I decided that since I see my sister B every Sunday, I could have her document the belly once a week. Coincidentally, Sundays are my pregnancy “weekiversary.” I sort of thought last week would still be baseline, but when I saw the photo I couldn’t believe how much rounder it looked than it actually felt. (note; I had also just eaten a burrito.) So, I have no photos establishing a baseline. Believe me when I tell you that I had a flat belly up until somewhere around a week ago.
Week 10, Dolores Park (10/6/13):
Since we happened to choose such a beautiful and iconic San Francisco location for the first photo, we decided to keep it up. My belly will be like Flat Stanley only more like Rounder and Rounder Me. Today, we were in North Beach to have lunch and play Scrabble with our dear 80-something friend H and B took this photo of my belly with Coit Tower in the background when we were walking back to the car.
Week 11, North Beach (10/13/13):
I honestly didn’t think we’d be here already! I thought it would be weeks longer before there would be anything to see. It’s obviously very exciting and relieving to have emerging evidence that this is real and progressing. (And if anyone is holding on to maternity clothes waiting for the right time to send them my way, the right time is now! Thanks!)
A few big developments this week besides working my patootie off:
- If all goes well, I am planning to have a homebirth. Inspired by my sister D, who gave birth to both her daughters at home (ask 2yo S where she was born, and she says, “the dining room!”), and my mom who had three natural childbirths in the hospital with no drugs, I’ve read a ton over the past year and feel well-informed and excited about this choice. I know it’s not for everyone–homebirth is still, as my midwife-to-be called it, “the fringe of the fringe.” But it is where I personally will feel safest, and I feel strongly that that’s exactly where every woman should be.
- I met my midwife-to-be, I’m going to call her Bee. She came to my house for our initial consultation and I totally fell in love with her as I knew I would. She came highly recommended from every source I checked, including trusted friends, and her Yelp reviews had me sobbing, (“we consider her part of our family,” “we can’t wait to get pregnant again so we can work with her again!”) She is warm and has one of those smiles like a ray of sunshine. She sat cross-legged on my sofa and answered my carefully-researched list of questions one by one. She gave me a bear hug on the way out.
- One of the coolest things about working with a midwife is that prenatal appointments are at home. She’ll come and check the same things an OB would, which takes maybe 5-15 mins, and then she stays for an hour and a half to chat about changes, nutrition, anxieties, and just to get to know each other and develop our relationship. I love that. For the birth, there will be two midwives, an apprentice, and probably also a doula, plus tbd family/friends/birth partners.
- The amount of prenatal testing and ultrasounds I want to do is up to me, as is pretty much everything else. A big shift for me–the midwife presents the options and lets you decide.
- I wanted to hire her on the spot but she more or less insisted I talk to others as well so I am an informed customer. So, I have another appointment on Tuesday but I can’t imagine liking anyone as much as her. I have calls in to five others but no one is calling me back, which I take as a sign.
- On Saturday, I went to the free monthly Homebirth 411 workshop at Natural Resources, led by Bee. There were five other women there with varying size bellies. We watched a video of a home water birth in Sausalito which totally blew my mind–it was very calm and after the baby was born she was very playful, splashing her arms and legs in the water and looking around. Incredible.
- As I was putting my shoes on to leave, this other pregnant woman J started chatting with me. I felt Bee kind of hovering behind us and when I said, “OK nice to meet you, maybe see you around at prenatal yoga or something,” Bee interjected, “See, now this is where you exchange contact info.” We laughed and exchanged info, and I ended up giving J a ride home, and we talked a lot and made plans to go to prenatal yoga together. She’s 4 weeks ahead of me. I haven’t even hired Bee yet and she’s already helping me create community = awesome.
And, to end this post with a bang: I WENT RUNNING yesterday. For the first time since before the embryo transfer in mid-August. I had just received my latest Runner’s Magazine and thought–it’s time. I had no idea what it would feel like.
It felt SO good. At first, a little rusty and sore. Even though I haven’t given myself an injection in over two weeks, the injection sites behind my hips were painful with each step. But not so much that I couldn’t enjoy it a lot, I got in the groove, and by the time I stepped into a eucalyptus grove in the Presidio, I just kept saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” I’m surprised, actually, how fit I actually felt after being a slug for two months straight. I drank a lot of water and walked up most of the hills. But I was running again, in my same old running clothes, with a little teeny belly that no one would ever notice but me. I was completely wiped out the rest of the day. A little running will go a long way.
And that sums it up. Feeling tired, hungry, and so grateful.
Have a wonderful week, my dears xo