It's a vivid memory from Moriah's birth: the moment when I very distinctly transitioned from the things I was doing to distract myself from labor (talking with the nurse and midwife, checking Facebook, chatting online with my cousin, etc.) to the actual process of labor itself, specifically the idea of finally needing to make a choice to push the baby out and finish the birth! I mention it in this blog post, if you have the patience to scroll down to that part to find it. ;-)
In a similar--but not identical, since I'm not that close to the end of this pregnancy--manner, this week included a marked shift for me. Last Saturday, I was still writing things like "I am still not really prepared for his birth" and "I'm pretty convinced he's still not coming for at least a few weeks"; but suddenly on Monday morning, August 24, I mentally switched gears. Instead of the birth being a vague, far-off reality, it was a very real possibility that it could occur at any time; and I was, for really the first time, motivated to make preparing for the birth the focus of my tasks each day.
The swiftness of the transition surprised me, but not the joy of it. It is delightful to nest when a new little birdie is on the way. :)
Maybe one of the reasons I finally got in gear was because Monday morning brought with it a whole bunch of contractions. It was never to the point of me thinking that I might actually be in real labor, but it certainly was a wake-up call of what is coming. It appears that's what I needed. ;-)
So, what have I done to prepare? Well, let's see... :)
~ I thoroughly organized and cleaned what we call the TSM room. That would be the bedroom that Tobin, Shav, and Moriah share. :) It wasn't in bad shape, since we've kept it up pretty well since we moved Moriah into it earlier this summer; but inevitably some things get out of place, drawers get messy, sheets need washed, books need straightened, and so forth. It was a good feeling to get that room "perfect" again. :)
~ I also thoroughly organized and cleaned my room. Let me tell you, a neat, clean, everything-I-can-put-away-has-been-put-away bedroom is a treasure. :)
~ I did sort of silly things like plucking my eyebrows and cutting my fingernails. Not necessary before labor, but a mental boost, all the same. ;-)
~ I did more important things like stocking up on toiletries so we won't run out of toothpaste or shampoo the week after the baby is born. ;-)
~ I also caught up on laundry--like the TSM room, not that it was in such bad shape, but the pile of dirty clothes had accumulated higher than I like it to be, so I made that a priority this past week.
~ Perhaps most telling, I was finally motivated to make some meals for the freezer. The way I did it was fairly simple; rather than setting aside a large chunk of time for this project, I simply made a double portion several evenings when I was making supper, and then froze what was left after we ate. Monday, for example, I made a big pot of sausage and bean soup and froze an ice cream bucket full of that (those ice cream buckets sure come in handy for things like this!). Thursday, I made lasagna; we ate one dish of it, and I put another big pan of it in the freezer. Friday, we did the same with curried lentils. It really doesn't take that much more time to prepare a large portion of something that you happen to be making anyway, but what a time-saver in the end when those freezer meals can be used as the foundation for an entire meal! My long-time readers know that I'm never overly dramatic ;-), so you won't be surprised to read that, as I tucked away each meal in the freezer, I thought, "Well, at least we won't starve for one more day after the baby is born!" :) Silly me. As if starvation was even a remote possibility in this land of plenty that we too often take for granted!
Since we're talking about food, I'll mention a few favorites during this pregnancy. Coffee yogurt has been a faithful stand-by, and Jeff has kept me well-stocked, which isn't always convenient because the only store I've found around here that sells it is sort of on the other side of town and we never shop there. Well, unless I'm getting low on coffee yogurt, and then Jeff shops there. ;-) There has been many a lunch for me in the past 8 months which has featured coffee yogurt as the main course. :)
Early on, I really loved eating chocolate raisins, but lately, not so much.
Early on, I also really craved the intense flavor of the zestiest salt and vinegar chips I've ever had. Nowadays, it's a no-go. There is part of a bag in the snack closet, and it just sits there. I can't even make myself eat them to finish up the bag and have one less thing in the closet!
Early on, I had absolutely no desire to eat the tortilla chips that appear on our dinner table every evening (so Jeff can eat them with his salsa). :) Seriously, NO DESIRE AT ALL. But towards the end of this pregnancy, my normal desire for them has returned, so I eat them every single day.
Apples with peanut butter have been an appreciated part of my pregnancy diet.
As always in the summer, I'd be pretty content to live off fresh fruit and milk. I don't understand why the rest of my family thinks supper ought to include more than just a smoothie! ;-) I haven't had much appetite for meat and heavy stuff, although I do eat it because I know I need a more balanced diet.
I've consumed great quantities of milk, not only because milk is my favorite beverage, but also to tame the heartburn monster. I've also really enjoyed the mint tea my dad has been making from the mint in his flowerbed, but ironically, it makes my heartburn worse, despite how cool and refreshing it feels as I drink it. But no problem: I just drink it at supper, then drink milk later to take care of the heartburn. ;-)
"Glamorous" is not an adjective that is often associated with me. "Nice" - yes. "Caring" - I sure hope so. "Friendly" and "kind" and "gentle" and, most of all, "Christ-like"- may it be so. But "glamorous"? Not really. ;-)
However, when I look back at the middle of this pregnancy--this halfway post, for example--I realize that, if I ever felt glamorous during this year 2015, it was then. It is certainly not now. ;-)
The experts aren't kidding when they extol the glories of the second trimester. But now that I'm weeks (days?) from the end, that blissful time feels like ages ago. For one thing, I'm just so big! I tried to measure my circumference the other day, and the consensus (Jeff and Josiah were around while I was doing it and were trying to help me read the tape measure as well as tell me when I had it positioned in the right spot to capture my largest girth) was that I am 45 and a half inches around. While pregnant with Josiah, I got to be 42 inches; but in my more recent pregnancies, I have gotten this big--or nearly. But my goodness, 45.5 inches doesn't make me feel glamorous at all! ;-)
I was napping on Wednesday afternoon when Shav came into my room and handed me two pieces of paper. On one was a cheery picture of a rainbow that he drew, and on the other was this.
Speaking of naps... :)
During this pregnancy, I definitely have had a favorite spot to nap, and this is it. :)
One blessing of late has been the relative coolness of this August. It is not unheard of for our area to get into the 90s and even break 100 degrees; but this summer, for the most part, the temperatures have only risen into the 80s. I can't say that I mind. ;-) On the hottest, most humid days, I have been running the air conditioning; but during the past couple of weeks, I haven't needed to even do that very much.
Josiah was out on the hammock a couple of days ago, but came in before long...
A verse that often comes to mind at this late stage of pregnancy is this: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!" Since I've woken up, so to speak, to what still needs done and have entered the nesting stage this week, there have been so many things that I have wanted to do to prepare even more for this imminent arrival, and so I go and go for a while. But when my body speaks up and says "oh, no, you don't," I often have no choice but to stop and listen to it. Between back pain, fatigue, and general clumsiness and achiness, too many times I reach my limit of physical activity long before I was planning to do so! It can be frustrating to look around and think about how much more I wanted to get done...but freeing to fall into the arms of grace and realize that, no matter what else I accomplish, God is using me to grow a new human being. And maybe, for that moment, it is enough. :)
"I will never again get this much enjoyment from rubbing my tummy."
That was my thought yesterday as I drove home from town, one hand on the steering wheel, the other feeling my baby's movements. :)
It is endlessly entertaining for me to feel him. He is so wonderfully active; and when I sit down, it usually doesn't take me long at all to, consciously or unconsciously, put my hand on my tummy and happily feel his motions. The other members of my family find it interesting to occasionally feel it, but no one even comes close to the amount of time I have spent doing that, soaking up his precious movements.
A few weeks from now, it won't be fun at all to feel my tummy!! ;-)
I've reached the stage where I get to see a midwife once a week, and this week my appointment was on Thursday. It was fairly routine, with the most exciting thing for me being the checking of my blood pressure. Since it had been a little high at the previous appointment, I was eager to see how it was doing--and was very grateful when it was back to being nice and normal (124/72). My weight had jumped up to 187 pounds. The baby's heart rate was somewhere in the mid- to upper-130s.
Besides the good news about my blood pressure, the other best part about this appointment was finding out that I'm negative for Group B Strep, so that's one less thing to worry about during labor. :)
With all the preparing I've been doing this week, you might expect me to say that my bag is completely packed for the hospital.
Well, it isn't.
Not quite. :)
I have been gathering more of the things that I want to take along and putting them all together in the baby's crib. If I had to make a quick middle-of-the-night dash to the hospital, it wouldn't take long to throw them all in the bag and run out the door. But I'd like to be a little more organized than that. ;-)
Maybe I'll finish that off tomorrow. :)
One thing I did do, however, was to wash and get ready both of the outfits I bought to potentially use as coming-home outfits for the baby. So even if I don't have all the things I'd like to have when I'm in the hospital, at least the baby won't need to come home naked. ;-)
This is my first choice for his coming-home outfit.
How many more days will it be until we see his sweet little body filling up these clothes??? :)