Over the Holiday Hump
Much as I hate to admit it, I am thrilled to have the holidays behind me. I feel like I'm in the homestretch now, with only eight weeks to go. Not that life is going to calm down by a long shot... we have a very busy January planned. Not only do my midwife appointments increase in frequency, but we have three weeks of childbirth education scheduled. I almost bailed out of these classes since we have been there, done that, but after discussion with my midwife, Nina, I decided that this refresher would be valuable for us because it focuses on home birth 100% -- something we've not done before -- plus includes information on emergency childbirth that Tony should learn. We don't anticipate a too-fast birth, but it will be February and weather is unpredictable at best in Ohio this time of year... better not to take any chances!
Even though this class is a major inconvenience in terms of timing, plus it's an hour's drive away each way, I do think it will be a great opportunity of me and Tony to have some special time away from our other kids and family members to connect and to share more of this pregnancy together. We could do this at home after the girls are in bed (after all this class coincides with their bedtime anyway!), but we just don't and I know we wouldn't. We need to have something we're invested in and feel forced to do, otherwise we simply don't have the discipline.
We've been so preoccupied with life in general for the past year that I don't think the reality of a new baby has completely hit us yet. Although, as baby paraphenelia accumulates in our bedroom and sleeping gets more impossible, I'm getting a better grip on it. And, just lately, as I get larger and clumsier and whinier, Tony has become more solicitious... like he finally did realize ohmygoodness, she really is going to have a baby!
Getting in touch
Baby is getting to be so big in there! It seems like such a short time ago I was envisioning this new life as a lima bean, less than an inch in length. Now it's bigger than a whole bowl of lima beans! How time does fly and how miraculous this process is. I never cease to be awed by it.
I love to place my hands on my abdomen and feel those rolling limbs. Baby seems to be consistently head down these days. At my last midwife appointment, Kelley showed me how I can lay down flat and palpate just above my pubic bone to feel the head. If I press there I can feel its hard shape and can follow the curve of it with my fingertips. I wish I'd known about that with my other pregnancies! I could never figure out how they were lying in there. Also, there is a certain area on the upper part of my tummy where I can press lightly and always feel what I'm pretty sure are knees. Maybe it's a foot, but it feels a little too firm and rounded for that, I think.
I had been stressed for weeks about the holidays. I knew it was going to be a difficult time and I'm sorry to say that it lived up fully to my expectations :-P. Ah, the power of negative thinking! I should know better than that.
Truly, there was just so much to do and my emotional and physical resources were nearly tapped out before the really intense festivities had even begun. If it wasn't for the pure fun that the girls had with it, I could have completely done without all the madness this year. I can be grateful and joyful without all the extra work and stress. Plus, I'm at that stage of pregnancy when squatting down to pick a toy up off the floor takes a real forced effort... all the holiday stuff was really just an overwhelming burden this year; something I had to get through.
We did have a fun holiday overall, though, even though I was surprised by how much it took out of me. And I became stupidly obsessed with getting a bunch of post-holiday clean-up done when I probably should have been resting a lot more. At least I can say I feel good about our progress! We got the oh-so-very-dead tree out of the house, all the decorations down and put away, plus reorganized the closet that holds all the Christmas decorations and baby stuff I saved (like swing and exersaucer and high chair, etc.). It was SUCH a mess.
Also, I have a short-term solution to the question of where to put all the baby's clothes. We have dressers upstairs with room, but I know I'm not going to want to be running up there all the time in the early months, especially since baby will be sleeping in our room anyway. So we moved the changing table I had for Bailey and Hannah Mac down from their bathroom upstairs (where it had served as really expensive shelving for their towels and toiletries) down to our bedroom, where it will serve as really expensive shelving for baby layette items ;-). Now I just have to resist the urge to wash all those baby clothes. I really want to hold off until the beginning of February at least, otherwise I'd just have to wash them all over again anyway. I'm dying to fold everything up and get it all organized on the shelves, though. That nesting urge is SO hard to resist!