It’s hard to believe that time is going so quickly, but I’m now officially in the beginning of my third trimester!
Today I had my first prenatal visit with the nurses who oversee that aspect of care here. I wasn’t looking forward to this visit much – especially not after being chastised by the secretary on the phone when making the appointment for delaying my visit until this point. I was feeling so tired of being chided by seemingly everyone I’ve interacted with in the health care system (only three or four people, but still!) for not doing something that they think I should do, when they think it should be done. Especially since I’m doing all these things I don’t usually do!
But it went really well. The nurse was unexpectedly warm and friendly, and told me three separate times during my appointment how impressed she was that I was having my tenth. (She said she stopped at two because she had a boy and girl and it seemed that’s what everyone in her circles did. And then when she was almost forty, she really wanted to have more children but it was too late.)
I’ve done all the blood tests and everything has come back fine. She did say my iron was a drop on the low side, so I’ll have to eat some more iron rich foods. For those who have asked, in general I feel great. I’m really, really grateful that I’ve only had slight twinges of sciatic pain so far, and that usually has been when I’m in one position too long. I don’t take that for granted since I’ve had pregnancies in which sciatica was a major pain factor for months.
I think part of avoiding this is listening to your body – last Friday I did a lot of Shabbos preparations that dd17 usually takes care of because she was in the hospital (she got home for Shabbos, happily!), and by late Friday afternoon, I could hardly move without significant soreness. That’s what happens when you ignore your body’s signals!
The main thing that’s concerning me right now is technical – mainly, my birth plans. I have a really good feeling about the birth but I’m getting a bit anxious about the midwife being so far away. She told me she’d need five hours notice to get here, which initially I said wasn’t a problem. But it’s niggling at me so much that I’m realizing I better pay attention to my intuition. As I’ve said before, there are always yellow flags before red flags, but the problem is we usually ignore our mental warnings and intellectually convince ourselves how there’s no reason to pay attention that them!
I don’t think it’s because of what happened at the last birth that I’m feeling so apprehensive; my births aren’t usually especially long but they aren’t especially short, either. Well, most of them were less than five hours long from the time active labor began, but there were three exceptions to that, which is 33%, right? In any case, I’m going to have to think about alternatives, which may be as simple as paying for a taxi so that she can be here in two hours from the time I call. I found out there are two hospital midwives who live in my community, and I’m considering asking them as a backup plan if they would come over if needed.
Overall, I feel great. Every day I think about how fortunate I am to be expecting; there’s something truly magical about a baby growing inside you. When the nurse asked me if I was feeling movements, I told her yes, and then added, “That’s the nicest thing about pregnancy!” With my earlier pregnancies I thought it was nice, but now I have a much more intense feeling of appreciation and enjoyment. When I was a younger mother, I was very caught up in all that I needed to do every day and didn’t take time to savor the moments the way that I do now. It’s not that life is less busy now than it was then – not at all! But there’s been a shift from focusing on all that needs to be done to focusing more on enjoying the moment – some people are naturally like this, but I had to consciously work to develop it.
My kids are all looking forward to the new baby, but at the same time there are so many other things happening in the next few months that it’s not as if it’s the exclusive focus of any of us. Our children were all born in different months, with the winter months being the quiet months. So birthday season has started for us, and from the beginning of April and on, someone has a birthday to celebrate every few weeks until the end of November. That’s not to mention Lag b’Omer, my mom moving here, the haircut of my soon to be three year old, Shavuos…lots of nice things to be busy with!