so pregnant

i don’t remember 34 weeks feeling so uncomfortable when it was hazel. but perhaps memory mercifully fails us at some key points? my hips, pelvis and lower back are so achey and painful. my stomach is queasy and never satisfied no matter how many calories i attempt to pack away. each night i wake at 4 am and often remain [wide] awake until 6 am. some nights i don’t really sleep at all. each afternoon i nearly fall asleep while putting hazel down for her nap. baby boys movements, particularly in the midst of a good Braxton Hix contraction, feel just plain uncomfortable.

it looks a little smaller when my sweater conveniently hides half of it (left).

it looks a little smaller when my sweater conveniently hides half of it (left).

but the finish line is in sight.

meantime, it’s interesting to see the for my nesting has taken on this time around. its been less about acquiring baby gear (we’re already in pretty good shape) or making a nursery (he’ll sleep with us and we’ll keep his things in hazel’s room until we move) or reading birth stories to mentally prepare. this time it has been getting our house in order in super practical ways. like these massive projects:

  • wrapping up all loose ends for clients of brooke collier photography
  • getting our mortgage application and all other pre-requisites to house-buying in order
  • setting up a new budgeting system in response to some changes in our financial situation that will be more complicated to navigate
  • reapplying for medicaid for little man

these are the things that are taking up the bulk of my mental energy and free time. that, and a little sewing.

as for baby’s NAME. well, it hasn’t been as easy this time around. hazel was named months before she was born. we call this little man by a certain, long-beloved name, too. but when it comes right down to it, i’m still wavering on it. i suspect that we’ll have to see him and live with him a few days before i can either fully settle into his provisional name OR choose a new favorite from amongst the list of contenders.

and then there’s the impending birth. yes, that challenging ordeal you have to go through before you can hold the baby. 🙂 i’ve been really aware of lots of lingering anxiety this time around about giving birth. i have been anticipating it being incredibly long and difficult again, with hours of pushing, and a recovery period of weeks. it’s been really hard for me to imagine this birth being anything other than arduous and looooooong. my midwives — and other seasoned mamas — tell me that it is also very possible that this birth will be early (hazel was 10 days late) and quick, and the recovery much less complicated. they say to mentally prepare for that outcome as well. so now i’m trying to prepare for either without clinging to either. there’s been some internal stuff to wade through as i try to get my head in the game to give birth to my son. but i can feel things shifting and sense God’s grace. the fear is waning.

i got him a dresser and a bassinet. i sewed him a little pillow out of up-cycled pajama pants, and a bassinet sheet in burnt orange. and ordered him an art print from and etsy seller. his clothes are all packed into the dresser drawers, awaiting his body to fill them. we got some newborn size prefold diapers. the midwives are already paid in full.

his drawer full of tiny little BOY clothes

his drawer full of tiny little BOY clothes

he is head down and appear also to have dropped this past week, though i understand he may come in and out of this “dropped” position a few times between now and when labor begins.

he moves differently than hazel did. she was punchy and dramatic in her movements. he rolls and squirms more subtly.

hazel daily rests her curly little head on my belly and talks or sings to him, then kisses my belly. she and i have been watching home birth videos together so that, whatever she DOES witness of our homebirth process will not be so shocking or foreign to her. it has been so special, actually, to hold her in my lap and talk through the birth process, watching her responses. she is never as traumatized as i am, and rarely phased by even the most graphic images. but i am realizing that she has no reason to be! she hasn’t had a lifetime to build up judgements and negative associations about birth; to her, this is neutral territory still. i have this really unique opportunity to show her birth in a much different light than many girls have been shown it. i wonder how much of the labor and birth she will be around for, and how much she’ll need to get space from it. or will she sleep through it all? i am pretty confident that when he emerges and she first sees him, she will point and say, “baby” and try to kiss him.

there’s no summary point to this post. just some thoughts toward the end of a pregnancy that i wanted to make note of.

though i've set up the crib for him, he'll actually room in with us for the first several months.

though i’ve set up the crib for him, he’ll actually room in with us for the first several months.

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9 thoughts on “so pregnant

  1. I love you, darlin’! Yes, that sweet amnesia God gives mothers after their delivery…it helps us hold the wonderful parts and fade the other parts away. You will do fine…and ride through and over any challenges that you face. Most of all, you are not alone in this journey. Although on some level, giving birth is such a solitary effort…in reality, your whole village will be with you, “pushing” with you toward the prize. xo love you…

    • and hopefully you won’t have to be “pushing” with me for as many hours this time, mama. 🙂 we’re so glad you’re going to be a part of our birth team this time around, tending to hazel. makes me rest easy.

  2. Wow, Brooke, I can relate in so many ways. I felt way more tired and achy with Ellie, partly because I was running after a 2 yr old. And it took looking into Ellie’s face before we could choose between our two names.
    And the creeping dread of giving birth that dissipated once in labor.
    He will be here soon, transforming your hearts and family. I’m so excited for you guys

    • mindy! it actually comforted me to read this single sentence from you: “And the creeping dread of giving birth that dissipated once in labor.” it dissipates?! once labor begins?! good to know! thank you. 🙂

  3. Brooke, this was so refreshing to read. I love your honesty and and very much appreciate your perspective. Your journey is overflowing with opprotunity to be the hands of Jesus and I know that you see that. I am so proud to have you as my cousin. This little boy is coming into a family that is going to share creativity, imagination, hope, joy, peace and love with him on a daily basis. I find myself rejoicing in that this morning. It fills me with hope. And when the moment comes for you to introduce him to this side of the world (the other side being his current location) know that you will be covered, more than that actuallly, drowned in prayers for you, Tim, Hazel and your baby boy. I love you.

    • thank you sister-cousin for these words. i hope you are right about the sort of family we can be for our son. that’s hopeful. and the prayers… i would love to drown in them! bring it on! 🙂 i love you.

  4. my prayers are with you. brooke. we women are so lucky – to carry a baby inside of us, feel them move, love them before we see them in person. the results of our labor is so rewarding – a beautiful for-real baby. there is absolutely nothing like a new born baby. almost makes me want to have another. just whisper the name of Jesus over and over – maybe even shout it. he will be right beside you – what a comfort that is. may your labor be easy and not-so-long this time. we’ll be waiting to hear. love you lots, brooke. BUC

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