I have the minivan, planned car seat and sleeping arrangements in my mind and washed all the things for a brand new baby. Now we patiently wait as I grow more sleep deprived with frequent trips to the bathroom preparing me for newborn feedings. I am almost 36 weeks pregnant and nearly full-term, which means I will be safely allowed to have our fourth child at home. This past month has been filled with preparing. Preparing my children, preparing all the supplies I would need for home birth and a newborn baby and preparing mentally for all the changes that will be taking place.
I am so blessed that the girls are at such a responsible age. A few times this past month I have slept a little later than normal. I am usually up around 5:30 with a good hour and a half to myself. The girls have been starting their chores without my reminders. They each have a list of things to accomplish in the mornings. I have woken up to fried eggs, hot tea and fresh fruit on days that I have needed a few extra hours of sleep. For seven and nine my girls are such a huge help with their two year old sister. They help with changing her, baths and playtime. They teach Norah numbers, colors and shapes. They read to her and she sometimes falls asleep during nap time stories of Curious George. Siblings are such a gift but I try to remember to not burden them with too much responsibility. They enjoy having a baby sister so much and I hope that is always the case.
This will be the first home birth that I will have experienced. With my first two births I had the girls at a local hospital and had a two night stay with each. Norah was born at a birthing center and our total time there was less than six hours. I tucked my older two girls in bed, left for the center and then returned by 4am to surprise Mia and Madelyn with a baby sister. The gender was a surprise and it made it all the more exciting. Read here or watch the video here. It was such an amazing experience and gave me the courage to have Baby Boy at home under the care of my amazing midwife. Next week my midwife comes for a home visit. My birthing kit just arrived. There are a few more things on the list that need to be purchased hopefully by this weekend. I am not usually one to wait until the last minute but the end of the pregnancy has snuck up on me. Staying busy with the girls has really helped.
The biggest part of preparing for baby is just making sure that I am in a great place mentally. I can ask all the questions, watch all the videos, read all the blogs and books about what to expect but having mental peace is the biggest part of any successful birthing experience whether it is in the hospital, at home or a birthing center. I am truly grateful for my husband and all the research he has completed in order to prepare both of us. He also stresses my need to be calm and have peace of mind about how we plan to meet our baby. He constantly asks and gauges my mood and physical well being. He is a rock and shoulders extra house work, meals and time with the kids to give me extra rest. A big thing that has really helped me with having Norah naturally and prepare me for this baby is morning prayer. I start the morning off with my rosary and the daily gospel. I then proceed to write positive affirmations about our family and the newest family member. It is not helpful for me to hear negative outcomes or to listen to people’s negative experiences. Although they are difficult to avoid sometimes I have learned that flooding my mind with how I want the birth to go and talking with friends that will lift me up are very important. This past month I shared about the amazing friends that have showered me with gifts, parties and their time. Having so much support has been such a big part of my calm disposition. My mom has already planned to stay with me before and after baby arrives. My sister lives ten minutes away if I should need help with anything. I am reminded daily of the blessings I already have and are about to receive in the form of a baby boy. The amount of love and support I have is overwhelming. Physical exhaustion is real and the pain of carrying baby number four has been more challenging but I can do all things through God who strengthens me.