Great Expectations: Pamela @ 24 weeks

My brain is on overdrive from a crazy week and Thursday snuck up on me!   My oldest is attending a rock and roll camp all week so we've had to get out of the door every day by 8:30am.  It has killed naps and basically thrown our entire routine out the window and my husband is home sick to top it off.  It has not been a week where I've been able to focus much on my pregnancy but I'm trying.  I've been napping when the boys do, even if it's very late in the day, and I got to the gym twice this week despite being extremely tired and hot.  My chicken wings and bubbly drink cravings haven't been as strong and are slowly being replaced with a desire instead to eat a lot of protein.  Chicken, tuna, sausage, whatever I can get my hands on, really.  I don't have as much of a craving for cheese and milk the way I did with Julian, but I wouldn't mind a glass of chocolate milk now and then.  During my pregnancy with Dash all I can remember wanting is watermelon.  But then again, find me a woman pregnant in the summer who won't eat an entire watermelon in one sitting and I'll be impressed.  Really, I'm just glad not to crave bread anymore because I was very nervous I was going to go 40 weeks and eat nothing but bread, rolls, or pizza.  I know my midwife wouldn't like that.

The boys start outside preschool for the first time next week and as nervous as I am about the whole transition, I am looking forward to having a day each week to focus on this baby and preparing for his arrival.  I've been trying to envision the birth, how it will look, who will be there, the environment, and how it will feel.  My birth team is pretty much assembled but my doula (who was at both Julian and Dash's births) may be out of town for the holidays so that is a gap in my mental images.  Even if the birth doesn't go exactly how I've imagined, I think it's important to have these images reeling beforehand so I have something positive on which to meditate.

I am lucky to know at least five women who had babies this month of August.  None of them were first time mothers;  for some this was their second, for some this was their third.  Each birth was unique in their own right; one woman was induced, two of the women had planned c-sections due to their own physical situations.  One woman had planned a home birth with a midwife but due to unforeseen circumstances they transfered to a hospital and she had her vaginal birth after cesarean in a room filled with her husband, a doctor, a nurse, her midwife, the midwife's assistant, and her friend/doula/photographer.  One woman had very long prodromal labor, which lasted over days, so that by the time true labor began her baby was born within an hour of arriving at the birthing center.  All of these women are recovering beautifully from their births and babies are settling in nicely with their siblings.

The reason I am listing these births is because it's important, one, to honor these mothers and their births this month, and two, to remember that regardless of being a first time mom or a sixth time mom, each birth is unique.  The success of birth can be measured by so many variables that are, again, unique to the mother who prepared for that birth and ultimately it's up to that mother to decide whether or not her birth was a 'success' or not.  Sure, there is a beautiful baby at the end of labor and all the work, but the whole birth experience belongs to the mother and her transformation into being a mother.   Our experiences add up, the pregnancies, the nausea, the bonds we form with the women and other mothers around us, and climactically with the births we have. These shared experiences become the glue that holds our mothering community together and I am grateful to have this community to share this pregnancy with me.Next stop?  The big glucose test.  Will report back next time.

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