Wow! If you read my last blog post, that was a mere 19 weeks ago! We’ve since found out that we will be welcoming our first boy into the family with open arms and open hearts, when he is ready. He will be born at home in water in the birthing pool with our two midwives, and our two very excited daughters who will have the choice to be as little or as much involved as they wish to be. At this stage, our eldest is convinced that her baby brother will be born “in his sac”, and this is a thought that seems to delight her! Our youngest is still deciding which pair of bathers to wear in the pool…
I’d intended on writing weekly installments on my pregnancy journey, but this, my third pregnancy, has shown me that my ‘normal’ is that I experience strong and constant nausea from around the sixth week to the early twenties. I’ve never responded well to medication, it is always my absolutely last resort, and pregnancy is not a time where I feel at all confident in experimenting – I am a vessel for my baby, and must be aware that I am stepping into the unknown if I choose medication. I find the little things that work for me, even though that is very changeable. I largely retreat from the world and go within, listen to my body and I do what I can do. I also focus on my breathing and remind myself of my strength – constant positive affirmations to myself that I can do this, I will get through this…and here I am – standing in the light at the end of the tunnel, feeling the gratitude wash over me!
As I transition out of a space which was challenging to say the least, I’m now noticing a few things that are different for me this time, and they are because of some conscious, some sub-conscious, changes that I have chosen to make, and I’d like to share them with you.
With the nausea behind me and a huge appetite, I am still however experiencing reflux, and need to choose what I eat carefully. Some of my favourites are just out for the time being; mainly garlic, onions, tomatoes and capsicums. If I need relief from the acidic feeling, I have been finding that either about half a teaspoon of organic coconut oil (just eaten straight from the spoon) or some Slippery Elm powder prepared as a warm drink to sip after meals to be really, sometimes instantly, soothing. Slippery Elm Bark is a herb which exerts a demulcent action. The mucilage creates a coating on the mucosal lining of the oesophagus and stomach.
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My energy levels are lifting again, and I’ve felt a real difference just in the past few days that I’ve made a conscious effort to make fruit and vegetable juices. They have consisted of orange, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, apple, silverbeet and broccoli, in whatever amount of each I feel like putting in, a tray of ice cubes, and a large glass of purified water. We have a juicer, but it’s now ‘getting on a bit’, and is ridiculously time consuming to prepare and clean, so I thought I’d just experiment with our high powered blender – success! This gives me a near-full jug of juice, which I also give to my kids who love it! It’s refreshing, revitalising and satisfying, and I can feel baby giving me the thumbs up!
The benefits of using an exercise ball, yoga bolster and squatting
As I write this, I am sitting on my large exercise ball. My feet are wide, and my hips are rolled forward. I’ve used the ball during the whole pregnancy (and haven’t before) and am realising that although I can feel the weight increasing in my belly, and have been getting a few accompanying ‘stretching’ pains through my sides, I have no back or hip pain this time around. I have also slept with a yoga bolster between my knees for the entire pregnancy, rather than just adopting this once I had back or hip issues previously, and I feel that this has helped me a lot.
When loading or emptying the dishwasher or washing machine, picking up things from the floor or whatever requires me to bend down for, I squat, using my leg muscles and keeping my feet flat on the ground. I can feel my hips open and widen when I do, and my baby boy seems to slip down when I do this most times, too…gravity! So helpful to us in pregnancy and birth! As well as for daily chores, I plan to set aside some time to do more and more squats as my pregnancy progresses.
Whilst it hasn’t come to mind the last two pregnancies, encapsulating my placenta has become very important to me this time, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the capsules make me feel and what I notice. I will also very much look forward to sharing my experience with you all!
Having birthed my placenta unhindered during my last homebirth, and then holding and feeling its energy, I was in awe of it. I acknowledge their power, and it excites me to think of taking all of that vital and potent energy back into my body!
I also believe that this will be the last time that I am pregnant, as I don’t see another soul who wants to come in to our lives. It feels as though after our beautiful boy, our family will be complete. So I guess on another level, encapsulating and ingesting my last baby’s placenta, and being so heavily and intricately involved in his birth and the whole process, that for me, this will help with the finalisation of being a child-bearing woman, and with the emotions that come with that realisation.
I’ll write more next week…
From the Womb to the World
So, how is your pregnancy journey unfolding for you? How many weeks into your journey are you? If this is a subsequent pregnancy, what are you doing differently that you would like to share?
Do you need music for your birth?