36+ weeks pregnant now and at some point there will be a picture of me pregnant...assuming that Jason takes one sometime before I actually have this baby. I think I've got one from Halloween and there are a couple from when I went to NY for my dad's retirement party in November but since then, I don't know that there are any at all. Then again, I'm usually the one behind the camera so pictures of me are few and far between anyway.
Let's just say that I've grown.
I have a lot of contractions lately. They are Braxton-Hicks contractions, since I'm not actually in labor, but that's really long to type. Today, for example, they've been about 5-10 minutes apart for several hours. Some people would get excited/nervous about that and probably not be planning to teach for 4 1/2 hours tonight, but I've learned from experience. 12 days ago, they were 3-8 minutes apart for 12 hours. It was irritating since I knew I wasn't in labor and it was the middle of the night and for crying out loud, could I not just get a break long enough to fall asleep?
I'm a little cranky right now.
At this point, I'm just holding out for 37 weeks, which will be on Saturday. At 37 weeks I can have a homebirth. Before then, it's not a great idea for the baby's health and we're not about to risk that! 5 more days until I do what I did with Patrick--look at my stomach and invite the baby to come out any time he/she wants. Patrick was obliging and came 5 days later. I'm actually hoping this little one will wait a bit longer, as Jason's job ends on the 16th and then he wouldn't have to worry about taking off for one of his last few days. Plus, I'm still trying to work for as long as I can. But babies have minds of their own and I know very well that I don't get a say in it! If the baby decides to come before then, I have a very nice practice of hospital-based midwives who will care for us at the hospital. As much as I like them, I still don't want to be in the hospital.
I've been pleasantly surprised at how much support I've found for homebirthing. I'd heard many horror stories about the lack of support from friends and family from my Bradley students who wanted to homebirth, and I'm very happy that I haven't experienced that at all. Most people are excited, or at least surprised but supportive, that we'll be having the baby at home. When people ask where I'm having the baby, I reply "At home." I even said it to my GP when the kids went for their physicals, and her response was "Oh, how exciting--what a great experience!" (And that's why I love her.)
Some people choose to homebirth because they've had horrible hospital experiences and don't want that again. We didn't. Our hospital experience was fine. I'd even venture to say that it was pretty good. We had a supportive OB last time and he made all the difference in the world for that to happen. We just didn't see the need to do it again. The idea of homebirth has always intrigued me and now that we're looking at it happening soon (I hope...not before 37 weeks, kiddo), it relaxes me. Oh, there's a lot to prepare before then...but it's at home. I know where everything is at home. If we forget to put something out, it's either in the house somewhere or there's a store within two miles that carries it. If our kids get bored or worried or anything else, we have four families on our street who've offered to take them anytime, day or night. We'll have access to our favorite foods whenever we want them. I won't have to feel self-conscious about random people watching me walk the halls because the only people who will be there will be those who love and support us. The kids can be there to see their new baby sister or brother right away.
It just feels right for us. I'd been prepared to face a lot of criticism, both overt and subtle, based on what I'd heard from others who'd planned to homebirth...but it's been so nice to be wrong about that.