Everything makes me really tired these days. Yesterday we took a real day off and didn't do much besides rest, read, play video games and watch movies and it felt so good. I've felt that there has been so much to do before she gets here, that I haven't had many do nothing days, and I tried not to feel too guilty about it. I even slept in until 10am this morning (I usually am wide awake at 7, and 8 at the latest), and only woke up at 10 because the dogs were irritated I was messing up their routine. "We should have had breakfast two hours ago mom!" I guess I needed the extra rest. And for my upcoming labor, I really should be resting as much as possible. I need to remember to listen to my body, and quit trying to power through... especially during these last couple of weeks. Its hard for me though...
Today we have been cleaning house, catching up on dishes, laundry, vacuuming (there is always endless dog hair to clean with our husky Zombie girl), Jason took care of our cat boxes, and I watered all our indoor plants (I'm pretty excited that I've been able to keep almost a dozen alive in our house for a year plus, so maybe my plans to start gardening once i'm home more isn't completely far fetched! I'm notoriously bad at keeping plants). I even had the energy to get myself into the shower, which also felt like hard work. I did manage to shave my legs (hadn't done that in a month), wash my hair (haven't done that in a week) and even put on a face mask and scrubbed my rough feet with pumice. It feels good to be in a clean house again, and be fresh out of the shower (before covering myself in sweat since its STILL summer in Texas, and with our AC on we keep our house at 82 on the weekends (and 85 during the week while we're at work). SO looking forward to next month, for so many reasons. Trying to appreciate the clean house, and shower fresh feeling while it lasts, because I know both of these things will be harder and harder to do after birth- at least for a while.
Today we are also finishing up packing our birth bag, since it is now less than 20 days away from my due date. Seeing a number on my baby countdown app in the teens is really making this real. Really real. I put the end clasp on my labor necklace, and had Jason add his extra change of clothes, swim trunks (to jump in the tub with me and/or the shower to support me while I labor). I ordered some Tucks pads and witch hazel online today, so those should arrive next week, for my post-delivery recovery and healing. Also, as per the birth center, they recommend to have several ice packs to help me heal after birth. They also suggest to make my own by soaking some large maxi pads in water, and then put them in a ziplock and freeze them. I made some of those today, and hope that I didn't put too much water in them, also don't know if they are supposed to be in their own bags or not? But I put them in one bag together and hope they don't all just freeze and stick together. HAHA if so i'm sure I will not be above putting that whole zip lock down my pants. Either way, its a really smart idea (to make your own underpants icepacks) and I'm sure will be a necessity for my healing process.
Speaking of, I've been more and more frustrated with the general lack of acknowledgment of the healing and recovery that happens for the mother after birth. There was an article I think someone shared, or maybe I reshared on facebook (maybe also here), about how women are taken such good care of all throughout pregnancy, with so much attention to their health and wellness, but then as soon as baby is born the mother is almost completely ignored. All of the doctor's visits, family visits, immediately turn to the health and wellness of the baby (as the baby should get all the attention needed), but the lack of care for the mother is really ridiculous in our culture. She is expected to greet visitors, let everyone hold her baby at her home (keeping things tidy, and beautiful), and she has to not mention the bleeding, the bruising, the depression, or the lack of general hygiene, but jump back into being attractive, and dropping all her baby weight.
This is another reason why I've chosen to go the birth center, midwife-assisted birth route. The philosophy behind midwifery care for the birthing mother doesn't stop when baby is born, and the idea is to nurture the whole experience, rather than use the process as a business transaction that ends when the baby meets the fresh air. Midwifery care, and my experience with the birth center have been so phenomenal- to have caregivers (that's right, not someone with just a bunch of letters before and after their name, but caregivers) who understand that the mother just went through a major physical event that makes us bleed, bruise, tear, on the inside and outside physically, but also emotionally. When I was looking for the witch hazel, and tucks pads on amazon, and for the perineal bottles to wash and soothe, yes I am a person who will need to heal and recover after birth- which is natural, and nothing to feel the need to cover up with make up- I was adding "Post natal care" into my search criteria, and almost all of the results were products to tummy tuck, lose weight, and focus on the appearance of the mom- as if she should immediately get back into her size 2 skinny jeans, rather then focus on true healing or physical recovery.
Enough of a rant for now, but I think it deserves to be acknowledged. To be the best mom we can be, we too will need the nurturing, and the support, so we can nurture and support our tiny gem, and the amazing, mind-blowing creation of making a new person. That's not to say that there isn't so much excited for baby, and that love and excitement will not out weigh some of the challenges, of birth, and well pregnancy, because so far they completely have. I am so looking forward to my labor experience, my birth, and to meeting our baby. And I am also thankful for the loving support of my husband, and understanding of our other friends and family for respecting our space during my healing time, and our bonding time during these first few moments we will share as a new family of humans.