Friday, June 24, 2016

{Throwback Thursday} Babykins #3: Reflections and Comparisons at Thirty Five Weeks

Now that Sister Baby is here, I don't have nearly as much to say but I went to the trouble to take these pictures a couple of weeks ago (I actually took them the day after my due date- which was two weeks ago tomorrow) and I wanted to share them. I decided to share it would be fun to share them as a "throwback".

I actually didn't realize until I got to writing my thoughts down- many of which I've already shared on IG and Facebook- that it would be really cathartic and helpful to put them all down in one place and share the things I was feeling in that final stretch. I have quite a few posts relating to Sarah Lamar's first days but I wanted to get this one finished up before moving on to them.

Pictures first!

It was crazy hair day at swim team and we ALL got in on the action. I went to Target later that day in my Snoppy shirt and stubby pigtails. No shame in my forty plus week pregnancy game! I'm actually so glad I took pictures that day- I sorta love the messy piggies and goofy t-shirt. It basically epitomizes that last week!

Also, to compare my pregnancy with Sarah Lamar to mine with Graves as forty weeks, well, that's hard to do...
forty weeks to the day! 

As far as reflections, hmm...

- At my last appointment, the receptionist at the OB asked if there was "just one in there". The receptionist! At the OBSTETRICS CLINIC. Surely she's seen more outlandish things. Good grief. She then refereed to Sister Baby as a linebacker. I was starting to get pretty self-conscious. 

- I think I will always remember that final week as a really special time. I was tired and uncomfortable but I felt like I was "in the game" as much as I had been able to be the whole whole pregnancy. We were going to the pool every day at least once. We had a friend over for dinner the day before my due date. It was just a happy, eventful time. 

- I finished making the birth playlist, completed the sections I wanted to in the Bradley book, and in the span of forty eight hours we went to Briarwood four times (would've been five but there were thunderstorms one night!). I also designed my June header and churned out two blog posts- including this month's goals- that I really wanted to get finished. Then I started doing things that weren't baby related and I had no real need to accomplish in a timely fashion, like organizing our whole homeschool area.

- One thing that's sort of funny about labor is that of course you have no idea when it'll start. And I really expected it to be quick and strong (as it was). So we were carrying my hospital bags in the trunk all the time but there were other things like the camera, the laptop, and a bag with like my hair dryer and toothbrush that we'd literally take back and forth from the car every time we went anywhere. Also, those last couple of weeks, I took several showers at night or in the afternoon after we had been at the pool or outside. When I take showers late in the day, I typically don't dry/fix my hair but I since I knew labor was imitate and could start in the middle of the night, I fixed it every time. Of course it looked crazy by the end of the birth, but it would have driven me nuts to start things off with funky hair!

- Speaking of, Annie's math might have been the biggest undertaking I wanted to accomplish before the baby got here. It had been a bit of a labor of love lately. We're switching curriculums next year and I think it'll be a better fit for Annie. This was a grit your teeth thing for both of us. And her favorite time to do it was late at night after Graves fell asleep. Which, I really don't blame her. And it WAS easier. But near the end I had either been ready to go straight to sleep or just so touched out and in need of a break. BUT, we did it! She told Minnie how she had finished this curriculum and helped us pick (from among predetermined choices) the one for next year. I've mentioned it before, but Peyton asked me at the beginning of the pregnancy when I was having a really hard time what I'd do if I had a full time job outside the home. It really hurt my feelings but it also made me think. And now I have my answer. I'd show up in exactly the same way I'd been showing up for her at ten and eleven at night, sometimes pushing ourselves to fit in two lessons, not putting it off except on the very hardest days. And I'd try to have the same patience with my students that I struggled to find for her this year in this area. Praise God for another year of math in the books!

- When I woke up, I was particularly grumpy and miserable on the Saturday morning after my due date on Thursday. Sallie came that night (or really very early the next morning)!  I actually shared this in a closed Facebook group I'm in (and then later on IG because I have no real boundaries):
 40+ weeks pregnant life as an HSP: I woke up and the first thing I thought was that I couldn't stand the sensation of my own skin. I rolled back over and five minutes later my husband was scrapping a spoon against a plastic cup eating the last of his ice cream in bed. OMGGGG. I went in the kitchen and stepped in something sticky and just about lost my mind. He tried to initiate that act that sometimes gets the baby moving (which we've already done once) and I told him if any part of another human touched my body, I'd come undone. I'm about to go take a bath in solitude....maybe for the rest of this Saturday.
Y'all, it was a hard morning. 

- Peyton actually ended up having that Saturday off due to a scheduling mix up and we had such a great last day as a family of four, of course not knowing it would be the last. He baked muffins with the big kids and we got a sno cone and went to the farmer's market and I made some guacamole and yogurt pops and a peach cobbler. I had done so many things that week that helped me feel so settled and ready. 

- I need to blog about this more (as it's not really totally on topic for this post) but I really planned out the hospital experience a lot more and felt more prepared for things going in. In some ways, I put more thought and effort into this birth experience and even though it was crazy and chaotic, being intentional about it helped. So did tiny things like having new pjs at the hospital.

- A couple of days before she was born, we mostly settled on Sarah Lamar's name. We still left a couple of other options on the table and it was five hours after she was born when we officially decided. That was one huge thing that made me feel mentally prepared for her birth.

- Being able to sustain a healthy and uneventful pregnancy is something I'll never take for granted especially after a difficult pregnancy like this one was. That's something I'm incredibly thankful for. But I also have a huge sense of closure that I was not at all sure I'd have when I found out I was pregnant this time and knew it would be the last. There's a (big) part of me that wishes I could have a newborn indefinitely but I have had a strong sense of peace as the door closes on the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. As difficult as those things were for me this time, I loved so many aspects of those experiences and I'm incredibly glad I got to feel a baby move inside me one more time and have such a powerful birth experience again.

- Not only that, but my health is something I don't take for granted as much as I did. The comparatively small issues and inconveniences and hardships of this pregnancy that seemed so difficult brought to mind a couple of dear friends who suffer with chronic illness. I cannot imagine trying to work around intense chronic pain day in and day out but I think this pregnancy did give me a new perspective and new empathy for that struggle. 

- It's funny because for a while we really thought Graves would be our last newborn and honestly, until I saw her face, in some ways I thought it was a dream I'd wake up from. I still sort of have to pinch myself! As I've said before, it feels like I'd been waiting years for her, and in some ways I had. 

I think that's really it. I will always look back on that last week- even those extra few days that were really tough and discouraging in some ways- as a really happy time. I was so physically and mentally prepared for Sarah Lamar's birth and that was a huge gift. 

The biggest gift, of course, is HER and I'm grateful to be on the other side.

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