The last couple of weeks have been mostly focused on learning the ins and outs of the hospital and how to care for Baby Blueberry after she’s born.
Besides our Bradley method course, where we are currently learning about breastfeeding, we have met with our doula and discussed birth plans, attended a post natal support class, learned about how to calm a fussy baby in a Happiest Baby on the Block sleep class, and gone on the hospital tour.
Blueberry was loving every minute of it. She kicked, twirled and squirmed through each of these sessions. I kept wondering if people could see the waves she was making across my belly as she moved, seemingly in response to the speaker.
Then in her quiet moments I worry. I’ve made it this far, and yet. I read a horrible story last night that I hesitate to share only because it made me toss and turn. As a result of that story, I made sure to focus on counting the baby’s movements somewhere around 2:30am and then again at 8:15 this morning. Given that and the doctor’s admonition to count at least once a day, I’m on a counting mission now.
Worrying is a normal part of pregnancy, and I try not to do it too much. The things I’m learning with my doula and in the Bradley method course, namely relaxation techniques, are the key to relieving some of the nagging thoughts. Mostly my fears are related to the baby’s well being.
Labor is less scary to me now that I’ve taken all these classes. I know to expect the unexpected. I’ve planned for the time the best that I can. We’ve got a set of poses that we can do as I go through the labor pains. I have visualizations planned. And I know that it might not be exactly what I want. Just like a marathon. You never know what to expect on race day, but you do the best you can to prepare both physically and mentally.
I’ve started working on picturing the baby in her little alien newborn form as she enters the world for the first time. It’s pretty exciting that we will soon meet. I’m also starting to recognize how special it is that I have her here in my belly at this moment. She’s so close. So safe. So protected. It’s not too different than living normally for now.
Soon I will have a crying, pooping, sleeping baby in my arms, and I will have to focus on being a humble student. My studies will include swaddling, burping, breastfeeding (which I’ve learned can be very hard and frustrating to learn!), sleeping for one hour stretches, and coping mechanisms for insecurities. I’ve done a lot of book learning at this point, now it’s waiting for the real thing.