With the start of the new year, I started the 3rd trimester which means there has been a lot more to think about. Namely, the fact that my sweet little Snow Pea, is getting much bigger every day and getting ready to make her debut into the world! It's just unbelievable to me much closer that day is, and we are trying to do a lot to get ready for it.
Last week was the big preparation kick off. Chad and I went to our first class on childbirth, which gave a great overview of the process, steps and choices during labor and delivery. This was just a free, one time class offered by a cord blood banking company in our area, but we still learned a lot and it made us more excited than nervous for what's to come. Thanks to the nurse who taught this course, I can now say for certain that I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past two weeks. Wow is that a weird feeling! The first time I really felt one it seemed like Snow Pea was trying push her way out of my tummy through my belly button! Now that I know what it is though, I often go through the day barely noticing them.
We also attended a breastfeeding class offered by the same company and nurse. Chad questioned whether there could really be enough information for us to learn to fill up two hours since he has been reading about it lately, and I also think he wondered whether he really needed to be there since I'd be the one actually doing the breastfeeding. But I thought it was important for both of us to really understand as much as we can and to feel confident so that I'd have a higher chance of success. We really did learn a lot and even though we had both read some of the information before, it reinforces it to have an expert you can talk to face to face to reinforce it. My goal is to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, but I know it is not always easy, so I am happy to use all of the resources I can find.
And in the end, Chad was of course, really glad he came. He is loving all things "baby class" and told me to sign us up for anything and everything. In a few weeks we will be going the class on baby basics as well where they go over everything from to feed and change a diaper to infant CPR. As a longtime nanny of infants, I have the diaper changing stuff down but Chad has vowed to make his first diaper change his child's so I think he'll have a lot of fun at this one.
For myself, I have started attending a pre-natal yoga class. I've been twice now and I really think it is helping my posture and the soreness I was starting to get in my back. It is also very relaxing, and the instructor has given me a lot of great tips for comfortable positions and breathing to use during labor. She also teaches a Mommy & Baby class, which I think will be great once Snow Pea is born.
In addition to all this learnin' we've been doing, we also started meeting with pediatricians. This is the part that really makes Snow Pea's impending arrival feel real, because even though I have had a doctor to get me pregnant and then a doctor to see me through my pregnancy, now I have to think about getting her a doctor of her own! The man we met with yesterday is full of energy and seems to share a lot of our philosophies. Chad and I both really liked him and can see him being very good at treating kids of all ages. He has a solo practice though, so in a couple weeks we are also going to the open house at a group practice that was recommended to me so that we can compare and make an informed decision.
I have really loved these past few weeks getting educated and ready for the day we bring Snow Pea home in my arms instead of in my belly. In addition to all of the classes and meetings, we have both been reading up on different theories and styles of caring for infants and discussing the ideas that work for us and the ones that don't. I know we can parent without the books, but looking into the different schools of thought on feeding, sleeping and infant care now while I am still pregnant gives us the opportunity to really find out where we stand on these choices and to feel prepared to put them into practice when the time comes. And honestly the more I read and the more we learn, the more excited I am for that "put it into practice" day to be here! I can't wait for the parenting part!
Chad has been such a big part of this process and I have to say that seeing him so involved in this pregnancy and getting ready for our daughter makes me melt in a whole new way. Today marks 8 years that Chad and I have been a couple and I know it's cliche but I really do love him more and more every day. He is my lego, we fit together, and seeing him so excited about becoming a dad just reaffirms that. Since we got married, we save our "anniversary" for that date, but I have taken to calling today our non-iversary, because it is still a special day to me. So to celebrate 8 years we are doing what else? Going to another class! Tonight, we start the 3 week long childbirth preparation class at the hospital. I'm so excited to learn more about preparing and relaxing for labor and practicing all of the "Bill Cosby" breathing techniques.
Of course, I know that no matter how much I read or how many classes I take, nothing will fully prepare me to go through the realities of labor and delivery or for parenting itself, but I am excited to take on the challenges of motherhood and to have another opportunity to learn something from it each and every day .