So yes, we did it, we fetched the birth pool...And no, we haven't had the opportunity to make use of it yet!
After last week's crazy times, things have definitely improved. For starters I went for a full body pregnancy massage with Alison Strauss here in Westville, Durban. It was so good to be able to lie on my belly and just be pampered for a bit! I loved that it felt like she was truly working tension out of my muscles, but didn't hurt me at all. Heavenly!
|Birth pool in my car today...|
We may struggle to fit three car chairs in,
but we can fit the birth pool with ease!
I think what got to me this last week was being confronted by all my 'deepnesses' - my innermost fears and weaknesses. I remember reading a book once where the author suggested that many women struggle simultaneously with being both 'too much' and 'not enough':
I know I’m not alone in the nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I’ve ever met feels it - something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. - Stasi Eldredge
|My younger daughter's contribution.|
With a little (requested) help from mom.
(As you can see I struggle more with the 'too much's.)
It has been especially difficult to find that my 'too much's and 'not enough's have caused pain to those I love.
Something in me wants to say I don't need affirmation from anyone, that I'll decide which of my lacks and excesses to embrace or accept or change, but as much as I believe in autonomy and independence, I am also passionate (there's that passion again!) about interdependence and empathy.
Once all my turmoil is acknowledged and accepted, then I can start to see through the mist and perceive more accurately what is going on - which are my genuine lacks and excesses and which are merely a matter of perspective?
|My eldest daughter's contribution |
to my birth affirmation wall.
|The baby station - changing mat, |
clothes, nappies and blankets
with socks, hats and little bits
in the hanging thingie.
Birth supplies, hospital bag
(just in case) and
baby bag on the floor.
The impending birth of a baby seems to bring out all these deepnesses quite relentlessly. Even my husband has been struggling this week with a sense of something prodding right at the heart of his own perceived and real weaknesses. We've been able to recognise it for what it is, and I've been able to hold space for him to feel and express, just as he has held that space for me. After all of this, I do feel somewhat more ready for this birth. About time too!
I'm officially on maternity leave now which is wonderful, although I do have one or two work things to finish up next week. I really loved having my mom here to help gather some last supplies and finish a few projects, Previously when my mom-in-law was here we managed to make some king size linen - we hadn't been able to afford enough initially - and with my mom here we managed to make a ring sling and a 'donut' - a padded floor cushion for baby.
|The quilt so far - just needs three more strips.|
|Yup, that's me |
with the hobbity
looking feet :-)
With a belly this size, everyone wants to know when I'm due - I just say I've a few more weeks to go. I keep it vague because people usually don't remember the exact date anyway, and I also want to maintain my own headspace of letting things happen as they happen.
|Me and my girls...|
So the question on everyone's minds is, 'When will this baby come?' It would be nice if we knew, but it's also refreshing that this is one of those times where you just have to wait. At my last checkup baby hadn't engaged yet - perfectly normal and expected for subsequent pregnancies - but my belly has dropped a bit since, and I get the oddest 'burrowing' sensations in my pelvis, so in that sense things are moving on.
I'm also getting some reasonably strong Braxton-Hicks contractions through the day, and some that wake me in the night, but again, nothing concrete.
My second baby arrived at 38 weeks on the dot, after a week of prodromal labour, but my first came at just past 40 weeks, so really, who knows!
So yeah, we just have to wait and embrace the process!
|Finally finished this one!|