Labor and home birth preparation
I'm 36 weeks into this pregnancy, which is hard for me to believe. The second half of this pregnancy has flown by, and we are fully in the throes of preparing for the arrival of this little boy. I was texting my SIL the other day, telling her about my day, and she said, "You are definitely nesting!" Oh, yeah, that makes sense why I have this incredible desire to get things done.
In light of that, here are some of the things that I'm doing to prepare for our planned home birth:
I'm buying and organizing supplies for birth. My midwife will bring many of these, but I've been tucking away other supplies from a list she gave me. Washing linens, sorting items, putting them all together in a bin to have at the ready.
I'm trying to read my birth affirmations (I love this list) and bible verses that encourage me about labor every day and do visualizations of the birth. We bought a new exercise ball, too. And I will say, mentally and emotionally, I feel so at peace about this labor. Deep breathing and breath prayers were so helpful with Cooper's labor, and I intend to utilize those again. This week, we have our "birth rehearsal" with my midwife and her birth assistant, where we will discuss all the logistics at our house.
I'm planning and prepping freezer meals, snacks, and breakfast-y foods. This time, I'm sticking to simple choices, like soups, stews, shredded meat, as well as a batch of sourdough pasties that I'm already looking forward to eating. I still want to make and freeze a loaf or two of sourdough bread, as well as sourdough waffles, superhero muffins (I always sub in mini chocolate chips for the raisins), and bone broth, as well as a few nutrient-dense broths and snacks my midwife recommends to have for during labor and immediately after delivery. We plan to make one last Costco trip prior to his arrival too, to stock up on snacks and other pantry basics.
We bought a chest freezer (finally!) for much-needed freezer space for meats and such, but also for freezer meals. I haven't put anything in it yet, since we are finalizing where we want to put it, but I am so excited to have a bit more freezer space.
Other little late-pregnancy things:
- More and more shirts (maternity included) are what Nicholas lovingly refers to as "Pooh bear" shirts, where they just aren't quite long enough to cover my belly all the way. I've accepted this is inevitable, especially in the evenings, post-shower, pre-bedtime.
- I'm relatively hungry throughout the day, but find smaller meals, more frequently suit me best, since there just isn't a lot of room
- Chiropractic care has made a huge positive difference in my comfort. I look forward to my weekly visits!
- I'm filling out my bullet journal for March and realizing that there are only four weekends between now and my estimated due date, and Cooper was a week early. We are not going to rush this little boy's arrival by any means (I remind myself that the Lord already knows his birthday), but we want to be ready whenever the time comes.
- I have completed a few sewing projects and knitting projects, which helps clear some mental space. I'm working on a post about recent projects soon!
And very importantly, we are trying to soak up all the snuggles and quality time with Cooper. Daily, we talk about baby brother's arrival, but I also intentionally remind him how much we enjoy time with him and how special he is to us. We have spent time over last few weeks playing behind bushes in the front yard while snow fell, going on Saturday family dates, weekday "hikes" on our favorite trail (and he had to bring his wooden camera), fika and tea and coloring and knitting at the table, and lots of sitting and playing on the three-season porch on sunny days, since the winter temps feel more mild in there. We also visited great-grandpa, and it was as sweet as ever to see the two of them next to each other.
And with that, each day brings us closer to meeting the newest member of our little family. I covet your prayers in these final weeks, if you think of it! We are excited and feeling more and more ready to see his little face and meet this baby we've prayed for so much.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
Finn's birth story
I've been adding bits and pieces to this post for the last several weeks. Birth, and the arrival of a beautiful baby feel so sacred and I want to do it justice with my words. I shared Cooper's birth story back in 2019, and Finn's birth story feels equally precious, but very different. Here we go!
A heart awake to praise
It's a bit difficult for me to articulate, but over the past few years, I've noticed a habitual, or cyclical hardening of my heart. We've experienced loss and grief in ways that were unexpected and deep. Life as mama to a baby and now a toddler is busy and full and that's the nature of it. A nature that easily pulls me to indifference or an aloof heart. A head that says, "Yes, Lord, I know You're good. This baby is a gift from you, You are faithful and true." But a heart that doesn't always feel those truths deeply when I allow weariness to burden my heart to indifference.