This week, we heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, and that familiar rhythmic chug that lies somewhere between the noise a train and a helicopter makes. When I ask Ava what the baby’s heartbeat sounds like she makes a ‘choo, choo, choo’ sound. I hope she remembers that.
I also found out, Ava being a rather large baby, that my tummy muscles split after having her, something I suspected when it took my tummy so long to return to normal. The fact that I was checked for this before I left hospital, then later went to see the doctor to check again (who did not check, but merely looked at me and said, ‘Some women take longer than others’) does nothing to appease my growing cynicism with people in positions of authority, especially when those people seemingly know more about your body and your baby than you do.
So anyway, what that all means is that I am likely to have a rather large bump this time around (as was expected) and that I should be doing a lot of yoga and other core strengthening exercises to make sure that my stomach stays as strong as possible. Which I am yet to do. But which I plan to start this very weekend. I might even get my maternity costume out and go swimming.
I plan, in fact, to do as much yoga as I can manage this time round, hoping that, along with the hypnobirthing, it might make for an even more positive birthing experience. I’d be happy if things went just the way they did last time, but I do hope it is a little shorter, and I’ve heard yoga can be very good at helping this.
I’m also hoping to avoid the lengthy and annoying process of delayed placenta delivery, which took bloody ages last time, and which nearly resulted in me having an epidural. Not what you want after 36 hours of drug-free labouring.
But such things cannot be neatly planned, and I am relieved at 17 weeks now to have a birth plan more or less sorted. This is a good thing. This makes me feel more relaxed. It is no longer just about Howard and I, but about Ava too, and what she will do and where she will be whilst I am, hopefully, having a home birth.
Now that November is here – surely the quickest of all months, no? – I feel as if time is about to fly past me at an alarming rate. I have so much to make for Yule. I’m not even thinking of anything baby related until Christmas is passed. And then once Christmas is passed, I will have that strange, grey, no-man’s land period of the first two months to fill with baby related things. Something to look forward to, but not something to worry about now.
I have elf hats to finish before my Yule making can begin. And I have late birthday presents to complete, too. If I want to make this year another handmade Christmas, it may well be a small handmade gift for all, unless I have a surge of energy and can suddenly start sewing into the wee hours again.
For now, I’ll leave you with a link to a video I watched at 1 in the morning the other night, unable to sleep, lying between a heavily asleep Howard and an out-of-it Ava. It’s a brilliant look at Unschooling from filmmaker Astra Taylor who was raised within an unschooling family.