to make a few more purchases as well as decide when to move Sib into her own room (or in with the other two?).

We found out this month that we are expecting a girl, as I said previously.  We took the NIPT again, though used a different brand (the one preferred by my new dr).  We received the results in 6 days this time and once again, it was a good experience.  I love knowing this early what gender to expect, especially now that my energy is returning.  I have been window shopping for fabric and dreaming up some outfits to sew.

Last night I spent a considerable amount of time on baby name blogs and googling potential keepers.  There was one name I keep coming back to (i.e. the safe choice), one that I really like but N isn’t thrilled about, and one I wish I could use but it feels too wrapped up in slight, but potential controversy.  I keep praying that God will send some clarity to me.  But once again, it’s not keeping me up at night.

It struck me last night that this will be the last time I will name a baby.  There’s a lot of other lasts with this one too: last birth story, last pregnancy, last birth announcement, last time to sew tiny clothes for my own.  It’s nice to know for certain when it’s the last time, so you can savor it, but it also adds a small taste of bitter to the sweet.

So many things to think about, feeling  that much more weighty because we didn’t choose them. But, I still get butterflies when I think about the moment of meeting this special child, the one God chose to add to our family.

-smk

A Revist and a Wait

Yesterday I visited my OB, fulfilling my health protocol of one visit per year.

Seeing as it had been a lengthy sabbatical,  the last time I saw her was at my 5-week check up following Bea’s birth.  And still a year later, that office and it’s bridge-way connection to the hospital where Bea was born is a magnet of memories.

Co-mingling are the strange feelings that overcome me when I revisit our old hometown.  The route is completely routine and strangely more familiar than my current treads.  It is a mixture of sadness, relief, joy and apprehension.  I wonder if these will eventually fade and at times I am hopeful they don’t.  It is nice, I reason, to pilgrimage when the desire strikes.

The hospital parking garage is an old, familiar friend.  I wind upwards, wondering if a lucky parking spot is awaiting me at the top.  Curiously, no matter how high you climb, the deluge of parked cars never seems to thin.  So I begin stalking the 3rd floor exit, waiting for someone to vacate.

My time spent in this wait most definitely reminds me of MG.  She faithfully accompanied me to all of my appointments, even the ones that seemed to pile on top of each other at the end of the pregnancy.  We would count the floors as we climbed the garage tower.  1….2….3…I prayed for a parking spot near the door, one that wouldn’t require me to lug my expectant belly and toddler companion through a long trek of stairs and distance.

Just like in those desperate times, an open spot suddenly appeared a very short distance from the entrance to the skyway.  Bless.

As we would walk hand-in-hand, MG would recite our routine: “first I’ll play with the baby {they have a children’s area with toys and two very ugly, but sanity-saving baby dolls}, then we will listen to the heartbeat {Bea’s}, then I’ll eat a sucker {while we wait for the doctor to finish the exam}, then I will pick out a sticker, then we will go home.”

Walking over the bridge by myself, I suddenly missed her attentive commentary.

I passed through the elevator and into the office.  Nothing has changed in my absence, at least not in the physical sense.  I wondered if MG would still think the lines on the wall looked like snakes and the window sills like benches.

I couldn’t help but notice there was another little girl in the play area with the dolls.  She had them by their plush toes and was banging their bobbly heads together.  Probably for the best MG wasn’t there.

I filled out some forms as if I were a new patient (it had been a year, afterall); carefully marking in the dates and details of my pregnancies, smiling with pride as I filled in the girls’ hefty birth weights.

Not too long after, the nurse called me back.  It had been an entire year since I had seen her but in those last days she had become a friend by sheer proximity.  I wondered if she felt towards me the gravity of emotion that I felt towards her.

The doctor came in and routinely rubbed her hands with the waterless soap hanging from a container on the wall.  The smell of it is a memory napalm to me.  I am instantly transported back to room 305, leaning over a plastic bassinet, my hospital-issued gown tented over me as it is today, my deflated belly leaning with me, just a few beats behind.

I absently press my stomach as she shakes my hand.  It is still a mystery to me that something with bones and muscle and flesh can be stretched so far and then knit itself back together.  I am proud of its accomplishments over the past four years, pushing itself to its absolute limit two separate times and then coming back down according to my pleas.  There is no little one fluttering around in there today.  It is at rest for now.

The exam is quick and she asks me about my future pregnancy plans.  It tumbles out easily.  After what we have been through together I feel I can be completely candid with her.

For the first time in five years I am not pregnant, nor do I have a baby nourishing off of me, nor do I desperately desire either of those things.  And I am pretty happy to be in that place for a while.  She gives me a knowing smile.  She has a 3 year old and a toddler of her own.  I tell people it’s because I have my hands full, as she expects, and that is part of it.  But another large part of it, that I am afraid to speak aloud, is that I am not in a hurry to usher in the end of possibly the dearest and most lucid time in my life I have ever experienced.  As long as I keep that door closed, I can relish that my days of cradling a baby are possibly not over, be that truth or not.

I leave, but somewhat reluctantly.  My heart physically hurts when I think about the last time I was here.  My happy, little toddler who had me by the hand and heart, My expectant belly full of promise fulfilled.  It was such a fleeting time in my life and surely one of the sweetest.

I don’t know when or even IF I will be back.  At some point I will most likely have to move my OB visits to my hometown.  I can’t tell if this will be a relief because I will be able to close this childbirth chapter and force my emotions to move along, or if it will come with much dread and heel-dragging, reluctant to say a final goodbye to a place rampant with memory.

My heart is a tangle of emotions.  It feels as if the good as well as the bad have encircled themselves upon it in a hard knot.  I don’t even know where to begin in order to sort them out.  For now, I think I will wait until next July, when my next appointment is due.  I am sure by then I will have a bit of clarity; when the nearness of Bea’s birth is not such a raw spot in my heart and the newness of my current home is not so strange.  Yes, I think I will give myself until then to sort it all out.

-smk

Doctor(s) Update(s)

Patient #1:

 

Was cleared of wearing her sling on Monday!  Doc said the bones should already be healed due to the fact that she is so young.  Crazy.  It was amazing to us how fast she bounced back to her old self following the break.  She was bearing weight on her arm within about 48 hours and her pain was next to nothing after about 24.

She will go back for a follow-up x-ray in 5 weeks just to make sure.  In the meantime, she is supposed to stay off of playgrounds and trampolines for about 2 weeks. :(.

Doctor also said because she is so young she should not have any permanent cosmetic effects from it!  She may have a bone callous that will remain for the next few months, but it will disappear in time.

The only thing that remains now is this nasty yellow bruise:

 

Patient #2:

I saw the doctor today for my 39(.5) week check-up.  All looks good!  I’ve made some good progress so we are both hopeful that I won’t have to be induced this time.  IF I do however, she is willing to follow the same plan as last time where they broke my water and avoided Pitocin as much as it is possible.  Since I’m ripe, she seems confident that this will work.

(I’m going to miss my little doctor dates with her!)

Friday I go in for an ultrasound to check fluid levels.  (and they don’t know it yet, but I’m going to be double-checking that she’s still a girl :)).

Last night I experienced my first round of Braxton Hicks!  I had regular, uncomfortable, but nonpainful contractions that lasted from about 9pm-4am.  Really hoping that’s a good sign that we don’t have too much longer.

Today through next Wednesday marks our “ideal window” for Mayby’s birth due to our schedules.  But even if she decides to come a little late, the end is in sight (2 more weeks!).

Yesterday I asked MG when Mayby’s birthday will be.  I mentally willed her to give me a divine answer, as if I was shaking a magic eight ball.  Her response, “Ethan’s birthday!”.  Ethan is a buddy from playgroup and his birthday just so happens to be this month–May 28.  Maybe it really is a sign??

 

Pumpkin Pie

This week, at 38 weeks, Mayby is the size of a pumpkin.

38w copy

Yikes.

She is almost out of room in there and I can’t believe we still have possibly-up-to-but-no-longer-than four weeks to go?!

At 38 weeks, I’m feeling uncomfortable.  Falling asleep is a nightly work in progress.  I first attempt to find a comfortable position…which is next to impossible when you share the bed with a full-grown man, a stretchy cat, and a plethora of body pillows.

As soon as I get settled in, Mayby decides that for the first time all day, she has my undivided attention.  She begins her nightly limbering movements, which have changed significantly since she has grown larger.  Imagine a sharp elbow s-l-o-w-l-y drawing it’s away across the inside of your stomach  while a tiny foot kicks you repeatedly in the ribs and a pointed head turns this way and that into your insides.  Miraculous, creepy, and painful all at the same time.

Randomly pick one of the following and add it to the mix: calf/thigh/foot cramps, strained muscles from turning over, acid reflux, a tingling sensation in your stomach that feels like it is falling asleep because she is laying on a nerve, swollen feet.

About the time she begins to settle in, it is time to use the bathroom, with urgency.

And thus the process begins again….and repeats every two hours.

But I suppose I am getting more sleep now than I will in a matter of time so I should be savoring it, right?

While on the topic of sleep, I think it’s funny that I’ve been having running dreams lately.  In my dreams, I’ve completed at least two full marathons while 38 weeks pregnant.  Not sure if this is a matter of wishful thinking, my limbs trying to tell me “they’ve still got it”, or my body prepping for labor to come.  Either way, as ugly as it will be, I’m already excited for that first postpartum spring run :).

These last few weeks have put me into a fury of feathering.  When I’m not doing a project, I’m making up new ones to do tomorrow.  Somehow there is still always that one more thing that needs to be done before she comes.  I’m ready, but I’m not ready.

My doc and I are on friendly terms as I see her once a week these days.  I’m making some progress, getting adjusted, downing Evening Primrose Oil & Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, walking like mad, and attempting to do all the things necessary to ensure a timely arrival. I have a good feeling this time.  Personally, I’m predicting we’ll land somewhere within a week of the big DD.

As sure as I am, I kind of feel like a first time mom again.  I’m not really sure what going into labor looks like for me. Seeing as how I haven’t had any contractions again this time around, I guess as soon as I have one I will be prepared enough to know that this is probably it.

My emotions are all over the place these days.  One minute I am butterfly-nervous-excited to meet her, the next minute I am looking into sweet MG’s eyes thinking, “please don’t let this change you.”

But I think I am finally and truly ready.  After all of this furying and feathering, I’m ready for life to just slow down for a little.  I’m excited to spend–although not the most quality–quantity time with our family.  I’m looking forward to drinking in the new baby smell in the late nights and the early mornings, to drawing on my been-there-done-that new mama confidence, to taking a few weeks off from cooking/cleaning and accessing the freezer/take-out,  to dressing my little in the new AND old and dear clothing in her closet, to seeing what little personality and being that God has decided to bless us with next, to watching my husband and eldest adjust with me into this newfound change.  It’s about to get crazy.  But in a good way.

stamp

Sweet little pumpkin, we are so anxious to meet you!  See you soon,

Happy May Day!

It’s May!!

Which means it is officially baby month!

My children have all been fighting for space on my ever-decreasing lap:

 afterlight

Mayby has already been learning to pull her weight around here:

afterlight(8)

I’ve been craving fruit, water, banana/pear/peach Greek yogurt, and for the first time all pregnancy, lots of desserts…..

…like this homemade, g-free cookie cake (thank you, Pinterest!!!) so she should come out nice and sweet 🙂

photo(8)

I’ve been sewing up a blanket or two to take to the hospital and my bags are packed (with an obscene amount of monogrammed goodies.  Can’t wait to reveal her name!)

The carpets have been cleaned, the lists have been made, Big Sis details have been arranged.

I’ve had my final hair appointment and a pedicure is on the way (cause pretty toes are a good focal point  🙂 ).

Evening Primrose Oil and Red Raspberry Leaf tea is being consumed in mass quantities and I’ve been adjusted.

Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the last few days of no diapers, no schedules, and no sleep interruptions.

Seventeen days until the official due date….We are anxious and ready!

Pineapple Passion

This week, Mayby is the size of a Pineapple!

DSC_0003n copy

That means she’s already about the length  she will be at birth and now just packing on the pounds to be nice and cute when it’s time to come!

I, on the other hand, am ready to start de-packing some pounds.  I’ve hit that “large and cumbersome stage” where it’s a pain to sit, a pain to lay down, a pain to bend over, a pain to walk, and well, you get the idea.  Comfortable is a thing of the past.  If it were up to me, I would say the perfect gestational period would be about 8 months.  Anything beyond that just seems like unusual punishment.

On the other hand, I do know what’s coming, so I’m trying not to wish it away and enjoy all of the time I have now to do my hair, to take a nap when MG’s napping, and to stay warm in bed all night long (save for the 2-5 trips to the bathroom).  Maybe that is what the last month is for: to savor the “me time” until it gets to the point where all you want to do is meet your baby.  Even then, you still have about 2 weeks left…so by the time they arrive, you are more than ready.

My nesting energy is at an all-time low.  Thankfully, my list has been mostly checked off (update to come soon, I hope) and my new mantra is “nope, don’t feel like it, don’t care.”

As in, maybe I should do something other than sleep during MG’s nap.  “Nope, don’t feel like it.”

Maybe I should get down on my hands and knees and wipe down the baseboards and scrub the floors. “Nope, don’t care.”

Maybe I should eat something other than jelly beans and almonds for a snack.  “Nope.”

I’m surprised to say this, but I’m getting  great sleep too.  Often I will nap during the day and still get about 8 hours at night.  Insomnia hasn’t kicked in and I can’t say that I’m disappointed.  I don’t, however, remember going into MG’s birth very well rested, so I’m trying to take advantage as I’m guessing that’s going to change soon.

The crazy dreams have calmed a bit and last night I had the most wonderful dream that she arrived.  Four weeks early, weighing 8 lbs, 1 ounce, and an easy labor to boot.  The only thing not perfect about her was that she was a boy.  Which was fine, but most of the dream was spent debating over what to name her/him.  I’m going to take that as a sign that I’ve conquered my fears that she will be late with a bad labor.  Now I guess I need to deal with this subconscious fear that she’s a boy 🙂  (or maybe that I won’t be prepared??).

Speaking of preparation, in recent weeks, we’ve taken a tour of our hospital (delivering at a different one this time), taken MG on an only-child-moon (lots of pictures coming your way soon), wrapped up a few loose ends, and really just focused on spending some quality time as a family.  It has been wonderful.

Mayby is already being preceded by her reputation.  She is lazy and quiet by morning and active and feisty by night.  I’m thinking she’s going to be another night owl like Big Sis.  Often, I find myself just wondering about her.  Will she be similar in size?  Will she have dark hair when she is born that later turns blonde?  Will she look exactly like baby MG?  It’s hard to picture anything else, but just thinking about her puts a smile on my face.

See you in 4-8 weeks (but hopefully more like six), little Pineapple,

 

Thoughts Lately

We met with our doula on Monday night for a little refresher course……and things are suddenly starting to feel very real.

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We mostly talked about my fears, my longings, my desires, and things I want to do differently with this birth.  She reminded me that I need to leave my feelings about MG’s birth with her birth and not carry them into this birth.  Different child, different pregnancy, different birth.  It is so obvious, but a lesson I am sure I will be learning many times over.

Many have asked me if I am considering a natural birth for this baby.  My simple  answer to that is “yes”.  But this time I think it looks just a little different.

Last time it was all about proving myself.  To others, to my doctor, to my baby, and (mostly) to myself that I could do it.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but I sure knew what I wanted.

But let’s just say “I’ve been there, done that” and don’t really care about winning the award anymore.  This time it is more about the experience.

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(have you ever seen a baby being carried so high?  I can’t even wear maternity pants because they won’t stay up.  I have to buy regular pants a few sizes too big so they will button around my lower what’s-left-of-my- waist)

I’m sure there is a book somewhere out there about this, but I definitely see myself as having a sensationalist type of personality.  In all experiences, from ordinary to uncommon, I seek to get the most out of them I possibly can. For example, I rarely eat a meal that I walk away from disappointed.  Simply because it is so important to me, I make sure to add in things (or get dessert :)) so that in the end I am satisfied; if only because I can say, “well that was an enjoyable experience”. When I run errands, I try to think of a newer, prettier route to take that will make the routine trip more enjoyable.  And I don’t just clean my house, I add in my favorite playlist + cleaning products that smell amazing + maybe a new tip or technique to try.

I often find myself manipulating experiences to make them tangible, fulfilling, and ultimately satisfactory.

Maybe that was the reason I considered a natural birth in the first place.  I want to sense all of it. I want to feel my body working as it was designed.  I want to feel all of the mamas who have gone before me and done exactly what I am doing to be whispering in my ear, “you can do this!  You were made for this moment!” I want to have an experience that satisfies all of my senses.

I’ve picked out Scriptures I want read during the transitional stage.  I’m working on a playlist that reminds me of this pregnancy.  I want the smells and feelings and emotions in the room to always stick with me.  Yes, the pain is a part of it, but at the end of the day, I want to wring every last drop out of it and know that I experienced it all.

You only get to do this a set number of times in your life, afterall, and I want to walk away with (as much as it is in my control) no regrets.

*That is my deepest desire, but I do know that birthing is just another part of life that as much as you can plan, you cannot control.  So we will plan for what we want and take what we get.  And hopefully,  we will all walk away from this experience wiser, stronger, and better people for it*

 

P.S. I wrote this post mostly to explain why I want a natural birth and to show how it aligns with my god-given inclinations and personality.  But in no way do I condone others for choosing different methods or for wanting a different experience.  One thing I think we can all agree on: no matter the method of arrival, every single birth is a beautiful and miraculous experience that requires the greatest amount of strength , beauty, and love to come to fulfillment.  XO

My Butternut Squash

This week Mayby is the size of a Butternut squash.

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(My sweet and amazingly talented photographer friend, Kimmy, took these photos when we were eating dinner at her house one night.  My favorite thing about them is that they were taken in her backyard and truly capture the beauty of where we live in the last throes of winter.)

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Well I am 30 weeks and that means a few things: bi-weekly doctor appointments; a terrible, uncontrollable urge to nest; waning energy; a growing and rather cumbersome belly; a bladder that will never be quiet; and that the countdown has officially begun!  10, 9, 8….each week that passes brings us closer and closer to meeting her.

It also means that starting next week, I will begin revealing some clues to her top-secret name!  But more on that later…

For all of you who so kindly ask me on a regular basis, I am proud to report that as far as nausea goes, I am feeling GREAT!  I have been for about the last 4 weeks.  Maybe my body has finally adjusted to this whole pregnancy thing? *update: so I wrote this PRIOR to last night when I came down with a case of full-blown first trimester nausea which I still haven’t kicked.  Verdict’s out to whether it is a fluke or will be sticking around till the end.  Wah Wah.*

It does, however, like to remind me of how large I am getting by giving me roaring joint pain at the end of the day, especially in my hips and lower back.  I guess they are stretching out and easing into preparation for what’s to come.

Sleep has still been good to me.  Other than catching myself trying to sleep on my back (bad) and stomach (worse), I am only waking a few times a night and then able to go right back to sleep.  As far as dreams?  I could write a book on their inspiration alone.  Most likely it would be a dystopian novel with a hastily concocted, cliffhanger ending.  No idea what’s fueling them.

There’s a song by Marc Broussard called “Lonely Night in Georgia.”  The lyrics speak of a man coming home to his wife after a long  journey and there’s a line that says, “Now my senses are heightened by the last hundred miles.”  I feel that.  My senses have been heightened.  My emotions are quick.  My heart is holding onto things ever tightly.  My feelings are sensitive.  My eyes and ears and hands are noticing the smallest of details.

It’s as if it is saying: “Your life is about to transform.  Notice this, remember this moment, savor this time.  It won’t ever be like this again.  Soon you will be changed.”

It makes me laugh and it makes me cry.  Both sometimes together.  Tis the life of the pregnant mama!

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Oh we are waiting on you, Baby Girl. Two more months until you are ours!

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