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Week 32: Baby fever

Week 32: Baby fever

A heat wave has swept the City of Atlanta this week with temperatures peaking in the very high 90s. Nobody is happy about it, but at least we have a pool in our neighborhood where I’ve been able to find respite. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Being in water, especially in...

Week32A heat wave has swept the City of Atlanta this week with temperatures peaking in the very high 90s. Nobody is happy about it, but at least we have a pool in our neighborhood where I’ve been able to find respite. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Being in water, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy, is an absolute godsend. The weightlessness brings instant relief, and there’s something about water that just soothes, you know?
Anaïs and I made our way to the pool yesterday for some fun. As she ran around in the splash pad and waded in the shallow water, I sat along the edge for some people watching. There was a surprising number of fellow pregnant ladies who were doing the same exact thing I was doing! And it got me excited seeing these other moms and their bellies trucking along even in this summer heat.
In the last several months, four girlfriends of mine have had babies. Another is going to have her baby any day now. And another just found out she’s pregnant! Based on sheer and casual observation alone, it feels like there’s been a recent resurgence in births. Or maybe I’m just at the age where everyone around me is building a family. It’s such a beautiful thing to see! We all somehow caught the fever at the same time, and now these happy healthy babies are being born. It got me wondering how many of these moms are first-time moms or whether or not they’ve had babies before. Are they feeling any anxiety being pregnant? Do they have that strong nesting urge that somehow hits ladies around the same time? Or are they just floating on by like an easy breeze? In short: How prepared do they feel?
One of my aforementioned friends who recently had her baby told me, “You will never feel ready. Even when your due date arrives or you know you’ll be having your baby in that moment, you still won’t be ready.” That put it into perspective and took some pressure off of my timeline on when things need to be in order. It’s like, no matter how much we prepare or plan, we won’t really know what it’ll be like the second those contractions start and baby is really making his exit.
At the same time, isn’t readiness kind of relative? There’s one part of preparing that involves setting up the nursery or the crib or even just cleaning up and babyproofing the house. And then there’s the other part that’s being mentally and emotionally prepared for a new member of the family. I think Jesse and I fall somewhere right in the middle. And so, to better aid us in this last trimester, I signed us up for a childbirth preparation class. We knocked it out the Saturday before we left for our babymoon. It was an intensive 8-hour class, and let me tell you: It served as an awesome refresher for me and an incredibly informative experience for Jesse. Our instructor was certified in childbirth education and is a doula who has attended more than 50 births. She was fantastic! She walked us through the three stages of labor, showed us some hands-on pain management techniques, talked about birth plans and answered any questions we may have had.
Having previously had a natural/drug-free birth with Anaïs, I wanted a similar experience at home this time around. The class validated my desires, and I think gave Jesse even more confidence to be the best partner and coach to me when the time comes to have the baby. In some ways, I feel like it might have even brought us closer together by more deeply opening up those lines of communication that we know we will have to use soon. The bottom line is: This baby is coming, and he’s coming soon. We are doing as much as we can do right now and enjoying every minute of it, even if that means we have to sweat through it all.

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