28 Jan This baby’s coming!
This is a 36-week belly. And today we’re already 37 weeks! Baby has definitely dropped. (I’m nearing the point where I’m certain if he/she drops any lower, they’ll just fall out, but Midwife Shannon assures me there’s a much longer process to the whole thing.) I started taking a liquid calcium/magnesium supplement, aaaaaand I’m sleeping at night! Instead of getting 90 minutes at a time, I’m getting 3-5 HOURS at a time! I can’t overstate how greatly this has affected my overall outlook. Of course, in just a few weeks, we’ll go back to the 2-3 hours at a time, but at least I’ll be well-rested when we do!
I’ve been working a lot around the house these last few weeks, getting it ready to receive a baby. It’s more important to me this time around due to something I haven’t yet mentioned here on the blog…….. We’ve chosen to do a home birth! To be succinct, the three biggest reasons are (1) a natural, unmedicated birth (hospital, birth center, or home) fits our lifestyle–raw milk, homemade bread, (much) paleo cooking (you know, minus that whole homemade bread business), homeschooling, lessening vaccinations, communal living (hehe, shout out to the life groupies!), etc. The more I’ve read, the more I’ve realized how medical and fearful natural childbirth has become. We’re so thankful for modern medicine when it’s necessary! We just don’t believe it’s as “necessary” as we’ve been taught. (2) Knowing that I wanted a natural birth, I knew immediately that I would want a water birth. I’ve bathed more than I’ve showered this pregnancy…and that’s no lie! It’s a very relaxing place for me and the one place where I feel very little pain in my pelvis. But I just couldn’t get excited about driving 45 minutes during active labor (that’s the nearest birth center that allows water births), let alone for all the appointments along the way. We have water at home; why not just stay home? (Plus, we live exactly 2 miles from the hospital, should we need it.) And (3) for some reason, birthing naturally felt a whole lot more intimate to me as well. I didn’t feel great thinking of one of six doctors attending, nor being assisted by nurses I’d never met. So getting a midwife who is the only one I’ve interacted with has been a really wonderful experience. She also lives 2.5 miles from our house, so there would be very little to prevent her from arriving in a timely manner. And having a neighbor and great friend attend as a doula only puts me that much more at ease.
So. The above paragraph represents about nine months and twenty books. How’d I do?
Back to getting the house ready.
Mostly, it’s been cleaning (is it ridiculous that I keep opening the refrigerator to stare at the pure white shelves?), sweeping, and organizing, but I also got into a decorating mode. We don’t have a lot of family photos displayed around our house. (1) We like clean surfaces, and (2) we just couldn’t commit to anything permanent, knowing that I have an addiction to rearranging furniture every three months. But I just loooove homes with photos of the people who actually live there–so homey–and became convinced a couple weeks ago that seeing the faces of the ones I love would be so inspiring to me during labor. So I spent a whopping $13 and printed all of my favorite photos (well, my list of all actually included 300 photos, so I put those in a slideshow and printed 20 or so instead).
We also added this piece of art (a Christmas present!) in the dining room on the way to the kitchen. I want to be filled with joy for the great things the Lord has done, not just during labor but throughout our whole lives! Isn’t it just perfect on the orange wall?! It’s my inspiration for when we paint/do-whatever-we’re-gonna-do-to the kitchen.
The office is where we’ve decided to set up the pool. Super close to the bathroom, small enough room that it feels intimate, clear shot of the backyard evergreen, which will be lightly dusted with snow. (If it’s not, I’m planning to send James out to sprinkle powdered sugar all over it…although he may be learning about that plan just now as he reads this.) I cleared off my sewing desk, hung some crafty/cutesy art, and snagged a window from Anne to display many of James’ gorgeous nature photos.
Over James’ desk, we placed our newest favorite family photo–all of us giggling (remember? on our grumpiest day of the year?). James’ computer will also show the slideshow of my 300+ fave pics…starting back when James and I were just getting to know each other! (Yep, I sat by him and had my roomie discreetly snap a pic of us. I sighed dreamily every time I looked at that photo all of 2004.) The office is also where music will serenade me peacefully through labor and delivery. *ahem*
Okay, okay, since you asked; here’s the pic of the beginning.
It’s at Goshen’s Electric Brew, if you must know.
Aww, and I just found this one of earlier that night when we all went out to Hacienda. Apparently, James and I shared a mudslide. Don’t worry; we used two separate spoons. Puleeease, we weren’t even dating yet! (Although I suppose if we were to go today, we’d get two separate spoons as well. He’s way too fast, and I’m way too preggers!)
The next corner of the office will contain the pool. It’s already there just waiting to be blown up. I try not to hyperventilate every time I walk past. We placed some photos of just James and me–engagement through Jaeda’s birth. He’s my life partner and having this baby together at home couldn’t speak to that more loudly.
Then right at eye level (when I’m in the pool, that is), I placed four verses. If my eyes are open during the pool time (which is nearer the end of labor), I’ll study them; if not, James will read them to me, reminding of these big truths. Isaiah 40:11 because (1) I meditate on the end of that verse frequently while parenting and (2) I sang that part of Handel’s Messiah when I was in college (just in a recital, don’t get too excited) and will never forget it. Matthew 11:28 because (1) it comes right after my section in the Messiah and (2) I anticipate being quite weary. Psalm 119:105 because a couple weeks ago, I had a terrible pain that I couldn’t sleep through, could barely move, and I just closed my eyes and pictured Jesus’ hand holding mine as we walked down a dark path, only seeing our feet on the dirt. When I awoke in the morning, I knew that verse would be impactful for me during birth. Side note: when I quoted that verse that night, it was only in KJV; looks like my parents trained me, I grew up, and I haven’t forgotten (Proverbs 22:6)! And lastly, John 16:21b, which is written on the bottoms of the two pics–one when I first met Corban, the other when I first met Jaeda. I remember being so overcome with joy and pride and love; I can’t imagine how that emotion will increase in this new atmosphere!
There you have it. The thing we’ve been planning for (and getting weird looks for) for months and months. Soon enough, the planning will be done, the waiting will be over, and we’ll get to move on to the newborn and family of five stage of life. We go back and forth between excitement and terror. I’m sure somehow both emotions will have their part during labor. But we’re ready.