I'm REALLY pregnant.
The pregnancy waddle thing? It's legit. Analyzing chairs for their ease of getting out of before taking the plunge? Becomes second nature. Getting into the bed you built that now seems freakishly high - earns the purchase of a new step stool.
This whole pregnancy thing still feels surreal, but certain aspects of this new reality - that there's really this baby with us - are starting to sink in. I'm no longer worried the doctors or pregnancy tests made a mistake. Rather, I can identify body parts actively poking out to say hi throughout the day (and night). This little boy stays very well in touch. I'm so thankful for every movement - even the not so gentle ones. But overall, considering the tight space we're sharing, I'd say he's been quite the gentle little man.
Pregnancy has been an incredible journey. One I didn't think I'd be able to share in not so very long ago. I feel like I've had a full experience, complete with nausea, heartburn, backaches, and other such pregnancy pleasures. I have officially gone to the restroom more in the last 8+ months than in all my previous days on earth combined. At least it feels like that. And what I knew of my body is long gone. Further than I ever imagined it would go. And I haven't even given birth or raised the child yet. Bring it.
Above all I am so thankful for the chance to experience this crazy, remarkable, miraculous journey of bringing new life into this world. I want to experience it in all of its fullness - no matter the necessary discomforts.
I have complained at times during this journey. Like when nausea was so constant the first several months that I couldn't imagine ever finding favor with food again (we're still on survival terms), or when my back seized up a few weeks ago and I felt crippled and quite helpless (yay for great chiropractors!). And now I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy journey and part of me is already sad to leave it behind - though I can't imagine being more excited to see this baby boy face to face (and to be able to bend over, etc.).
Our desire to experience this journey in all of its fullness is what led Geoff and I into seeking the most natural pregnancy and delivery possible. We looked into all kinds of options, fearing the hospital alternative the most.
Hospitals just flat freak me out. Always have. They are where you go when you get sick. When you have a problem. I don't have a problem. I have a baby.
I know, I know, it's the "just in case." Problem is, in hospitals, you're more likely to encounter the "just in case." There are many known and who knows how many unknown risks to every intervention, be it pain control, drugs to speed up labor; you name it, they sell it. And that's as much as I'll soap box here.
So back to our plans.
We are planning to have the baby in a hospital.
I know, riiight? After all that. BUT, we're actually really excited. First, because all those who would be genuinely concerned for us to be in a more natural environment such as a birth center can relax, and two because this hospital offers most everything we wanted in a birth center PLUS the backup..."just in case."
We are working with some incredibly fabulous midwives at the hospital in Cleburne, TX. Though there are ob/gyn's available, they will only intervene when necessary, as it should be. The midwives are available to work with women who are seeking a variety of childbirth experiences, from the most natural of labor and birth to offering various hospital standards such as pain control, etc. The GOOD is - there are options. You aren't just moved through like cattle, strapped to a bed flat on your back, hooked up to a host of machines and iv's, and moved through the process as the physicians see fit.
We can pursue a completely natural birth, walking, moving as needed, and even water labor and birth options are available. Since they specifically promote and support the natural options it's easier to meet this goal without being pressured into routine interventions that are common practice at hospitals. We don't want the "natural" birth so we can have a trophy for getting through it. We want it because it's an experience GOD designed and we don't want to intervene in the process at all, unless absolutely necessary. We want to experience everything as fully as possible, not sacrificing the intensity of the experience and possibly cheating ourselves and/or this baby from Who knows what Good.
We get to be the ones actually having our child - not the doctors. And I mean WE. I didn't get into this situation by myself and I haven't, and won't complete it that way. Geoff has been an incredible partner throughout this pregnancy and will be a very active player as we labor together to bring this baby into the world. His role may look more like massage techniques and relaxation help, but we're so thankful that the location we've chosen not only allows but encourages him to be as active a participant as possible. He can be there at every step along the way, from walking the halls to being in the labor pool with me, to actually catching the baby if everything goes well.
We are incredibly thankful for this location and for the midwives we're working with. We're thankful that there are good ob/gyn's and emergency facilities on the same floor as the birthing unit - just in case. We're excited about experiencing this final stage of the pregnancy journey together as we welcome our little boy into the world, as naturally and freely as possible, to give him the best start we can. We are 39 weeks along this weekend and are ready to meet him as soon as he is!