Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home Stretch

This is it. I'm in the home stretch! Today I am 34 weeks pregnant. The end is near... so near. I really feel I haven't complained enough with this pregnancy but up until now there were only a few days where I felt like crap. Since moving, there has been quite a bit of tiredness, but nothing like the zombie tiredness I've suddenly encountered. It seemed to come on overnight. BAM. I am exhausted.

This pregnancy has been a billion light years away from any pregnancy of the past. As most everyone knows I haven't been seeing an OB. I haven't been seeing anyone. We did do initial blood work and ultrasounds and the baby is fine and was growing right on schedule. Since 21 weeks I hadn't seen anyone. I don't want to sound like a horrible person, so I'll add that I was not against going to see an OB, I just wanted to wait until it was so much closer. I've been pregnant 6 times in the last 6 years and every pregnancy has been sort of the same. I'd go in and everyone would make a big deal about my iron levels, about the size of my babies, about the length of my cervix... they would worry about me being dilated early... all of these are legitimate reasons to be concerned, but while pregnant with Lucy I came to the conclusion that it's just how my body does the baby thing. I have gone through times of anxiety with this pregnancy, but it's usually short lived and honestly some of the time it was because of the unknown move date and the "will I be having my baby at a random hospital/delivering the baby on my own". I haven't had any anxiety since we moved. This baby is in a different position than any baby I've ever carried and it's really thrown me for a loop.

She is down sooo loooow. There are new pains that come along with this and a good deal of extra skin stretching. There is absolutely no lung squishing or stomach kicking or little feet digging into my ribs. But there is an elbow behind my hip bone and the babies head... really really reaaaaally low. I don't think she's gonna have to come far to get out . ;) Ha!

I did finally go see a midwife last week. I have been tossing it around in my lil' brain about having a home birth, not only because my sister is having one, but because I feel a bit traumatized from my other births.

Sam was born at 35 weeks. Trauma. That is all. I do believe that being in the hospital saved both of our lives. In fact, I almost died. I lost a lot of blood and even though Sam was freakishly small he had quite the time getting out. I saw a specialist with Joe (Because who in their right mind would see me? No one.) and my OB was going on vacation, rock climbing to be precise and wanted me induced at 38 weeks. I obeyed. He's the dr. I did labor and deliver him naturally, but there was the influence of pitocin which ultimately is not natural and so there's the added stress on your body because the baby wasn't in the right position to come out simply because he wasn't ready.

After Joe was our second premature birth resulting in Elizabeth being still born.

I switched OBs but Molly and Lucy were both induced also. His reason was that I was strep B positive. For inductions Molly came with pitocin and Lucy induced "naturally" through separation of the membranes. *shudder* most painful experience EVER. Far worse than the actual birth. The girls' births were long and hard and painful because of the pit... again, they just weren't quite read and we found out with Lucy she REALLY wasn't ready. Our pediatrician said she seemed to only be 32 weeks gestation and not 38. She had a bumpy road.

Their pregnancies were also extra difficult because of all the stress of one week having a healthy baby then the next week they would tell me Lucy isn't "thriving" or Molly is in the wrong position...Haven't they ever heard all babies develop differently and not every one of them is ready to pop at 38 weeks!

This pregnancy has been exactly what I was looking for. Peaceful, calm, beautiful. I feel more in tune with Iris than I have with any of the other kids. Rather than feeling like a fetus carrier I feel like we've bonded already.

The midwife I chose was recommended by a woman I know who had her three children delivered by her. And since last week I've heard from several other people I know that she also delivered THEIR babies. So I feel like I'm in good hands.

I like the midwife too. Her name is Nancy. She has a birthing center where I can have the baby. It's on a lake, in a beautiful room with big windows and nature everywhere. A friend of mine told me once when she was close to having her son that she just wanted to go into the forest to deliver her son on her own. I thought it sounded so strange. I mean, birthing babies can be dangerous. I should know! But this time I have that same feeling. I want solitude, and peace and I want it to be on my own. I want her to take her time coming into an already rushed world. I want her beginnings to be peaceful. I want her to feel loved, which she is. Maybe it's because I know she is my last, this time everything feels differently.

I might still have her at home. I feel VERY peaceful here, but I'm setting that as my back up birth plan. I'm not sure Jerry could handle the stress of having the baby here. He's a pessimist and can only see the worst case scenario.

Knowing that Lucy had such a horrendously hard time adjusting to the new world I have made some decisions that some people may consider strange. I stumbled upon an article of how in old world Europe women would "baby moon". Now a days people says baby moon when they mean go on a last hurrah before baby arrives. Back then it meant a few weeks at home to be alone with the baby and get acquainted. I have been thinking on it and looking into the notion of not going anywhere for the first six weeks, since this summer. It has taken lots of planning to get to where i am now, with a 40 day meal plan and with a lot of lists. Okay, it's not hard for me to come up with lists but it's taken time to think of all the things I may potentially miss and am I okay with that.

I chose six weeks to be home and feel like that would give my body time to recover and for us to set up a good breastfeeding relationship. I am really excited by the time of year she's being born. After a few days I want to start going on walks and it'll be the beginning of summer. How perfect?

Jerry and I have discussed enrolling the kids in little activities in the morning so they can have little schedules of their own. He will of course be the one taking them. So far we've found a ballet class for Molly and a karate class for Sam and Joe to be in. I think that if they were able to start before the baby comes this would help them have time to get out without the stress for Jerry of having to take all of them somewhere. He is going to be doing the shopping, library days and any school runs Sam needs. We're still talking about it though.

Our baby list has dwindled. I am waiting for our moses basket legs to be delivered but other than that I have one specific "project" a week to get done.

35w - prepare freezer meals
36w - Hair cut
37w - Install infant carseat (and clean out car)
38w - Pedicure
39w- Massage :)

Like I said, the home stretch.

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