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birthing class f/u, nursery update & Ellwood!

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Nice post Elaine! How did you get the cool header and way to post some photos!

So about the birthing class… Do you know how hard it is to squeeze an ice cube in each hand for a minute? Elaine does. You may ask why was she melting ice in her bare hand multiple times a night over the last week..  good question. The ice is meant to offer Elaine perspective on how long contractions last during labor and allow me insight of giving her support through different relaxation techniques.

I had to laugh the first time we did the exercise and I heard the other mom-to-be quietly but bluntly say to her partner “Stop talking” and then moments later “Don’t touch me”. Later when the technique was reviewed she said she was glad he was there but didn’t want him touching or talking. Needless to say, I’m glad that we are not that couple. My big oops was accidentally breathing on Elaine. She got over it.

I think we’d both be happy if the ice simulated the amount of pain in a contraction and instead of it’s length, but she did a great job.

On to the nursery….
Elaine found a very cool ‘woodland creature’ decal set at Target and yesterday it went on the wall.

Elaine’s homemade and very cool paper mobile was hung above the crib (you can see them in the above photo too)

In non-baby news Elaine, Ruby and I went to Ellwood Mesa today and had a great picnic lunch. No seals, dolphins, or whales, but we did have a great walk and had lunch with a beautiful view.

Peace!

Guess what….. ((This is really happening!))

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Heap of baby laundry, round I

I had one of those moments while sorting our newly acquired heaps of baby clothes to be washed and put away. Where it hit me yet again that these weren’t just cute little gifts that have been spread around our second bedroom for the past couple weeks. These tiny little onesies and jumpers and hats and socks were going to be daily clothes for this new little one coming into our home.

The countdown has most definitely started. With only one week left of work, I’m a couple short days away from the 35 week mark. And it’s really beginning to hit me how soon this is all going to go down! Our due date is about 5 weeks away. We’ll have a tiny baby living with us in a very short time now. Months and months of abstract anticipation is starting to come to a head.

We went to our first birthing class last night. Now, I’m sure I’m going to eat these words come the day… but I’ve started to look forward to labor a bit. Maybe it’s because it’s the last wall to climb to get our baby here… but I also feel like there was something reassuring about having that class, that time and space, dedicated to talking about this process that has truly freaked me out for the past several months. Hearing aloud that all women, and their partners for that matter, have some set of fears around the process of birthing, whether vague or specific. It helps me to really sit with the fact that however difficult it is, so many women get through it again and again, sometimes multiple times in their lives. And I think, that one of the fears I’ve had is that I was going to somehow not be able to make it through. That it would be too much for me to handle and I wouldn’t be able to push through the whole process. But, as obvious as this may sound, last night helped me dissolve that gnawing concern a bit by realizing that getting through to the end is an inevitability. You can’t do much to stop or stall labor when you’re in the middle of it, you have to go with it, despite any pain or discomfort you’re feeling.

It was also great to have those reminders of what a great team Mark and I make. It’s one of the first things I remember discovering about him early in our relationship, and whether he realizes it or not, he seems to have an almost intuitive knowledge of how to support and comfort me. With all those things in my side pocket, my confidence is helping my view of labor shift from an abject fear to a growing curiosity.

I’m going to throw some photos in at the end here, none of which compare to the drawing Mark did in his first post that I am in love with! But since we are nearing the end… I figure that a few belly shots are in order.  The first couple of just me were taken on the day of the baby shower my mom and two sisters threw me down in Orange County (I’m still bummed I didn’t get pictures of the painted cutout drawings they made with my nieces of frogs, snails and puppy dog tails in various places around the backyard!). The one of Mark and me is just after the Santa Barbara shower that Nicole and Brett threw for us so that some of Mark’s friends could help us celebrate too. Both showers were so much fun! It’s such a great feeling to be surrounded by friends and family who love you and wish good things for your life. And our second bedroom is now really starting to feel like a baby room! Thanks to all the lovely shower gifts and some expert craigslist hunting on our part!

Double Belly shot at 33 weeks (front and side)

Mark and me after second baby shower (34 weeks)