The Halfway Mark

Today marks week 20 of my pregnancy with our little Juniper berry. Wow! Halfway! The consensus is that I really look pregnant now. I definitely feel pregnant. I get a few good kicks every day and lots of flutters. I wish there were more, they are so reassuring, but I bet I’ll be sorry I said that. Getting kicked from the inside for several months probably has it’s downsides as well. I had my first embarrassing sneeze-pee. Luckily I was home when it happened. It was a powerful sneeze. I didn’t even have a full bladder. I was completely mortified. My hunger is normal, and now that I’m eating real food, not eating out every night, I’m pooping like a champ. My lower back gets sore if I stand too long and my body gets achy as the day progresses. I definitely don’t feel like doing any jumping jacks or going on a run. But I feel pretty happy. I feel normal too, generally speaking, aside from a big bump in my belly.

We are moved in and about halfway unpacked. Moving was hard. Packing in a 1 story house over several weeks was much easier than unpacking in a 2 story house. And I want to be done, so I’ve been pushing myself too hard. I’m so exhausted and sore but I keep going anyway. We made major progress on the kitchen and my office is starting to take shape. Books are getting unpacked and the tv is set up downstairs in the basement. Someone from Freecycle came and took a boatload of boxes away, that felt so good. We went to the Storables store and got some baskets and nice boxes to help organize our gigantic linen closet. I got myself a very lovely shoe rack and Tom got these great decorative boxes that I’m quite jealous of and I might have to go back and get myself one or two.

Tom has been great with getting us settled in our new house. I’m so ridiculously exhausted right now, it’s not even funny. He’s been lugging boxes up and down stairs, and helping me move my furniture around so I can find the right spot for things. He rearranged the disaster area in the basement where all my painting boxes are stacked up. He’s been really understanding of my lack of energy. Last night I wanted to show him something but it meant going downstairs. When I got down there, I heard him descend to the basement and the idea of following him down there made me want to cry. I just waited for him to come back up. I hate looking around seeing all these boxes. I want so badly to get it all done, when we moved last year, we had everything unpacked and in it’s place in just two weeks. There’s no way that’s going to happen this time. I had really bad back pain last night and my abdominal muscles are exhausted too. Tom says I have to take it easy today. I still want to sneak off to the paint store for the kid’s room.

To all those ladies who are moving while pregnant. I know, it’s the popular thing to do, buying a house or moving to a bigger one while you’re pregnant. Just make sure your partner knows they really need to help with packing and unpacking, and that hiring a mover is essential. Make sure you clearly label your boxes and furniture so you don’t end up with a house full of boxes you can’t move around by yourself. I’m telling you now, you’re going to need at least one nap a day. And you need to drink way more water than you think is necessary. Be ready to be in bed by 9 and take at least one day off from work. More if you can.

We have this great clawfoot bathtub that I was all psyched about. The first bath I took, I realized our water heater, from 1985, barely puts out enough hot water for a bath. I also found out that the overflow drain doesn’t have a tight seal so you can only fill the tub 1/3 full. Yesterday I went to a hardware store and got a rubber ring to seal off the whole drain. It’s dangerous but I love it. I’ll just make sure I never leave the bath running while unattended. How long do you think it’ll take me to have a bathroom flood? Especially once our little Juniper is a toddler and makes me chase her around while trying to run a bath for her? But danger is my middle name and I won’t settle for a wimpy bath.

We got heat last Friday, just before the weather turned wonderful, but I was still so thankful to take the chill of the house. I think we’re going to love our new furnace. I’ll have to write up a nice little review for GreenTech Heating and Cooling when I get a chance. They rocked.

I’ve been getting more and more into books and things about the sad state of maternity care in the United States. I’m reading the book Pushed, which has a similar theme to that of Ricki Lake’s movie The Business of Being Born. Basically c-section rates are sky high and American mothers aren’t having the kinds of births they and their babies deserve. I feel more and more convinced that my choice is the right choice for me and I feel so grateful to the people that started me on this path. I hope that someday women can have births free from unnecessary interventions in hospitals in America, like they get to in so many other countries. But for me, I am so excited about the idea of birthing my child in our home. We are less than 5 minutes from a great hospital and my midwives live very close. I feel like I’m in the best hands possible.

I used to be afraid of labor. I used to believe that episiotomies were necessary. I used to think humans weren’t built to give birth without medical intervention. Now I know labor can take a while and that’s ok, no one has to cut me, I may even be able to avoid tearing altogether, I can hold my baby right after birth, I won’t be under the gun to give birth before they think intervention is necessary. I won’t have to give birth on my back, strapped to a table. Not only am I not afraid, I am excited. I know it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I welcome the pain and the challenge. Sorry, stepping off my soap box.

Tom is back on his baby reading. He’s reading the Birth Partner cover to cover. I can’t recommend this book enough, whether you are going the midwife or hospital route. You will feel very prepared, more than any class could ever teach you.

Thank you Tom, for being so amazing. I love you.