That's it, I am done. Not done in the 'I'm fed up with being pregnant way'. No I'm done because this baby is ready.
Walking by the mirror yesterday I recognized this belly, this entire posture. I look exactly like these photos which were taken 48 hours before Cora was born.
The official due date is Sept. 22. My midwives reminded me that ages ago, at our very first ultrasound the tech gave a due date of Sept 10, which was later modified to the 22nd. Hearing that was confirmation of my intuition that this baby is coming sooner rather then later. I will be so shocked if I am still pregnant in late September.
I have been moving mountains this pregnancy, trying to wade through a sea of birth trauma. Cora's birth was so long and difficult and took so many confusing turns that I am humbled and trembling with fear at the thought of undertaking that endeavor once again. I cling blindly to the belief that the second birth is faster, easier. I've scoured the internet and asked friends and my mom to repeatedly tell me how much easier their second births were. I have been seeing a fantastic talk therapist who specializes in processing birth trauma. All of these things have helped immensely but at the end of the day, or the pregnancy if you will, it is me standing on the precipice hoping I am strong enough to do this.
It may come as a surprise that we are trying a home birth once again. Cora was eventually born in the hospital after 31 hours of labor. I have not been able to identify exactly why it is important for me to labor at home this time, except that it just feels like the right choice. I had an incredibly positive experience with the hospital portion of Cora's birth so there is no fear of returning there. I simply want to be home, want to be in my comfort zone and am hoping to know what a natural birth feels like. A part of me even dares to hope that my trauma will be healed with a home birth.
Last Wednesday our midwife/naturopathic physician came to our house for our home visit. This was a monumental moment and it drove home the fact that this is really about to happen. Scott and I have both been reeling since that visit, overwhelmed with a mountain of lists we want to finish before baby #2 arrives.
We have also been taking more time to focus on Cora's needs and prepare her as fully as possible for the transition to big sister. It is challenging with an 18 month old because I can not tell how much she understands but it is always more then we think. We have talked over and over again about the baby in mommy's belly. Early in the pregnancy we gave Cora her own baby to hug and kiss, and we introduced her big girl bed a few months ago and have been slowly encouraging her to sleep in it. More and more we are becoming comfortable in our parenting style, which is to introduce new things as positive developments and then not push, just keep being with them until they seem very normal.
Yesterday Cora and I went to a fantastic kids book store and picked out some books for her, one on welcoming a little sister, one on potty training and one on sleeping in a big girl bed. Her love of books is definitely on our side here, and utilizing that love to help her understand big transitions is comforting to her and to us. When we opened the book on becoming a big sister she started squeeling "baby, baby, baby!" over and over and now when we read it she kisses the baby on the page. She has also started pointing to my belly and exclaiming baby then kissing it. So adorable.