Pregnancy brain warrants an update in list form. This bullet-style format is often my train of thought these days.
- So, this is what all you women with head-down babies feel on your cervix? Wow. Pressure. Intense.
- The past week or so, the girls have been staying up until 10pm and beyond. It’s so tiring and yet we’re all too tired to DO anything about it. I lay on my bed and watch them wrestle, run, sneak snacks, and self-serve hard-boiled eggs and cheese from the fridge. Eventually, we all fall asleep in the big bed. Last night, Jason and I reconvened for our plan to start bedtime again at 8. Kaia was asleep by 8:45, Indigo not until closer to 10pm. One night at a time.
- Got a new vacuum and new dishwasher, mostly fueled by the manly nesting instincts of my husband! No more moldy smelling, clogging vacuum. No more dishes with crusty bits of food and water spots. Life is good.
- Her almost five-year-old body can still curl around my big belly and lay in my arms and fall asleep, as she does at this very moment. My first child, my strong and tender-hearted girl, my daughter of many questions. YOU are the answer. Always. You are enough. I love you so, so, so much.
- When pregnant, does anyone elses toes seriously feel like they TRY to stick out and find sharp corners and metal objects to whack themselves on? Saturday, I jammed my toe on random corners about three times in one hour. Just now, it happened twice in five minutes.
- Sometimes, at night, my belly feels so very tight as if baby is wedged in a funky position. Last week, the feeling so was intense and uncomfortable that I took a deep, warm bath at midnight. It helped and lulled me back into sleep.
- My besties hosted a fun, casual Blessingway this week in my honor. The theme was 50’s housewife, so most arrived in aprons, scarves, floaty skirts and darling shoes. My friend Marinah came dressed as a Mexican Mouseketeer. All I had that would fit was pearls and a lemony-colored, vintage apron. The gals each contributed some crafty artwork skills to a large canvas that now hangs in my bedroom above the birth tub. Beautiful visuals and reminders for the spiraling work of labor and birth. In spirit, each of these powerful women will reside in my birth space.
- Celebrated the cycle of birth and death with two very different parties. One was for a deeply dear client who lost her sweet Betty Sue last year at 32 weeks. We honored Betty’s Birth and Death day with cake, pizza, and lots of tears. As I held R&C, I remembered that night as if were yesterday. The way the sun was setting as Betty was emerging. The way a crowd of their friends gathered in the waiting room, salty tears covering our cheeks and shirts. The beauty of Betty’s perfect face as I held her feather-light body in my arms. The honor my heart felt as it expanded and collapsed dozens of times that evening. To hold the space in birth is to hold the space in death. To hold the space in death is to hold the space in birth. One cannot exist without the other.
- The other party was for my sweet Mani, now officially a licensed home birth midwife in Arizona. One leg of her long journey ends. Another begins. Babies will be blessed by her healing, peaceful touch as she midwifes them, and their mamas, from the suspension of the womb to earthside.
- I could be pregnant for one more day or four more weeks. This UnKnowing thrills me.
- No really, truly solid names yet. We like to have 2 boy names and 2 girl names to choose from once we meet baby. We are working on it but dang – it’s tough. As a Facebook friend said this past week of her week-old daughter “Naming people is hard”. Agreed!
- I have a niece on my side of the family, finally. Rebecca Jo took her first breath last week and made my oldest brother a Father and my folks third-time grandparents. My heart hurts that I am not in Indiana to love on all of them in person. But my love travels across the green mountains and azure lakes and into their cozy home.
- May, you cheeky month, you. Gorgeous temps still – haven’t hit 100 here in our parts yet, but I know it’s coming.
My Nesting List
First of all, we’ve been living like renters for almost two years since buying this home. Haven’t decorated much, hung family photos,or feathered the nest to our liking. So, pregnancy has been an awesome excuse to get caught up. These are just the items we did this weekend:
- Hung family photos, sconces, misc decorations
- Got birth tub cleaned and filled
- Jason installed a shade sail over the kids’ playground area in back yard
- Arranged birth alter
- Mopped (already time again – ulgh)
- Organized a kids cabinet down low for their plastic dishes so they can self-serve. This comes with pros and cons.
- Vacuumed with new vac. Love it.
- Put together two small console tables
- Jason cleaned the bedroom fan
- Gave dog a long overdue bath
- Getting caught up on laundry again
- I want to paint the rest of our living room/entry and Jason doesn’t. This is a point of contention. Our walls are FLAT white; worst color and paint type ever for kids. They get dirty and don’t come clean. I just want a slightly darker color in Satin. Jason doesn’t want any other color. I may have to give up on this one. Grrrrrrr. (Exhale, release, surrender. Repeat)
- Organized my bedroom side table drawer for personal birth items (rice sock, essential oils, Rescue Remedy, homeopathics, mints, mouthwash, and other small items)
- At the urging of my magical friend MB, I’ve finally started reading “Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves” by Naomi Aldort. Such a powerful read about letting go of controlling our children so that ALL of us can live authentically. Naomi reminds us, as parents, to really consider the requests we make of our children: are they really NECESSARY or are they OUR “needs” and “wants” that we are asking to be fulfilled? Of course, in most cases for me, it’s the latter. I NEED their room to be clean so that I “feel’ sane, so that I “appear” to be a good mama, so that guests don’t have to see a “messy” room. I “need” them to hurry up because it’s MY schedule (ignoring that they are people too and no one likes constantly adhering to someone else’s schedule).
- On that note, I am sick of the girls having SO many clothes. First, their drawers are stuffed. But today, like they do at least once a week, they dragged out every article of clothing and made a huge pile in their room. How to avoid this? I’m going to pare down, literally, to one weeks worth of outfits. Sure, I’ll actually probably just store the rest but still – I.AM.DONE. And I realized that instead of getting angry (like I did this morning) and trying to force them to clean it (which they usually don’t), that since it’s MY need for their room to be clean I will take matters into my own hands. And we will all benefit.
- My friend, reviewing my nesting list, said “Leigh, what on here will you truly regret NOT having done come 10 years later?”. I thought for a moment and answered “None of it. Well…wait. Except not having mopped floors. When my floors are mopped, I feel like the rest of my house is clean”. She laughed and agreed and the prompting of her question has helped me let go of expectations. Nonetheless, I still have a list but am taking an easy pace at it.
- Tidying the office and hanging some shelves in there
- Print and hang the last of our family photos, a big collage that will reside in one of the niches in our living room
- Clean out fridge and freezer
- Keep up on laundry
- Inflate and clean birth ball
- Stock up on yummy food for birth and postpartum
- Tie-dye onesies with the girls
- Get my eyebrows waxed (my tradition before my babies arrive)
- Wash the dirty walls (grrrr) and door jambs
- Empty, clean, and refill the birth tub about every three days to avoid a slimy liner (ick!). Adding Grapeseed Extract to the water helps keep it fresher.
- Pay all bills through July
- Take kind folks up on all offers for help
- Ensure camera batteries are charged
- Hang art wire for girls’ artwork
- Keep kitty litter and dog poop under control (Jason’s lovely job)
- Purchase/make Big Sister gifts for the girls
- Love up on my family. Lots.
Have I told you lately that I love you?
Oh yes, about 20 minutes ago as I lounged on the bed with your sleeping sister, Indigo, and watched my tie-dyed skirt flutter in the breeze of the open windows. Her face was warm and soft on the pillow, her lashes so still (my youngest baby for a little longer). My fuchsia toenails contrasted against the white comforter. The birds sang for you (of course they always sing for you). In my womb, curled up tight in your warm waters, you still undulate and flex your muscles and push up against my uterus. I like to think you are saying hello and I Love You right back when you do this.
I picture you with dark hair like your oldest sister.
I think of you as a physical unraveling of my love, a manifestation of the Divine in all of us.
I can almost quake at the idea of feeling your fresh, slippery body land into my hands.
I envision our family of three; a party, a circus, a trio of smiles. Sometimes I imagine what it will be like on those days when you and your sisters are all screaming and crying at once. I know it will happen. I guess I’ll have to cry with you. Or start to sing. Either way, the shift in energy will have to come out; as song or sobs.
You will be here soon. How funny, you are but about 6 inches from this world. A small but mighty barrier between your realm and ours. That’s IT. But the journey, as Randy Travis would say, is “deeper than the holler, stronger than the rivers, higher than t he pine trees growin’ tall upon the hill”. One we both must traverse together, tenderly at some moments and fierce as the wild wind during others.
I know you KNOW. Many things. Much wisdom. Infinite love.
You know the way out. Your way.
I am your vessel; may I give way to you kindly and fluidly, in exactly the way you need me to. May that joruney continue as you are in my arms, nursing, and growing, and learning. May I always yield to you.
Tiny one, my child, my gift, my summer delight. Enjoy the view from within for a bit longer. I am enjoying harboring you so terribly, terrifically much.
I cannot wait to say…”Welcome hOMe”.