My 28-week belly picture, in Gainesville this past weekend
One of my biggest issues right now is not feeling ready. Like, AT ALL. Nothing is purchased, nothing is set up, nothing is ready to go. I mean, logically I know that we have the basics of what we need - if he came home tomorrow, he would have clothes to wear (thanks to Molly for the hand-me-downs!), food to eat (that's my department), a place to sleep (we did pick up a Rock-N-Play on Amazon for cheap, though it's still in the box), and I'm sure there's a drugstore between here and the hospital where we could pick up diapers. So the child is hardly going to be freezing and starving in a cardboard box or anything like that.
But a couple of weeks ago, my nesting urge kicked in HARD. I just woke up one morning and all of a sudden, I wanted to CLEAN AND ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS. I do not exaggerate here; I mean ALL the things. Kitchen cabinets, closets, the works. And that says nothing of the work that needs to be done to prepare our bedroom for baby's arrival: cleaning, sorting, organizing, furniture-rearranging, acquiring/assembling/arranging of baby furniture, etc., etc. Unfortunately, my energy level does not match my ambition, so despite my great intentions my plans are getting off to a slow start. Plus, we've had a pretty busy April. I worry about leaving much until June (in case of an early arrival), which means I have declared May to be "Do Not Do Anything Fun, Only Prepare For The Baby" Month. In addition to nursery/baby supply prep, we also need to do things like tour the hospital and interview doulas (I'm SO SAD I can't use my same doula as last time, because she was/is amazing!) and things like that. It's all going to be super fun!
At the very least, we do have a nursery theme decided on, and I have craft projects in the works. I think we have furniture picked out, too, it's just a matter of getting it. And, my mom and stepsister are very generously throwing me a shower next weekend, which I am quite looking forward to.
In other more meaningful news, my OB appointments have continued to go well. I passed my gestational diabetes test (hooray!), and my midwife had some follow-up bloodwork done to check my blood platelet levels again and everything still seems fine. We also met with the actual OB at our practice just this week (as of now, there is one OB and one midwife, and to this point we've only met with the midwife). She was very nice and continued to reassure me that neither my current state nor past history in any way indicates that we shouldn't try for a VBAC this time around, so I am hopeful that everything will go much more smoothly than it did for Ellie's birth.
On a related note, probably my biggest issue at this point is anxiety about giving birth. I'm debating about writing an entire post about it, so we'll see if I can muster both the time (see above re: SO MUCH TO DO) and the courage to put that all out there. But suffice it to say, I'm scared. Ellie's birth left me with a feeling of helplessness, pessimism and overall being out of control when it comes to birth. And I know that those things are almost always true, regardless. Birth is not predictable and it's largely out of our hands. But what is really an issue for me this time is just a very defeatist attitude. For example, Eric wants to read about VBACs and the birthing process and do all our research and be as prepared as possible. And I'm sure that's smart, but I cannot silence the voice in my head that says, "yeah, but what's the point?" I feel like my last birth taught me that no matter how prepared I may be, it doesn't matter. What's going to happen is going to happen. And again, while that may be true, that feeling of helplessness is sucking away my courage, dedication and drive to even try to make this birth happen the way I want it to. Instead of seeking out information and doing everything I can to prepare, I have adopted an ostrich approach this time. That is, I just want to stick my head in the sand and not deal with it. I hate that last time, I felt that birth was a physical challenge I was ready and eager to overcome, but this time, I just feel out of control and scared. Frankly, that really sucks. As I said, I may share more about my struggles with all this in a later post, but we'll just call this paragraph the Cliffs Notes version.
Aside from this emotional stuff, I am otherwise feeling pretty decent, but definitely trending towards uncomfortable. I'm having a lot more back pain and have been graced with the appearance of acid reflux, heartburn and sciatic pain in the last few weeks. My belly is getting a bit unwieldy - I've started bumping into things more (it's hard to remember to accommodate for the extra belly size!) and any food I spill hits my belly long before it has a shot at finding my lap, so that's fun. My belly button is a full-blown outie now, too - it is not shy about poking out of my shirts all, "HELLO, WORLD! I'M HERE!" Simmer down, belly button. (Ellie has renamed it "Mama's yucky belly button." Kids are so sensitive.)
I also get out of breath very easily and have a hard time carrying Ellie as much as she would like. She broke my heart the other day when she looked at me and said, "Mama can't hold you right now," because I know that means I've been saying that to her too much. All at once I felt so horrible and realized that it's only going to get worse for her before it gets better (but it will get better!). I still struggle with guilt over changing her world so drastically, but I know she'll be okay in the long run.
As for how Ellie is doing with it all, she still doesn't really get it. We talk about Baby Brother a little bit but how could she really understand? She does like to go to the doctor with me, and at my last appointment she even got up on the table to "lay down" like Mama, and had Dr. Daddy check out her belly:
Her belly is WAY cuter than mine!
And as for Plus One himself, he is quite the active little thing. Basically, if I'm sitting, he's moving. And he's getting downright violent, too. I remember feeling like Ellie moved a lot in utero, but I feel like Plus One is way more active even than she was. I mean, in the mornings, if I so much as have a half-conscious thought (even before moving or opening my eyes), that kid gets to jumping. He is constantly ready to go and he is making his presence known. I've been able to see him moving for some time now, so I feel like my belly is in constant motion. One nice thing (for now, at least): as of now he is still breech, so I've been spared the using-my-ribs-as-a-footrest thing that Ellie was so fond of.
We also had an elective ultrasound yesterday to get another sneak peek at the little guy, and guess what? He looks like Eric! Just like his sister before him, which of course means I think he looks like her, too. Which, frankly, is not a bad thing, because Ellie was an adorable baby and I think Eric is a rather handsome man, so Plus One could really do a lot worse for himself.
There's my boy, looking all content!
Smiling his Daddy's smile
OMG BABY CHEEKS.
And for comparison, a 3D ultrasound picture of Ellie at 29 weeks exactly (on the left), and a 3D picture of Plus One at 29 weeks and one day (right):
What do YOU think? Do you see a resemblance?
Also, for those of you who are wondering, I still can't say we've finalized a name, although I think we have a serious frontrunner. Not that it matters, though, because I'm not sharing anyway!
So that's where we are. We're motoring right along towards July 1st, and I'm sure the next 2.5 months are going to fly by. In the meantime, I'd better get to my nesting!