5.23.2006

The State of Things

For those who might be interested, here is where things stand:

-Today I am 35 weeks pregnant. At this point in my last pregnancy, Simon had just been born. I have been a little nervous the past few weeks, waiting to see if my preeclampsia will repeat itself this time. So far, so good. But my blood pressure has been inching its way up, so it is still possible that it will happen again. I am doing everything within my power to keep it down: protein, a gallon of water a day, supplements, and exercise.

My mind is often my worst enemy. I battle negative thinking, but feel I have been victorious lately. It's easy to dwell on regrets... like every time I've taken spoon to ice cream in the past 8 months, and my whole first trimester when I ate poorly and exercised rarely. If I were to be diagnosed preeclamptic again, it would be so tempting to beat myself up based on those regrets. Recently, though, I have resolved to stay positive, forgiving, and objective. A second preeclamptic pregnancy may just mean that I am predisposed to the condition, not that I am an utter failure as a pregnant woman. I am doing the best that I can, at this moment in time, and I hope that I'll be able to recognize that in the face of disappointment, if it happens again. At least I made it this far complication-free. So already I've done better than last time. Yea, me!

-For being 35 weeks, and compared to last time, I feel fantastic. Sciatic pain makes a very rare appearance these days, and even some back pain I was experiencing during sleep has magically diminished. Sometimes I even find myself forgetting that I am pregnant, or thinking that I don't look or feel too big, that is until I bump my stomach on a doorknob or some other object that never used to interfere with normal movement around the house. With Simon I had miserable backpain for the last few months, and Nate would dutifully rub my back each night. My lack of aches and pains at this point is astonishing to me, and no doubt a testament to all the exercise I've been doing. Especially the yoga. Yoga is magical; you should try it.

-A homebirth is still the plan, though certainly not a guarantee at this point. Thirty-seven weeks is the earliest my midwives would deliver me at home, and then only if my blood pressure is behaving. Next week, on the advice of my midwife, I am going to start taking some supplements that are supposed ripen me up, if you will, and possibly convince my body to go into labor. I am hopeful that they will work, and that we will have a little baby in our arms around June 14 instead of June 27. There are a couple of reasons to wish for a slightly early end to this pregnancy. First, it would give my blood pressure less time to go haywire. Also, I am fairly sure that this baby, if he goes a full 40 weeks, will be a whooper. Simon was 6 lb 2 oz, quite big for being 5 weeks early. And I'd much rather push out an 8 pounder than a 9 pounder, or a 9 pounder than a 10 pounder, etc. You get the idea.

Simon and I went to Ikea last week to collect some of the homebirth supplies. We got a cartful of cheap towels, washcloths, and bedsheets. All of these will be disposed of after being used to clean up my baby juices. We've also purchased a new flashlight and ordered a special kit at the request of the midwives. I know it contains a huge plastic sheet, but the other contents are a mystery. All I know is they told me to order it, and I did. So, despite the uncertainty of actually having a homebirth, we are prepared. All we'll have to do is put on the pot of boiling water!

-We have inundated Simon with books and videos about new babies. Most are aimed at kids, like the Sesame Street production, "Three Bears and a New Baby." Some are not really intended for the toddler set, as they show live-action vaginal births. But I want him to be prepared for what he might see. I really want him to be there, if he feels comfortable. And what better way to make him feel comfortable than to bombard him with images of gooey, bloody, crowning babies? So far, he hasn't seemed disturbed or frightened at all. He just says, "Here comes the baby!" very matter-of-factly. I'm hoping that these images will help the birth seem very normal to him, so that he won't be too scared to stay. The only thing that concerns me is that the women on these videos are suspiciously quiet while they push. So I always tell him, "This is what mommy will look like when she pushes out our baby. Except mommy might make very loud noises, like this." And then I try pathetically to conjure up my best primal birthing cry. I'm no actress, so it is no easy task. My fake groans are nothing compared to the real thing, but I figure any preparation I can give him is better than none.

People always ask if Simon is excited about the baby. It strikes me as a weird question... I guess because a three year old's version of excitement is so different than our own. Excitement for him is a flash in the pan moment of joy. Like, oh, we're going to the park now! Or, oh, I get to see my grandma today! I don't think prolonged excitement exists in a toddler's psyche. He does talk about the baby a lot, though, and it always seems positive... indifferent at the least. He doesn't seem scared or angry about having a new baby. Only time will tell how he will react to a very real brother Theo, and not just an idea.

-Last but not least, I finished the stripes. They are still far from perfect, so please don't come over here and examine them. But I fixed the ones that were most bothersome to me. Big sigh of relief. Now I'm really ready for this baby to get here.

2 comments:

Oliver said...

I'm glad to hear that things are going so well. My, it all goes so quickly. Maybe it's time I made another one myself.
Good luck with the home-birth.

snokilla said...

Girl!
I am in Atlanta right now, and Amy is due tomorrow, and is only 2 centimeters dialated, so me and Jade (4 years old) are going to create a dance to induce labor. She's very ready to get this baby OUT.
Hang in there girl.
You might have been spoiled having Simon early in a way, you did not have to deal with the anxiety of the month before birth.
You will be fine, I know this.

You and Nate amaze me

xo,
m