Confession: I’ve started losing sleep over the anticipation of giving birth. The baby books and iPhone apps warned me about this and I was all “Psah. I’m a warrior. I got this.” I still try to give myself a good dose of positive affirmation mixed with a little delusion that it’s going to be no big deal but sometimes the middle-of-the-night gremlins get the best of me and I start to let my mind wander to the pain and the worst case scenarios. I try to put a stop to the horror stories and remind myself that I’m going to be a birthing badass and fall back asleep while imagining how I’d like the experience to go down.
One of the things that gives me comfort and confidence is my family history and genetic predisposition to birthing a baby like a champ. With my mom’s first pregnancy and delivery she simply thought she had eaten some bad food one night. After a few trips to the bathroom she realized that my sister was crowning (that means the top of the baby’s head is visible and coming out). Her and my dad waddled across the street to the local hospital and a few minutes later my sister was born. My brother and I arrived in similar fashion. Though, I just discovered the other day that my mom would have epidurals just before pushing. This information shocked me – I always thought my mom did it all natural, plus she’s terrified of needles. But she revealed that she was terrified of feeling the pain of her vagina being cut by the doctor (episiotomy) to make it more convenient for him to get the baby out. I hear this is no longer a common practice at most mother-baby friendly hospitals.
And then there was my sister. She was the first pregnant person I had daily interactions with. She was so sick, puking 8 times a day, for pretty much the entire 9 months of her pregnancy. But her unmedicated labor and delivery was a breeze that lasted about 3 hours total. Tara didn’t have a strong stance against a medicated birth but just simply couldn’t be bothered. My mom and I were on pins and needles in the waiting room while my sister labored (we’re not a party in the delivery room kind of family). I decided to get up and walk by her room, even though loitering in the hallway at a hospital is strongly discouraged. Through the closed door I could hear her pushing – it was unlike any noise I’d ever heard come from my sister and honestly, it scared me. Then I heard a baby cry – I ran back to the waiting room to tell my mom. After the delivery I remember being with Tara in her room – in my memory it was just the two of us – or maybe I was just laser focused on her. Even the baby had been taken to NICU for observation over a case of the hiccups. She had her knees bent under the stiff white hospital sheet and her legs were trembling – blood slowly soaking the sheets under her. She was so blissed out and happily chowing down on some cherry pie after 9 months of keeping nothing down. I was so proud of her and had her recount all the details to me. Tara has always been the best story teller even after giving birth.
I don’t need to be reminded that every woman has a different experience when it comes to birthing babies. But I’ll absolutely be drawing on the power of my mom and sister when it comes to delivery day.
Field Notes & Other Observations:
• My belly is measures 33.5 weeks. That’s a little on the small side but it’s getting bigger with each appointment and continues to measure within 2 weeks of my actual pregnancy, which means it’s no big deal.
• I mentioned about half-way through the pregnancy that I had gained a significant amount of weight rather rapidly. So I only feel like it’s fair to share that that the big gains seemed to have happened more at the beginning of the pregnancy and my weight gain in the latter half hasn’t been nearly as dramatic. In fact, over the last two weeks I haven’t gained any weight at all.
• I mention above losing sleep over labor & delivery anxiety but I also lose sleep over the fact that this kid doesn’t yet have a car seat, washed laundry, or you know … a name.
• Baby boy is kicking and moving around like a champ. He seems to have super active days followed by more chill and restful days. It’s fun to feel him wake up and start moving to our voices when we wake up in the morning.
• We had our last Hypnobirthing class last week. Our key takeaway from the whole experience is the more chill you can be going into labor the less tension, fear, and pain you’ll feel. And what Hypnobirthing gives you are a bunch of tools for chilling out – from breathing to scripts for visualization to practical and specific information about what’s happening to your body as you give birth. It was a good experience and I’d recommend it to anyone.
• Both my mom and sister had their first baby 2 weeks early. I’m due mid-January. You can probably do the math.
Anatomy of an Outfit:
• Sweatshirt – Gap (I think this is Maternity…)
• Tee & Leggings – BCBG (not maternity)
• Wool Socks – I have no idea…
• Boots – Uggs
• Hat – Aldo
P.S. I was hoping the marker I had been using for the overlays would hold out 40 weeks… but today it finally ran out of ink. Maybe this is a sign baby will come sooner than later?