Yes, things have been slow around here. Here being the blog. In real life, things seem to be moving at the speed of light. I got a text from my dear friend Autumn yesterday that said, "Yeah, 35 weeks!" Let me start by saying that I don't know what I would do without Autumn. I would still think I was 15 weeks pregnant if she wasn't better at remembering. It helps that she's due a month after me, so she really just has to add 4 weeks to her running total. But when I read that text, I heard my perinatologist's voice in my ear, "I'm thinking 35 weeks is about when this baby will come. Let's plan on making it to there." I think I have a little more time, we're not booking our labor and delivery room for this week. But there was a little bit of, "Welp, here goes nothing!" that came along with that number, 35 weeks. Maybe I should pack my hospital bag at least.
The logical question and the one that everyone (I mean everyone. . . why do 70 year old men in the grocery store feel compelled to comment on the fact that I have a nice "waddle" and am obviously ready to "pop") has been asking is, "Are you ready?" The short answer is. . . well, is there a short answer? Am I ready to have another baby? Am I ready to give birth? Am I ready for Aurelia to share the attention with another little lady? Am I ready to hop in the car and drive to the hospital if need be the case? Does anyone else feel overwhelmed by that list of questions? 'Cause the only answer I can come up with is a semi-timid, "I guess I'm ready."
The thing is I feel like I'm doing this for the first time. I didn't feel the need to do the typical motherhood planning with Aurelia. I knew that she would be delivered by c-section. I knew an approximate date. I knew that she'd spend some time in the hospital. And that's about all I knew. While we had all the clothes and necessary furniture set up and ready to go, I tried not to live in expectation of what might happen. I've learned that when I go down the road of expectation, the place I actually end up is far different than where I thought I was heading. When Aurelia was born, I didn't do a lot of planning. Thinking back to her birth day my response is that it was so full of emotion, it was so full of love, it was so challenging, but it was so perfect. I wouldn't change a single thing about it (read about it here)!
So, where does that leave me with this little one? I mean, I just said her sister's birth day was "perfect," that's a lot to live up to. But I'm not asking for her birth to be anything like Aurelia's birth. That's a lot of expectation to put on a brand new person. . .didn't I just say I try not to live in expectation? Perfect or not, I'd prefer a more typical birth experience. And I'm very aware that there is no such thing as a "typical birth experience." We can plan until everything is all set and ready to go, and then one little detail changes everything and we head back to re-plan. As was stated at the VBAC class we took this last weekend, "The only guarantee in pregnancy is that you won't always be pregnant." I think those are wise words. I've decided not to expect, not to plan, but rather to prepare. I feel like preparation leaves more of a margin of error and also less pressure. And, in typical Julie fashion, my preparation list is quite short.
Here's what I've been doing to prepare:
- We took a vbac class. I didn't take a birthing class with Aurelia. I knew nothing of the process of birth. For any momma friends that are planning a vbac, I highly recommend taking a class. Both Joey and I really got a lot out of it. If you live in the Puget Sound area, I recommend taking it here.
- We've been organizing our house. Like I mentioned on the list, we haven't hung a single picture since we moved in in July. We still haven't. But we have set up the guest room for Mammaw's visit. We got a new king sized mattress for our room (best upgrade ever). And we've cleaned, sorted, gone to the goodwill, and done many things on our home list. Hanging pictures is next. Posting pictures of the house will come after that.
- I've been taking lots of naps, usually with Aurelia. I love naps. I love Aurelia. It's a good combo.
Um, I can't really think of anything else? Am I forgetting something? I'm sure I am. But I'm ok with that. Before this baby was born I wanted to feel like the house was in order, our lives were in order, our daughter felt well loved, and I didn't want to feel stressed. I think we've accomplished all those things. Two nights ago as we were trying to go to sleep Joey said, "I can't wait to meet her." And that's where we are now.
Here's what Joey's being doing to prepare: