So far, all pictures of me with child, with this child, have all been mirror selfies at home. I'm happy to say that after next week I'll have something different. My friend Kim down the street asked to take maternity pictures to build her portfolio. I said of course! At first she told me she would like to do them in November, but this morning she asked if I was available sometime next week. She must have sized me up and decided she'd better not wait much longer! We're going to do it Tuesday right after the kids get on the bus, so the sun is still coming up. I'm already thinking about what to wear. I'm glad we'll be doing it in the morning when it will be cool enough to wear layers.
I took Tim with me to my 30-week visit with Joanne the midwife. This was his first time meeting her, since my appointments usually happen when he's traveling. I had bloodwork done, and we talked about the OB appointment I'm going to have in the next few weeks. In SC it's the law that if you're having a homebirth, you have to see an OB at least once in the first and third trimesters. We discussed our expectations for the day of the birth, and I brought up the possibility of one or both of the girls seeing their new brother being born. Neither of them has expressed an interest in being there when it happens, so I don't think it's something I would wake them up at night or keep them home from school for. But if they want to be there, I won't turn them away as long as they can stay quiet and not distract me. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a sibling being born. I myself have never witnessed a birth. As of now, I think we'll just play it by ear. What else..? Joanne discovered during her examination that the baby is breech. At this point it's nothing to worry about, but she said if he's still breech by the end of this month, I should look into a Webster-certified chiropractor to get him to turn. I have already looked one up, and I might just proactively make an appointment with her, since chiropractic care before birth is a good idea anyway. If there are any imbalances in my spine or pelvis, she can address those sooner rather than later. But she's about 40 minutes away, so it would be one more thing to drive to, so I'm still hesitating. In the meantime, I've checked out Spinning Babies, read up on optimal positioning for both me and the baby, and tried some techniques to help breech babies turn. It was comical the first couple times I tried doing inversions with Tim's help. Prenatal yoga, which I've been doing all along, is also said to help with getting the baby into a good positions. The other three kids never gave me any problems in that regard, so I have to imagine this little man will settle into a good head-down position once he runs out of room. The way he's been moving around tells me he still has all kinds of room and is just in no hurry to settle down.
For my reference later, I weighed in at 134, so still on track with my weight gain.
A few days after this appointment I took to the Internet in search of a good homebirth book for kids, just to get them all thinking about what to expect. There aren't many out there, and I was not impressed with most of them either because of the content or the illustrations. I ended up finding exactly ONE that I liked, and I ordered it right away. It's called Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born. It's very realistic but not graphic, and is written for young children. I love all the details of the pictures. The girls have both read it, and I'll have to read it to Timmy soon too, even though it's not one that he would ask for. I leave it on the coffee table at all times, hoping that one of them will flip through it and maybe ask questions. So far it has prompted no questions and no discussions.
Another book I like to keep handy for the kids that's just pregnancy- and birth-related, is Angel in the Waters. It is written from the point of view of the baby, from the beginning when he "was", to his growth and development, to his birth, and then a little beyond that. His angel is there with him to help him understand what is happening. The baby needs lots of comfort from his angel to process having to leave the safe, comfortable world he's accustomed to, to enter a loud, bright, new one. At the end of the book the angel tells him that when it's time he will guide him from this new world world to an even bigger world someday. It's a really sweet story.
I have a lot to do over the next several weeks. Training the girls to do more around the house has been ongoing, and I think I'd better try to get Timmy dressing himself consistently on school mornings. He can and sometimes will on his own, but he still likes my help, so getting him to see the advantage in doing it himself is going to be tricky. I've finally gotten Christmas shopping well underway, so in November we can start preparing for this baby in earnest. I am enjoying solid nights of good sleep, and solitude in the morning while all the kids are in school. My house looks really nice, and I'm going to enjoy that while I can, before the chaos starts.