Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Baby Update: birth planning and stuff
I realized last week that I haven't said much about the baby or baby plans, so just wanted to journal that a little bit. Feel free to skip this post, it will most likely bore you, dear (all 5 of you) readers :)
Apparently, I'm in my 8th month (yes, Mom, that is EIGHTH, with emphasis ;) and the baby updates have started saying things like, "your little one will be here in just a few weeks!" Ummm, I'm not so hot with numbers, but there's still about 8 weeks left here...
Nevertheless, it has helped me really realize that I think things are going to go down and a baby will be born. Yes, its been many, many months of denial, with just a few moments of clarity. After thinking it wouldn't ever happen again, and then miscarrying and such, I think my defenses were high and my expectations low. But I'm feeling pretty darn attached to this Little Miss now, and awfully excited to meet her.
So, this week, the diapers (P's adorable kissaluvs - oh how they are the sweetest little things you've ever seen!! and some organic prefolds) have been washed. The little kimono shirts (the better to not pull her wee head off with) folded. The tiny baby leggings (the better to EC with) gently stored. Some soft sherpa squares for wipes are stacked. The wrap and sling are ready to hold her sweet sleeping form and free my hands for P. The blankets are waiting to warm her. I still need to get a wool pad for her to sleep on by me and a pre-fold belt for ECing, but otherwise, I think her bodily needs can now be met.
And speaking of her body! She's, apparently, almost 4 pounds now. And packing on about half a pound a week. Her lungs are finally mature and her skin is pink rather than red and translucent. She's, basically, fully cooked, minus the fat, some bone solidity and some brain folds. This, of course, means she's taking up a lot of real estate. My stomach is finally cramped into my ribs, providing me with nightly heartburn (something I never, ever experience otherwise.) My quick shots of apple cider vinegar to combat this burn so beautifully that I briefly feel almost pre-child, but without the spins ;)
I think she is head down already (P was staunchly breech almost to his due date, so we had to have external version performed - yuck! But it worked!!!) because it seems her feet are getting into my ribcage regularly :) I feel like I'm carrying her high too, but who knows ;) And, unlike with P, I can feel her hard, squirmy body parts really well. Sometimes shockingly well! As in, oh, that's her upper thigh and if I follow that bump there's a butt - and her back! Maybe P hung out more towards the back of my uterus, maybe it was because it was just his huge head constantly bonging into my bones rather than smaller body parts flailing around, but I definitely notice her moving more than the Little Man did. I mean, he was active enough, but there were long hours when there would be nothing (and of course I'd worry and have to drink something cold and sweet:) With her, there's little downtime, she seems to be noticeably flip flopping all. the. time. And she, apparently, practices her tango, religiously, every night from ten till twelve thirty. She's also good about waking me a few times a night with swift kicks and big flops, and then typically adds a nice right punch to the bladder, just to get my attention, around 4:30 each morning. Her bumps have grown so big that I had a dream the other night she was pushing her way out... right below my ribcage. There was soft brown hair and eye's like E's and she asked if she could come out now. No, no, I told her, not quite yet, and I pushed her back in and closed the flap from which she tried to escape. Ahhh, pregnancy....:)
Now I have to focus on getting the birthing supplies ready. I'll know more after Thursday, when the midwives come for their home visit, but I think the general gist is to have lots of towels and some spare sheets? I'm soooo glad E agreed to a homebirth this time. I can't imagine what the last birth would have been like in a hospital (well, actually, I can, I just don't want to. Can anyone say C-section?) and I'm glad we won't even have to mess (fingers crossed, that is;) with a midwive's clinic this time.
When we were expecting P, I read a million parenting books. We were clueless, I like to do research. Of course, before you have a kid, you are the best parent on the planet and the research just gives you philosophical backing to your brilliance. You don't officially suck and have any idea of your supreme suckdom until the kid is out.
This time, knowing of my infinite suckdom already, and having covered and re-covered from all of those books, I'm focusing on what I adamantly ignored last time around. The basic fact that the baby must come out. Somehow or another :)
Sure, we went to childbirth classes at the midwives' clinic last time. And I still felt infinitely able... and, simultaneously, completely clueless for about 30 hours of extreme intensity. Granted, this time it isn't my first rodeo. But, since I fear age (read: comparatively shitty shape here, 7 years later ;), SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction - basically, a fucked up pelvic this time around) and this wretched vein issue I'm having (all likely due to P's birth) will infringe on that "infinitely able" feeling I had before... I'm hoping to combat that by eradicating the "completely clueless" bit. Hopefully book-smarts will make a difference here :)
At the very least, my reading has helped me feel less fear. I finally realized a month or so ago that I was scared shitless to give birth again. While I have quite fond memories of the amazonian abilities I acquired during P's birth, I also have a very distinct memory of driving home a couple hours after his birth. I turned to E and said something like, "I need to tell women everywhere that they should, under no circumstances, Ever Get Pregnant. Never. Ever."
So, I've had to do a lot of soul searching, to figure out what, exactly, I was scared of this time. The labor I could handle. I didn't really notice the dreaded "transition." The length, though not my exact favorite, was fine. Last time, that is. When I was still walking miles before birth, climbing ladders to paint the house, and just generally comfortable. I realized I'm worried I won't be able to go that long this time, for the aforementioned reasons. I didn't experience the "ring of fire," since poor little P had to be vacuumed (and therefore, I sliced.) So, that one is more just a curiosity at this point. So, after lots of thought, I think its the endurance worry coupled with the memory of my midwife holding back a cervical lip. For over 6 hours. The contractions felt like ice cream compared to that. So, I've basically made my midwives swear that they won't touch my freaking cervix. Let me go even longer, chillax on the couch and stare, just don't yank on my insides during my contractions. That is hell realized.
So, half of my fear is shaken. They will be creative and patient and I will be at home to relax and do my thing. That will hopefully not take quite as long this time :)
And when I was reading (another) birthing book the other night, I read just what I needed (I love it when that happens:) to help with the other half. The author said something to the extent that we are still ourselves when we are giving birth. That how we approach our days and our lives are symptomatic of how we approach our births. And it hit me. I feel capable (except when driving:) and strong in my life. And that's exactly how I felt during P's birth. I never said I was ready to give up - that thought didn't occur to me. I do distinctly remember telling E, once, after the whole cervical lip thing started, "I don't like this part." But that was my only complaint for the two days. I didn't plan that, or read about it to do it, it was just how it was. So I have to trust that it can be that way again this time. That I can do this, old and wonky-walking or no :) There's that, and I'm banking on a smaller baby :))))