As the pregnancy ticker ticks further along, I suppose it's no wonder so many of my thoughts these days are swirling around the pregnancy and upcoming birth.
Overall it's such a perfect summer. Slow, lazy days, all the children on vacation, playing together. Me making so many wondrous discoveries along with my daughter, watching her grow, make her first steps, and learn to talk. It's so fascinating to watch her personality unfold more and more with every day that goes by. We're having such a wonderful time it's hard to imagine things are about to get even more wonderful through the addition of this new little one who is due to join us in a couple of months!
* I love my maternity clothes. By the way, most of my maternity clothes aren't officially labeled as such. I try to save up as much closet space as possible, so a lot of my clothes can be and have been comfortably worn during pregnancy, postpartum, while nursing, and beyond. I look for femininely draped styles which are loose at the tummy, stretchy items or wraps. I have skirts with wide elastic waistbands which fit equally well when I'm pregnant or not.
* This time around, I hope to prepare some meals to freeze before the baby arrives. Last time, I was blessed to receive the thoughtful gift of many homemade meals from practically everyone who lives on our street – but only a few of them were meatless. I plan to make items which freeze well and don't lose their taste after freezing, such as quiches, lasagna, and pizza. I'll look for more ideas in a month or so. Now that I know I tend to lose weight while nursing, I plan to eat well – really well, and as much nutritious healthy foods as possible. I started this pregnancy weighing less than first time around, and only recently stopped seeing all my ribs. I'd like to keep it that way.
* I so look forward to going through all the tiny baby things, washing them, and making space for them in the children's closet. We'll also need to air out the infant car seat, the pram, the bouncer and the mobiles. I already put in some extra stuffing into my nursing pillow as it got a bit deflated from extra use.
* This time, when I pack my hospital bag, I intend to take at least one nursing cover or little blanket with me. Last time around, I didn't think of that, which wasn't very convenient when visitors (some of them men) came by.
* So far, the baby has not turned – unlike last time when baby remained head down pretty much constantly since around 25 weeks. I realize I still have time, but I've been thinking about breech births a bit ever since my sister-in-law had one 7 months ago. I was so happy and proud of her that she avoided a c-section, despite the doctors' pressure. There was only one hospital in
that was ready to admit her for a regular birth, because she was a first-time Mom. I think another hospital or two do that for Moms who have already had one baby or more. But most hospitals will push for an automatic c-section. I don't know yet what the policy is in the hospital that would be my first choice. It's a religious hospital and most religious women try very hard to avoid c-sections because they think about future pregnancies, so I have hope. We'll find out if there's need to, and decide accordingly. I know it's also possible to help the baby turn by outside intervention. We have not yet looked at how safe this option is. Again, I do realize there's still plenty of time for the baby to turn and some babies do it at the very last moment. Israel
* Speaking of time, my doctor refused to update the gestational age despite the medical evidence stating it should be updated, because it "would mess up the records". I'd be more worried about wrong records messing up the policy in the hospital where I eventually go to give birth, but hey, that's just me. Officially I'm 31 weeks along but I estimate I'm at least a week and most probably two weeks less, which means we won't even be expecting this baby to turn up before I'm at least 41 weeks along officially – and quite possibly more. Of course we might always be surprised. :o)
* I can't help but hope for a birth experience similar to my first one – beautiful, natural, magical, full of God's presence through and through… and healthy and uncomplicated. At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I was fully convinced it's impossible to give birth without the aid of epidural or other pain-relieving drugs. Or if you attempt it, I reasoned, you'd die of pain. I didn't pause to think how is it that humanity hasn't died out in all the generations preceding epidurals. :o) Thankfully, I have a thinker and a researcher for a husband – after the data we went through together, I wasn't just convinced I ought to at least try to go natural – I ended up doing the "impossible" natural birth and loving it. Believe it or not, it wasn't even the most painful experience I ever went through. Yes, labor was hard work, but all along, I didn't feel as though something wrong is happening to my body. It all felt natural and right. It's a bit hard to explain.
I also loved staying at the hospital during Shabbat. The staff and just about all the new mothers were religious (at least I didn't notice even one woman without a hair covering), and there was a beautiful Shabbat atmosphere. We had delicious meals, people shut off their cell phones, and there were no swarms of visitors – just the few who were within walking distance. Of course my husband was within walking distance, otherwise I might not have liked the arrangement quite so much. :o)
* My goal is to constantly be with the baby from the moment of birth onward, and especially during the night – despite the well-wishers' advice that I should leave the baby with the nurses at night so I can "rest" (you know, it's really hard work when you have your baby in a bassinet by your bed – so you can constantly keep an eye and don't have to wonder whether the baby needs you right now - and all you have to do is relax, nurse, change the occasional diaper, and sleep when your baby sleeps. Yes, having that tiny newborn by your side is really overtaxing). Last time, leaving my daughter with the nurses at night resulted in my right to exclusively breastfeed my baby being undermined – and after I learned this bitter lesson, I didn't separate from my baby for another moment. I do hope we can be adamant even in the blurry postpartum state, and remember that our baby is ours, not the hospital's, and no one can legally separate us against our will.
So, these are just some rambling thoughts from this expectant Mom. Expect another ramble sometime within the next two months!