Monday, June 27, 2011

Waiting for baby

I haven't written in a while. I have all these great posts partially written in my head, but I've been so so busy with life, that I just can't seem to get them transferred to the blog. There is so much to catch up on.
First of all, I'm still pregnant. Enormously pregnant. Like, you-would-not-believe-how-big-my-belly-is pregnant. I see people as they approach me trying so hard not to look down. It's like they're all having this inner dialog "Don't look down. Don't look down. DON'T LOOK DOWN!" And then they just can't resist and their eyes are forced to take in the planet-sized belly that is surely holding twins or at least a ten-pounder. And their eyes ever so slightly bulge open, and I laugh inside. It IS pretty funny.
I'm currently timing contractions and hoping to God that this baby makes his or her debut tonight. Not making any promises. I typically have "false labor" for several days before baby arrives. Yesterday I swore that this little one was sending the signal, but no go. So here we are. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Among other BIG news is that we are moving. It's time for this family to get out of the city. In my blogger profile you can see that we "live a simple life too close to the city and longing for the country." Well, dear readers, it's going to happen. We've prayed and prayed that God would make His will known to us and open a door somewhere, somehow, and He's finally done so. He's stretched our patience and proven His love yet again.
In just a little over a month, we will be relocating back to the upstate of South Carolina, near family and in our hometown where we met and were married. We have rented a beautiful house on a country road with two acres of yard. This 3-bedroom house is almost twice the size of the condo we're in now and has more kitchen cabinets than I will know what to do with. I seriously wonder if I could place one dish inside each cabinet and still have storage space left over. That's okay, though--I'll figure it out. I'm also especially looking forward to having a washer and dryer in my own living quarters instead of having to walk outside to the end of the building and then pay $10 per week to do the laundry. AND the rent is HALF our mortgage payment! God has provided a cute married couple to rent our condo here, which was also a big answer to prayer.
We're so thrilled for the opportunities that lie ahead. God is so good to our family. Of course, though, we have mixed feelings about uprooting the kids and leaving the only home they've ever known and also leaving some very dear friends that have been so wonderful to us. We will miss our church--the parish where I was confirmed Catholic, and also the parish where my babies were baptized. We will miss our incredible little neighborhood. We'll miss our little condo, where one of my babies (and another one any day!) was born. It'll also be pretty difficult to leave the town where our Benjamin's grave lies.
And as much as we desire to live in the country, at least I (I don't know about Paul) will miss living 4 miles south of our nation's capitol, just across the Potomac River. It's been such a fun adventure being able to drive or run along the river and have a daily view of things like the Capitol building and the Washington Monument. Any time we want we have the chance to visit a Smithsonian or other museum (most of them for free!). However, one thing we will absolutely NOT miss is the traffic. Goodness, are we glad to get away from that!
So now we are beginning the packing as we await the next little baby. And besides the obvious things I am looking forward to (i.e., the baby itself), there are quite a few other things I'm looking forward to: being able to breathe, being able to sleep on my stomach and my back, seeing Judah as a big brother and Charlie as an even bigger sister, running again.
On a side note, I started this post a few days ago and cannot believe that I am still working on it. Part of me wonders if the baby is waiting for me to finish before he or she enters the world this side of the womb. Hopefully that's the case, because I'm going to hit "Publish Post" now and would really, really love to feel a nice strong contraction to finally begin real labor. :) Have a great day, and I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


We are getting very close to birthing time, but things feel so different this time around. At this point with Judah, I was definitely having mixed emotions, it having been only a year since Benjamin was born. I also was having huge conflict over somehow destroying Charlie's world by allowing a sibling to enter into it. Even during labor I remember lamenting to my birth assistant that everything was going to change for Charlie. But now I understand that birthing a sibling is the best gift that I can give my kids, and I'm so excited to be doing that again.
Except that they are growing way, way too fast. Just a minute ago, when Judah spied a picture of a cat on a blog, I heard Judah start to say, "Meow," which USED to be his name for cat, and then stop mid-word and correctly say, "Kittens." It made me sad. He's also stopped saying "wow-ee-o wuck" for "fire truck" and "hee hee" instead of "sissy." Charlie's all grown up in other ways, and suddenly we need to stop spelling things in hopes that she won't hear what we're discussing. It's a beautiful thing to watch them grow up, but it's so painful to recognize that they're in our hands for such a short time.
These feelings make me want to hold onto every single second, which, I think, is partly why I'm not quite ready to birth this baby. I am one of those obnoxious women who so love being pregnant. I really do. When I'm pregnant I feel more myself, almost as if this is why I'm here. And so I'm holding onto the pregnancy for that reason, as well as because once the baby is born then he/she too will start to grow up like everyone else. It's crazy, I know. But right now the baby is mine all mine.
But alas, the day will come when I have to share him/her, and so I have been working like crazy to prepare. I've become the subject of a photography project on homebirth, which has been much fun! It has also lit a fire under me to do some projects of my own, which I might not otherwise choose to do.
Ginny over at Small Things had a great idea that I copied in order to get photos for my friend's project, but the dried herbs didn't arrive in time for the deadline. The kids and I put things together this afternoon by combining comfrey leaves, calendula flowers, rosehips, rosemary leaves, chamomile flowers, and lavender oil in small muslin bags. When in labor and after the baby is born, I'll steep a bag and pour the tea into the bath for healing and relaxation.

Yesterday I sewed this pretty gauzy nightgown to wear during our birthing time. I wanted to have something special and nice for photos.

And though I have no pictures, you should see my stocked freezer! I've made several casseroles to have on hand for immediately after the birth and in the weeks afterward. As for the food needed during labor and immediately after birth, I know that some people think it's preposterous that a woman should have to be concerned with providing food for herself, let alone the birth team. But what they should understand is that this is the way it is. Having a baby at home means that there will not be a cafeteria (thank goodness), and that it's a really, really good idea to prepare food ahead of time. It also means that the midwife and the rest of the birthing team (birth assistant, possibly a midwife student, childcare provider, etc.)--these people on whom the birthing woman is depending--may not be coming from their own homes, and therefore will not necessarily be able to grab a TV dinner on their way out the door to come help birth the baby. I'm happy to provide a good, healthful meal for myself, my family, and everyone involved! In fact, it's sort of a fun ritual to welcome baby. It fits nicely with our philosophy regarding the home and the family, if you think about it. We homeschool, homebirth, and provide a homecooked meal. :)
So, as soon as I know that I am in labor, I will make my phonecalls to gather my team, set out a casserole to thaw, and then settle down with my little ones that are here with me already. I'll do my best to relax and gently welcome baby into his or her new world. Until then, more nesting. ;)