The days are going along, quickly and slowly.
Our sweet baby girl could join our family at any time, or she could wait a few more weeks.
A few nights ago I was up for hours with contractions that eventually died down. I'm trying to be more patient this time, because there is no time like right now. I told Kevin the other night that I think I'm a contraction junkie. It really is thrilling to feel a tightening and wonder if something will come of it. To know that something good is coming, sometime soon. It really is amazing to be in this place of anticipation and appreciate all that I have already, to soak up these last few days of just boys and take advantage of the nesting instinct that compels me to clean and organize. I'm trying to learn to just sleep in the night, rather than time my inconsistent contractions. This birth will be different from all the rest, just as each of my births have been. I need to remember that. My pregnancies are all pretty much the same, but my labors have all been different.
This one is especially unique because I'm having this baby at home with a midwife. She is actually a certified nurse practitioner midwife who has attended almost 500 births. She has a wonderful reputation and track record and I feel great about this choice. There is a part of me that is not so excited. The part that doesn't like pain, mostly. But that little wimpy part aside, I'm all for it. It feels more peaceful to me for a lot of reasons:
1. I like that I have a good, personal relationship with the person who will be delivering my baby. I've never had to wait a minute in her office. She greets me at the door. She knows my boys by name and involves them as much as they wish to be involved in hearing the heartbeat or whatever. Mostly they just hang out and watch movies and play with all of the toys she has there. Her office is up near Kevin's, so he meets me there for the appointments to help with the boys. I've had some good and bad doctor experiences over the years, but none has been ideal. They have been impersonal and in three cases, I've just ended up with whoever was on call from my doctor's office, meeting them as they rushed in to catch the baby. I loved my labor and delivery nurse when Adam was born, she was fantastic. But my doctor was in the room for a total of maybe 15 minutes. I like that I can call Rebecca on her cell phone and she'll come, and not leave until well after the baby is born. I feel like I'm in capable, supportive, caring hands.
2. She has a very good track record and is a good blend of natural and medical. With this pregnancy, I've had all of the same tests and blood work, ultrasounds, etc. It is important for me to know that I'm doing what I can to ensure that my baby is safe and well and that there aren't any red flags that I'm overlooking. Because of her medical background, I feel assured that this is the case. We've talked extensively about different problems that could come up in labor, and she has explained to me what she would do in each case and I feel very safe in her experienced hands. That being said, she views birth as a natural process, not a medical procedure. I'm excited to have this new experience and see how it compares to my hospital births.
3. I'm not nearly as stressed over what to do with the boys when I go into labor, especially in the middle of the night. I realize now how much this one little aspect has affected my last few weeks of my last three pregnancies. I had a really hard time sleeping, especially if I was having any contractions at all. This little problem has been the single most stressful part of my pregnancies. It has always worked out, but by the time the baby came I was totally worn out from stressful, sleepless nights. Now, although I'm anxious for her to arrive, I can actually relax at night and that has made a huge difference. I've had one rough night, but that is a huge improvement over the past. Instead of fearing that something will happen in the middle of the night, I hope it does and my boys can wake up to the news of a new sister. If not, I have people who can watch the boys and I won't have to wake anyone up.
I know there are people in my life who are nervous about the idea of a home birth. A few years ago, I would never have even seriously considered a natural birth. To be honest, the decision started out as more financial than anything. But now we have an individual insurance plan and the cost would be the same for us if we were to deliver in the hospital. I've had plenty of time to consider the pros and cons and change my mind, but I feel a lot of peace about this decision and so does Kevin (I never thought that would be the case.) I'm excited to see how it will all go. That part is always the same...I'm working on remaining calm so I don't die of anticipation. The thought of no epidural does make me a little more patient=)
I have a dresser full of pink and purple upstairs, just waiting. Am I the only one in the world who thinks ruffles on the bums of tiny outfits is pretty much the sweetest thing ever?
In other news, I am DONE with school. Hooray! I told myself that I'd just finish, that I didn't need awesome grades, I just needed to be done, so I shouldn't stress. I told myself that, but I should have known that is not my style and I couldn't change. I did stress a lot. I couldn't bring myself to do a half-baked job or to skip an assignment, even if it was little. It was rough, but now I am done and have a degree. Kevin took me out to dinner to celebrate. His friend is part owner of a restored 1930's Cadillac that people rent for weddings and anniversaries. Without telling me, Kevin arranged for him to pick us up, drive us to dinner, then over to daybreak where there was a live band and we walked around the lake. We took a wrong turn on our walk and it was a lot longer than I thought it would be, but you'll be glad to hear that I managed to not wet my pants=) It was so, so fun. Totally unexpected, and not the sort of thing I would have thought I'd love, but it was perfect.
Oh, and speaking of wet pants, Austin pretty much potty trained himself and now can even last through the night without any trouble. I wasn't motivated to take this on, but he declared that if he is big enough to do somersaults, then he was ready to wear undies, and be done with bottles and binkies. That sounded logical to me, so we went with it and he hasn't turned back.
I miss Kristen and Gavin. They're doing well, getting all settled in Illinois. That has been a damper on my summer. I'm trying not to think of Marlee, Luke and sweet little Ivy leaving soon. We've had a lot of great family time and I'm very glad Kevin has so many from his side close by. And we'll have Mikelle for at least one more year, so I shouldn't complain...but I do miss Kristen and Gavin.
We've actually been having a great summer, full of lots of fun days. Jack has greatly improved as a reader and Taylor is on target for Kindergarten. With lots of busy excitement ahead, I'm learning to appreciate that these slower days are numbered and that I shouldn't be impatient.
That being said, I'll let you know when anything exciting happens.=)
ps. I wrote this post over the course of several days...so I repeat a few ideas. sorry.