Pregnancy Diary: Week 34

Belly Perspective - 34 weeks
Two Options: Shoelaces are evil, or my arms just aren't long enough anymore...
About 6 weeks of pregnancy diary to go, and then we start on the baby diary, or not, we'll see! I must admit, I'm pretty keen to put up some 'postpartum belly' pics - like one 24 hours after the birth, and then for a couple of days after. Weird, I know, but then I think we've realized that by now. Well, little one is now putting on about 230g per week! That's like half a block of butter! Per week! No wonder I'm waking up hungry in the middle of the night again. At this stage littlest is about 45cm long and weighs about 2150g, although we haven't checked that on a scan and don't intend to, and even if we did, it's likely to be innacurate!

Shoelaces are evil.

One comment that I just have to get out there, shoelaces are evil. At the moment I spend most of my time in slip-on sandals even though it is getting colder, just because it is such a mission to put closed shoes on, and shoelaces are a very personal thing; no one else seems to be able to do them so they are just right.

So, I've sent invitations to the ladies we'd like to have around at the birth, and I am praying that it all works out well! I've also been cooking up a bunch of meals to freeze for after the birth - oxtail stew, beef stew, chicken soup and the like, and also processing some veggies to freeze, so I've been feeling quite good about that! This has been my last week of lecturing, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some of the things I've been keen to do before the baby comes - like finishing the toddler's quilt.

...I've started drinking my 3 cups of raspberry leaf tea every day...

My mom bought me a bunch of stuff for the home birth this week - like linen savers and the like - so we are quite grateful for that and I'm feeling relieved that I have at least some of the things I'll need! Speaking of preparing for birth, I've started drinking my 3 cups of raspberry leaf tea every day - apparently it helps to tone the uterus and makes contractions more effective when the time comes. You can sip it during labour and in the weeks after the birth it apparently also helps the uterus to shrink and minimizes bleeding. And it doesn't taste too bad and I find it quite energizing to boot!

I'm also keen to get some pink streaks in my hair...

Right now I'm looking for someone in our area that can do belly henna - it's not often you get a canvas like that to work on! I'll let you know how that goes! I'm also keen to get some pink streaks in my hair - just because I've been intending to for a while, but just haven't had the time or money to get around to it, and I think it will be even less likely to happen after the birth! I don't have the desire, patience, time or money to maintain a full head of highlights, but pink streaks I can handle, and it means less actual skin contact with those nasty chemicals. I'm quite partial to having streaks coming from the bottom - so I don't have to worry about regrowth and just because I think it looks cool.

...I'm really looking forward to being high when this baby is born!

I know this sounds weird (there's that word again!) but I'm really looking forward to being high when this baby is born! Now that may sound rather uncharacteristic coming from me, but the thing is that when birth is undisturbed and all the hormones are allowed to do their thing and the mom feels safe and protected, birth can be a truly ecstatic experience! Check this site for more info on how amazing this whole hormonal interaction is: Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor

And it's not only about the mother's experience at the expense of the baby's safety - evidence is starting to show that the environment that is most comfortable for mom generally has the best outcomes for baby too!

Something seriously cute that happened this week...

Something seriously cute that happened this week - myself, hubby and toddler were all sitting on our bed and I said to the toddler, 'Why don't you say hello to the baby?' to which she replied, 'Hello! I'm A_____, this is daddy (pointing at dad), and this is mommy (pointing at mom).' I started crying on the spot - it was too precious!

...in 1 week's time I'll be on TV!

Two more things, one far more exciting than the other: Next week I have my appointment with our official backup doctor so I'll be updating you on that. And the exciting news is that in 1 week's time I'll be on TV! A moms and babies program is having an episode on Back-to-Basics parenting - including things like exclusive and extended breastfeeding and baby wearing and the like - and I will be one of their mommy guests! It is a South African program, so not sure if those outside of South Africa would be able to pick it up, but I'll put more details up closer to the time for those of you who are keen to watch or record the episode.

My birth quote for this week is somewhat more technical than usual - but links to what I said earlier about having a comfortable and safe birth environment:

Spontaneous labour in a normal woman is an event marked by a number of processes so complicated and so perfectly attuned to each other that any interference will only detract from the optimal character. The only thing required from the bystanders is that they show respect for this awe-inspiring process by complying with the first rule of medicine--nil nocere [do no harm].
- G Kloosterman, Dutch Professor of Obstetrics

So up for Week 35 of our pregnancy diary is an update on our backup doctor's appointment, but beyond that I'm not sure! It's really strange to consider the thought that things could happen any day now. Sometimes I feel like, 'I'm cool with this...' and other times I just think that I'm so not ready yet! But then who is ever ready to have a baby?

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