Pregnancy Diary: Week 37

Our 'Film Noir' style preggie pic
Our 'Film Noir' style preggie pic - see the album on Karen's Facebook page
This might well be the last week of our pregnancy diary! On the other hand - we could have four more weeks to go! Oh the adventure of real life! Well, by the end of this week baby will be about 48-49cm long, and weigh about 2.8-2.9kg. I promised some of those preggie pics, as you can see they came out so beyoootifully! Feel free to check out the link to the album on Karen E's Facebook Page. We had some crazy fun! There's nothing like feeling super sexy at 9 months pregnant!

I know you'll look at the pics and think - well you're tiny so it's easy to feel sexy. But seriously - I often feel like frumpy old beached whale when I'm pregnant, and can feel seriously unsexy even when I'm not. I'm seeing that it often can be a matter of perspective. How you feel about how you look isn't necessarily directly linked to how you actually look.

...it was lovely to walk together, holding hands and just chatting!

Well, the whole weekend of the shoot was actually lovely! The day before the shoot (Friday) my hubby and I had a lunch date at Art in the Park - an annual outdoor art exhibition here in Pietermaritzburg - after running some errands in town and shopping for a birthday present for a friend's little boy. The toddler was at playgroup for the afternoon, so it was lovely to walk together, holding hands and just chatting!

We had a quiet evening at home, the grandparents came to fetch the toddler in the morning, and substituted for us at aforementioned little boy's 3rd birthday party. While we were lunching and driving around the midlands and having all our gorgeous photies taken, they took the toddler off to the Royal Agricultural Show and Arts in the Park, and then home to their place in Durban, where we met them and stayed the night. In the morning we all went for a walk on the newly revamped promenade at Durban beach, and had a super yummy breakfast on the pier at Moyo.

Our firstborn's first time at the beach - 7 months old
Our firstborn's first time at the beach - 7 months old
On the walk back to the car we took the toddler to walk along the water's edge and a tiny wave came a bit quicker than she anticipated and she tried to run from it and ended up falling forward and rolling in the 2cm water. The poor child got such a fright!

She was covered in wet sand and we figured it would be worse if we tried getting her under one of those showers, so we just undressed her and put one of nana's shirts on her and took her home like that. Poor thing doesn't seem to have very good beach experiences, as you can see from the pic of her very first time at the beach. Besides the toddlers wipeout, it was an idyllic weekend! I felt so grateful and blessed...

I was met with confused looks and stunned silence.

On a completely different topic, I've had two similar experiences over the past few months which I thought I should mention. They are funny and sad at the same time. My one preschool ballet class that I teach (ages 3-5) is obviously fascinated with the whole baby thing. The one girl asked if I was scared of the bleeding. I asked her, 'What bleeding?' 'When they cut you,' she answered. Not wanting to stir too much, I told them I already had a baby and told them that my belly hadn't been cut and asked how that baby had come out. I was met with confused looks and stunned silence. One girl volunteered: 'You push them out!' and concluded that the belly button was the exit mode of choice. The girls then all wanted to tell me how their mommies' tummies were cut for them to come out.

A similar thing happened at another preschool class, and then with one of my older classes that wanted to know when I was going to hospital. When I replied that I was having my baby at home, they wanted to know who was going to cut me open at home. This bunch was about 7 years old. I wasn't too sure of my jurisdiction there, so I told them to ask their moms about it.

...none of them seemed to be aware of any 'alternative' to being cut open...

I must admit I was a little saddened on two points. Firstly, a very high percentage mentioned that they had been cut out of their moms' tummies, which is indicative of the scarily high c-section rates in our private hospitals, but what saddened me even more, was that none of them seemed to be aware of any 'alternative' to being cut open - or those that did felt too shy to mention it. And people wonder why I'm so passionate about natural, dare I say, normal birth! When major abdominal surgery becomes the 'normal' way of giving birth, indeed, the only way these girls are aware of, I think perhaps there is an education gap somewhere. Just a thought.

I got all my exam marking done this week - what a relief! But it looks like I will have some supps to mark. I should have told them not to even dare getting supps because I am probably going to be severely sleep deprived and possibly quite grumpy. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Next someone asks me, 'When are you due?' I'd love to look at them blankly and ask them what they mean...

There is one thing I wanted to do with my first pregnancy, which I never had the gumption to do, and I think it is too late in this pregnancy to try it. Next someone asks me, 'When are you due?' I'd love to look at them blankly and ask them what they mean, or burst into tears wailing, 'Not you too!' But as I said, I don't have the gumption and I'm not that good an actress. Maybe next time! Oh, just over the past week I've felt the baby hiccoughing (hiccupping in Americanese) in my belly - it is too cute!

With planning a home birth I think I've had to take more ownership of the pregnancy and birth...

Something I've noticed with this pregnancy is that I'm a lot more conscious and spiritually aware of myself and my baby, which is odd because I've heard that normally decreases with each subsequent baby! I think writing this diary has really helped, as has planning a home birth. I must say I have enjoyed really experiencing and engaging with the process of pregnancy and impending labour. With planning a home birth I think I've had to take more ownership of the pregnancy and birth - even in the planning I have felt empowered and my confidence has grown. I've certainly prayed about it a lot more! The birth quote for the week says it quite nicely:

For far too many women, pregnancy and birth is something that happens to them rather than something they set out consciously and joyfully to do themselves. - Sheila Kitzinger

Hear me roar!

I also mentioned something on my Facebook page that really crystallized things for me as I wrote it:

I think one thing I'm learning with this pregnancy is that pregnancy and birth can be a very sensual thing to be embraced as a unique season in our lives but on the whole we've made it a medical thing, something to be endured in as short a time as possible.

One last thing, I've been having mild nausea, twinges, period pain cramps and lower backache on and off the last two days (Thursday and Friday), so we'll see how things go! Look out for next week's pregnancy diary, or baby diary as the case may be!

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