Yesterday I started my 24th week of pregnancy! It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since we first found out about Baby Bean, but at the same time, it definitely feels like forever. Especially when I think about how much time I still have left. But these days are getting exciting as I can feel Bean moving consistently and with greater strength each week. It’s also a little bit frightening as it becomes more of a reality that Bean is alive and will soon be a human outside of my body.
Thankfully my second trimester has been much easier than my first which was plagued by the normal sickness and hormones, and the-not-so normal full-body rash. These days I have been tired and hormonal, but have also been exciting as my partner has gotten to feel little one squirming away. I can’t wait till we can both see him moving more clearly. So far it’s only been the occasional pop of movement barely discernable from my breathing.
I’ve been fairly anxious my entire pregnancy. I’m fairly constantly afraid of doing something wrong that will hurt him. And at the same time, I’ve felt disassociated from the whole experience. It’s all felt like a hazy dream, and not a good dream (though not a bad dream either) just an experience that doesn’t feel real. I think partly because the pregnancy was such a surprise to me, at the time of conception I was convinced that I was infertile. Normally I’m a planner and seeing the positive blue lines in January was a complete shock, to say the least.
This feeling of dreamy dissociation has also given me some anxiety. I want to feel connected to my body as it goes through these changes for the first time, I’ve wanted to connect with my child as he gets bigger and more aware. I’ve dream and admittedly romanticized this experience ever since I was a teenager. I always knew I wanted to be a mom someday. So needless to say pregnancy has been a weird experience thus far.
But the other day I hit upon something that I think might be able to help me feel a little more in control of my pregnancy, and that’s looking forward to childbirth. This might sound odd to some, but experiencing the birth of my child has also been something that I’ve looked forward to since I was a teenager. Growing up my mom had homebirths and encouraged me in the reading of literature about birth and pregnancy and all that goes with it. Birth was not something I ever was afraid of and always had positive connotations with.
I know birth doesn’t go to plan, and I’m doing my best to plan for that as well. But I do want to look forward to this. I want to do everything in my power to not have post-partum depression. And I want to have the best experience I can when the time comes to meet little Bean.
Right now our plan is to have a home birth. We have a wonderful midwife who has been a great help to me. My mother and one of my sisters are going to be doulas, and a second sister is going to take pictures for us. I plan to borrow a second room in the house to put the birth pool in and to use my room as the main birthing room. Right now our room is very cozy and has fairy lights up, which I think will be great for a relaxing atmosphere if I end up being in labor at night.
I’ve also got a handful of books on birth that you all have seen some of. I’m going to read about hypnobirthing and reread Ina May Gaskin’s book on childbirth, maybe both if I have time! I’m going to take a childbirth class with my partner, and I’ve also got a DVD on childbirth massaging techniques that we’re going to watch. I’m just trying to make sure each step I take from here till birth is intentional and doesn’t give me anxiety.
Ramble aside I would love to hear from you all about positive experiences you’ve had, no matter where your birth took place. I’d love to hear advice or tips on how to be intentional, relaxed and excited. And anything else that’s positive.
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