Actually the end has been a little more tolerable this second time, I think because the whole rest of the pregnancy was more miserable. But I wouldn't be at all sad if baby was a bit (weeks) early. I may have mentioned before that I don't exactly love being pregnant. Unfortunately, general intolerance with being pregnant doesn't seem to make baby in more of a hurry to come. Just ask my cousin who has been miserably sick for the past 39 weeks. I'm just super glad to not still be nauseous and throwing up all the time! I'll take an awful lot of back aches, sleeplessness, heartburn, contractions, fatigue, and general aches and pains over being sick. Still, there are times in life when three weeks seems like a very long time.
|My cool belly henna|
In preparation for labor, I have been re-reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and contemplating how cool it would be to meet Ina May (a legendary midwife). I also created a birth plan, which wasn't too hard since it was very similar to my last one. The term "birth plan" still seems a little off, since the years in China have left me skeptical of plans in general - how often do things actually go like we expect? I appreciate the idea though - an opportunity to contemplate and discuss your childbirth goals and ideals.
Everything didn't go exactly as I imagined when Juliana was born (she was face-up so I had a lot of painful back labor, there was meconium in the fluid so they had to check her out and I didn't get to hold her immediately), but in general I was still able to have the kind of birth I desired. Before having Juliana, I really hadn't thought much about childbirth until meeting with my midwives and taking a course geared toward natural childbirth. Since then, childbirth has become a topic of particular fascination for me. I love learning about the ways our bodies are created for birth and hearing positive birth stories. I have come to view childbirth not just as something to get through with as little pain as possible but as an important, powerful experience in itself which results in a beautiful new baby. Not to mention the end of being pregnant!
This time I already know one "hitch" in my plans beforehand. I tested positive for group B strep (a bacteria up to 30% of women carry off and on, without actually being sick), which mainly means I will need to go to the hospital soon after labor starts to receive antibiotics. I would have preferred to labor at home for a while before going to the hospital, but it shouldn't make a huge difference. I should be able to create a comfortable laboring environment, and I feel confident in my midwife not pressing for unnecessary interventions. I'm also not excited about being hooked up to an IV while receiving the antibiotics, since it will be harder to move around, but I'm glad it won't have to be the whole time. Fortunately the baby's odds of receiving the infection are very small, 1 in 4000 when the mother receives antibiotics.
|Aunt Becky's hand-sewn quilt with animal pictures she drew (she made a similar one for Juliana with pictures from children's books)|
|Grandma Yaya crocheted this Noah's Ark afghan|