I’m suddenly very aware that the sand in the hourglass of my pregnancy is swiftly running out. Only six more weeks, which also means I’m entering that time when it feels like it could happen any day, although it’s highly likely that I’ll go until I’m actually full term (June 12). Greg and I have marked this coming weekend as the one to finally get the old baby clothes out of the garage, dust off the bassinet, and face the idea of meeting this new addition quite soon.
Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot to prepare for. The hospital bag is packed and names are picked out. Greg’s parents are booked to arrive two days before my due date (on Vera’s third birthday, no less), and some very sweet friends of ours are throwing us a baby shower in about ten days. As for Veronica, I’m not sure there’s much more to do to prepare her for the coming changes. We’ve read several books over and over about becoming a big sister, and we talk about the baby every day, if not hourly. She still goes back and forth all day long about whether she wants a baby brother or sister and I’m just glad she’s not stuck on one or the other. Glad that I’m not either. At this point I actually feel really exited about having either a boy or a girl.
Also, I’m feeling much better about giving birth. There were a couple of weeks last month when I experienced some serious anxiety about going through the experience again, but something has shifted and I’m actually starting to look forward to it. I had a fantastic birth with Veronica. I had been very focused on having as natural a birth as possible (i.e., laboring without pain medication and birthing without serious medical intervention) and I achieved that goal. I just started to read Vera’s birth story and couldn’t make it through without welling up with tears, so I’ll just let you read it instead.
I’ve been reading that French parenting book, Bringing Up Bebe, which I find totally fascinating and great. The way American parenting looks from the standpoint of this book comes across as pretty silly, and I really agree with a lot of the author’s viewpoints, even realizing that they were some I already shared previous to reading. One paragraph stuck with me the other day though, and it was about how in France women generally welcome an easy, relaxed and medicated birth. For the very first time I saw how working so hard for a natural birth might be a little dramatic. Or at least the book made it seem that way for a brief moment.
However, I still stand by my intention to labor and birth naturally. The experience I had the first time around was profoundly hard and wonderful, and I don’t think I’ve ever been proud of anything else I’ve done (aside from writing a book, maybe). Just in the last week I’ve felt this renewed sense of bravery and ferocity well up in me — perhaps it’s just part of the normal stages of pregnancy that prepare us to do these things — and I’m feeling ready to take on this experience once more.
It’s such a tricky subject though. Natural birth, that is. I want to be clear that I would never look down upon a woman’s decision to go a different route. Giving birth is an extremely personal and individual process and all woman should feel good about how they choose to go about it. We all know what’s best for us and how we need to work with our own bodies. This is just how I want to go about things on my end.
On that note, are you excited to hear my news? Feels like I’ve been blogging about this pregnancy FOREVER. What do you think I’m having?
The Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had, an essay I wrote on being a caregiver, for Maria Shriver’s website
Did you get my Letter in the Mail from The Rumpus this week? What did you think?
May 31 at 7pm, Reading & Launch Party for Wedding Cake for Breakfast at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble
[booksellers] Want to buy my book? Do so at any of the above!