I recite this to myself nearly every day: "Everyone's journey is completely different... and everyone will have an idea or suggestion of how you could or should be doing things differently or better. You've got to stick with what you know is right for you and your baby."
If you're not already friends with Becky Kankelfritz, you need to find one like her. But come to think of it, that will be impossible because there is no one on earth like her. Maybe you could start by friending her on Facebook. But anyway, she was the one who gifted me with this sound piece of advice early on in my pregnancy and I ended up getting it tattooed on my arm so I never forget.
As of Monday, I will officially be 9 months pregnant. It wasn't until last week when I googled a "pregnancy calendar" to help me calculate exactly where I was (since 4 weeks doesn't equal 1 pregnant month, ya know) and once I determined 36 weeks = 9 months I did have a little freak out moment. (And that was only #3 or #4!) I immediately emailed my dear friends/neighbors warning them how far along I was and as a "just in case DK isn't around, I will need you here STAT" precaution, Stacey and Lindsey wrote me back immediately saying things like "Call us any hour of the night, we will be right there." They also argued back and forth over who gets to hold the baby most often, but I'll let them work that out together. We all love each other a lot.
Another freak out moment came when I started second guessing whether or not DK and I had done enough research concerning our birthplan, doctor and hospital. Be careful about watching opinionated documentaries while you are pregnant. Regardless, this documentary helped stir a lot of questions that put our minds at ease and even moreso confirmed we are confident with our decisions and direction. It's ok to have pregnant freak out sessions, just remember to keep your advice circle small and spend more time than ever in prayer.
When it comes to preparation, WOWEE!! There is so much STUFF they SAY you HAVE to BUY! But it's not true. Not to sound controversial (ok, maybe just a little bit) but I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh... did you catch that? A Miss Teen USA rabbit trail for kicks. I digress. I personally believe when it comes to weddings and babies, there's this looming whirlwind of marketing propaganda preying on us and 1. cause us to feel their stores/products/methods are our only option and 2. choosing any other way would be detrimental to the health/quality/wellbeing of our experience. Absolutely not true.
Here's a few ways I've really stuck it to The Man in my pregnancy experience:
1. My nursery is not complete. We still haven't decided if we're going to paint, we might even wallpaper for fun. Our crib doesn't come in till this weekend and I haven't even started making her crib mobile. But she has diapers and onesies and a mama who prays special prayers in her room each day.
My greatest inspiration for nursery decor comes from this blog and we're feeling pretty great about the things we've collected for her room so far. There are several items from my room as a little girl, as well as a few pieces my mom had in hers! We've also incorporated music, travel, art, and blessings from family and friends.
I'm confident her nursery has become a bit of a collaboration by all the people who love her so much already and the detail I'm most excited about is the cradle being made by DK's dad in Pennsylvania, a true treasure we intend to pass down to our grandchildren and more. Once it's all finished we will post photos for sure.
It's important to nest and be prepared ABSOLUTELY. But if you find yourself stressing and aching and moaning and losing sleep over what bedding to choose, take a deep breathe and know it's going to be ok. Choose simplicity and things that are a reflection of who you are and what you love. And HAVE FUN!
2. I thift shop ... a lot. Once we found out we were having a girl, it's likely I broke some baby clothes shopping records with my gusto towards finding quality items for a steal. There are a couple great thift shops here in Humble near the station and it's where I've found more beautiful dresses, onesies and sometimes never even used clothes with tags still attatched. I've been told over and over again how babies wear clothes once or twice in the first phases of their lives as they grow grow grow, so why not save some money by checking our your local resale shops? Ebay is another great option, garage sales too. Just always make sure you wash everything really well.
3. Cloth Diapers and No Epidural. There are the two decisions DK and I have made that we've received the most flack for.
With cloth diapers, I don't remember exactly how or when we decided to look into it, but I do know DK was the strongest advocate for it up front. For starters, it's a money saving choice. "Over a 3 1/2 year time period, you will have used over 8,700 disposable diapers on one child, totaling $2358 for discounted name brands and $1862 for generic/store brands." (from Tiny Tush) It's also a bit on our conscious that it takes roughly 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. Ultimately, we want to try this for ourselves and feel the options have come a LONG way in the last 10 years making it easier to do for new parents. Nurtured Family offers FREE classes and they do an incredible job at getting you started and helping you out along the way. We will keep you posted on our poopy adventure.
And no epidural? I've experienced a few Braxton Hicks contractions in the last week and have no earthly idea what pain I'll feel when giving birth. But more than anything I've ever known in my life, I want to fully experience the adrenalin, power and emotion that comes from naturally bringing a new life into this world. God willing! We will see how it goes!
I'm feeling really ready to meet her, hold her, talk to her, and especially to see DK and her discover one another. I'm really grateful for the people surrounding and protecting us during this time and how they've loved us in such a way that helped us do this the way we felt was right for us. And I pray that for you too, whether you're past it, near it or a long way off, that you can truly relax in and celebrate the uniqueness God has vested solely in you and your experiences in life.
And since I'm being controversial, I'll close with a quote from Dr. Laura: "Now go take on the day."
*Don't worry about the tattoo on my arm, I was joking.