Sunday, July 18, 2010

As The Birth Approaches....

My mind is often swarming with many thoughts about this birth.

Other than the obvious "when will the baby come" I have been battling thoughts of fear and worry throughout the pregnancy. The other day I found myself rebuking fear and death in the name of Jesus as I was suddenly worried that the baby would die before labor started or during labor. Or that I would have another shoulder dystocia with a midwife that panics instead of facing it calmly. Or that Jon's thesis would not be done in time and life would feel even more stressful since he'd need to be home helping instead of finishing his thesis.

Now I have 9 days to go and I find myself praying that God would send the perfect midwife for our birth. I have no idea who will be coming to my birth. I have only met one midwife who may be on call and I do not want her to be the one for my birth. I don't trust her. She is nice and pleasant but I do not like the way she sees my past births. She made an offhand comment at my last appointment that I felt was unprofessional and unhelpful--and I felt it gave me a true glimpse on her perspective. I feel like if she is coming to my birth then she will be looking for any reason to transfer me into the hospital. (In the UK if you are having a homebirth with the NHS you are assigned a community midwife that is based out of the doctor's office you are assigned to. You don't rotate through the different midwives.)

I've been listening to the hypnobirthing cd for the last few weeks and that has helped me to stay positive about the birth. Ultimately I am looking to the Lord for his peace, wisdom, and comfort as I have been working out whatever emotional hangups I've been having with this pregnancy.

This pregnancy has been the easiest in many ways--I've gained MUCH less weight-about 20 lbs. instead of the 40 I've gained in the past. My body feels better, healthier and it is easier to get up and around. I think it has saved me from a lot of discomfort. I haven't had any Symphysis Pubis pain with this pregnancy and my back hasn't been a problem either. I don't find it difficult to sleep because my hips aren't bothering me at night either. Heartburn has been minimal as has swelling in the legs/ankles.

Truthfully, I want to get the birth over with and move on to the baby-in-my-arms-craziness because I'm tired of trying NOT to worry about everything. I think if the midwife I meet with was more encouraging and would take the time to look at my whole person I would feel much more peaceful about everything. It is for this reason that we have hired a doula. She is familiar with the system here and is a voice of comfort and encouragement to me.

I keep going back to the verses we've been praying for this baby and hanging on to God's promises.

If you would like to pray for us and the birth here are some specific things you can pray for:
  • The right midwife for the job would come to the birth.
  • Jon would be nearly done with his thesis by the end of this week. (He is halfway done at this point.)
  • Peace in my heart and mind (instead of worry) as I continue to prepare emotionally for this baby's arrival.
  • The kids will be emotionally ready to welcome another little brother into their lives.
  • The birth goes smoothly without any problems.
  • The baby won't be born on Ewan's birthday (July 31st). Due date is July 27th.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Strawberry Pickin'

We went strawberry picking on Thursday afternoon at a farm just a few minutes drive from our flat. We were there for less than an hour and picked a huge harvest of strawberries to enjoy. We've had them for breakfast and dessert and I have put several bags in the freezer for smoothies and other fun dessert nights. The scenery is absolutely beautiful!

Being 9 months pregnant and picking strawberries isn't really the most comfortable activity. I was on my hands and knees picking the berries and trying to avoid the stinging nettle weeds. Had I worn long pants it would have been a little easier on the knees but I still managed to fill my basket.

There is something so peaceful and fulfilling about being out in nature, picking your own fruit, and connecting to God's creation.

Our harvest. Plus Isaac's basket he's filling the background. It was difficult to stop picking berries.

Hartlepool (Pronounced Heart-lee-pool)

Today we ventured out to Hartlepool which is a coastal town about 30 minutes south of Durham. The porter from our building mentioned to me a few weeks ago that Hartelpool is a port for the Tall Ship Races sometime in late July or early August and also happened to mention that it had a pirate ship and fun marina to walk around. It sounded like a fun day trip AND like something we should do while the weather is still nice.

We ventured out with our friends, Orrey and Kristi. They were brave enough to join our family and the boys loved having some friends come with us on our little adventure. Graham has a little toddler crush on Kristi. He thinks she is one of his best buds.

Orrey and Kristi

Me, Kristi, and Graham walking along the coast

It turns out the pirate ship is actually a naval ship from the mid-1850s and you can (for a fee) gain entrance to the Maritime Experience and go aboard the ship to learn about how ships worked and what they looked like. The ship is the oldest floating naval craft in Europe (we think). After going on the ship, I gotta say that being a sailor must have taken some non-sensitive nostrils because this ship had only plastic/wax dudes on it and some parts of the ship smelled as bad or worse than the boys floor of a college dorm. I can only imagine 250 men working the ship. Stinky-ola!

The front of the ship

The back of the ship. The windows are part of the Captain's Quarters. It reminded us of one of Jon's favorite movies, Master and Commander.

Looking at upper deck of the ship. I couldn't believe how many cannons were on that ship!

Jon is teaching the boys about how the ship was steered.

We got to go to the lower decks of the ship and here Ewan and Isaac are looking all the weapons stored on the ship.
Orrey is checking the sick sailor in the infirmary.
The Captain's Quarters. His hammock is behind me and to the left.
The boys are checking out one of the cannons and how they could be adjusted to aim at other ships more accurately.

The Maritime Experience also has a marina set up with different shops that would have been around 18th century where you could learn about buying swords, trading goods, proper dress for naval sailors and the like. I learned that QUAY is actually pronounced KEY at the Maritime Experience. Who knew? I still want to look at it and say QWAY.

Need any pots or pans? Or baskets or buckets?

This is my favorite sign!

There were some exhibits that had some great hands on learning for the kids.

One of the boys favorite things was the AWESOME wooden pirate ship they could play in. I think it would be so cool to build something like this in our (future) backyard for the boys to play on. The inside had all kinds of rooms and places to run around. Unbelievably fun! It took them all of 10 seconds to start playing a creative role game.

After we left the Maritime Experience we ended up driving around the town and landed at the coastal front. There wasn't a beach but we did happen upon where the first soldier was killed on British soil in WWI. It was near the Heugh Gun Battery which houses military vehicles and artillary weapons. We didn't go in the HGB but instead walked around the coast and enjoyed being near the ocean and smelling the breeze.

Looking out at the ocean.
Me and Grahammy
Catching a smooch with the hubs!
Where the first soldier was killed on British soil in WWI.

Hartlepool is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The marina in Hartlepool is apparently one of Europe's most modern marina facilities. Who knew? We didn't even get a chance to go to the marina and look at the boats currently docked. I don't think we will be going to the Tall Ship Races this year but I would love to go back sometime while we are here and see the ships come into port.