Don’t eat pokeweed.

Due date has come and gone, but I feel fine about it. There’s really no such thing as "overdue" in my book. Baby is supposed to come when baby is supposed to come. But, it was funny to think yesterday that I’d put in my obligatory 40 weeks. I have been dealing with some feelings of restlessness- due in part to all the expectant people all around me wondering if anything is "happening", and also because I have lots of prelabor symptoms this time around that I didn’t have with Vera- it keeps me on my toes. With Vera I had some mild cramping about two weeks before for like an hour, and then when I felt anything funny again it was just labor. This time, I’ve felt mildly crampy every day for the past week or so, and there have been two nights in particular where I was so uncomfortable it woke me from sleep and I actually got up at like 4:30am. Thankfully, I’m not too frustrated with it because I know my body is doing good work, and my midwives say it’s much more common in subsequent pregnancies to have these symptoms because your body is just somewhat seasoned to it. I also know what labor feels like, and so I’ve felt pretty relaxed about the things I’m feeling because none of it has progressed into that. No false alarms yet, just… I’m a little tired. I’m also anxious to have my body back. There are lots of things I would be doing with my time (mostly stuff outside and in the garden) that I’m just not into right now. Soon enough. I think gardening will be a great gentle form of exercise in the early days after. Good for me to save it. 🙂

Did you know that babies born even a week earlier than they are supposed to can have difficulties nursing/breathing? It makes me squirm to think about all those babies who are induced/scheduled to come out who needed just another week. Of course there are situations where that risk may be safer than letting those babies stay in, but I think they are rare. Anyway, I thought about it because my dad was telling someone that he was waiting on a new grandbaby, and the guy said "Oh, did they schedule her induction? You know, if she goes overdue?" And then just on Sunday, I was asked what I was going to "do" about the baby. I just kind of giggled and said we’re happy to wait. It’s just funny, how much people try to control in terms of the biological process itself… I suppose those options are out there and people definitely utilize them. I’m much happier doing a little yoga and catching up on my reading. But it’s also getting a little daunting to go out lately. I can’t seem to go anywhere without comments. I totally understand them, but what I think people don’t understand about a pregnant woman is that she’s not used to having random people (or even people she knows) comment on her body every time she’s in public. It’s… weird. And I don’t really like being the center of attention, I’m a naturally kind of shy person. We walked up to the party store yesterday as a family, and the guy behind the counter said we should probably just go sit in the hospital parking lot (I didn’t bother saying anything about the fact that we’re doing it at home)… and then coming out a guy on a bike said "Oooh, that’s any day now!" That was just in a 2 block walk. I realized this probably comes off as whiny, but I don’t really mean it that way. It’s just a unique experience. The experience of having your body be sort of… public domain. Er, at least it’s treated that way sometimes. Anyway. Enough of that.

One of our brown chickens is laying! The egg right there on the top that’s a little lighter? That’s the one. It’s slightly smaller, and I could just tell it wasn’t from the barred rocks. It’s funny how you begin to know your chickens and what comes from them… Anyway, so we got THREE eggs yesterday, and I was so excited! I leave the coop area every day saying "Thank you ladies!!!!" and cooing at them. It’s so much better to get our food this way. 

We’re expanding their run to where the 4x4s are. That’ll be the edge of our greenhouse. We want them to have more space. We plan to put up more roosting areas, etc. It should be a cool space. Plus they like to DIG. So we want a little more area for them to roam and forage. I’m also thinking that we’ll set up an indoor compost with the red wriggler worms- both to give us fast compost (we don’t really utilize our outdoor one for actual compost, we just keep throwing food scraps in and it never seems to get full…) and also to give them live food. Apparently those worms reproduce like crazy! 

And just a little blurry Vera. Sweet girl. I think she’s going through some kind of a mental/physical spurt lately, in addition to knowing that things are about to change, and it’s made her both wildly entertaining and also pretty whiny and irritating at times. I think she’s just working it all out, so I’m doing my best to just communicate and stay patient with her. Her language is really developing, and we just have whole conversations. It’s so SO fun to have whole conversations with your two year old, just so you know. Her favorite song is definitely "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and her favorite book is Pig’s Picnic.

Jeff and I have talked about really using the next month with her well (while Jeff is home). We’ll take trips to the zoo, to the beach, etc. But I’m thinking we’ll also have daily rituals. Like, we all have breakfast and then Mama & Vera go for a walk. Then later Jeff & Vera do something specific. Something that we can stick to even after he goes back to work. 

Oh, and last but not least- garlic. I waited too long to braid all of it, so I’ve got a basket full of the stuff that was too brittle. But this I was able to braid and just hung it in my kitchen for fun.

Over the next few days my plans are to stay occupied and relaxed. I’m going to do more garden research- it’s time to plan for fall and see what else needs planting now. I’m going to work on some crafts- I still haven’t done V’s big sister doll, but I think I can whip it together quickly, even if baby comes before it’s done. I can always tie up loose ends around the house. I’m liking doing this simple yoga- it’s just 10 minutes of peace. And I’m able to actually get some reading done lately. Maybe I should whip up one of those reading pillows for myself. It could come in really handy in the coming weeks. Ishmael is shaping up to be really good, of course. I’ll have more to say on that book very soon.

🙂

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (30)

  1. pagangoat

    I completely get what you’re saying about all the comments. I felt a bit like telling people to shut the frack up, it was so rude and invasive. I’ve never felt the urge to tell a pregnant woman that she looks ‘so huge’, or ‘ready to pop’, or any one of the other annoying/slightly insulting phrases I heard. Although, I’m not saying all the attention was negative, because some people were really sweet, and I even had a few interesting conversations about birth with random strangers:)

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, I think people just want to be involved, but in some ways it’s as if they assume that you have no feelings about the fact that it’s YOUR BODY and that it has changed very rapidly and quickly became the center of attention. It’s still yours, and it’s not something to be gawked at… and I think every woman probably has issues with talk of size, unfortunately. But yeah, the birth convos are cool- there’s lots of great conversation to be had too, so that’s a really good point. That’s something I don’t want to forget. The cool German guy I met at the auction who was so pleased I was homebirthing and drinking raw milk… 🙂

      Reply
  2. ladyfaith3

    I am excited for you! I can’t wait to hear about the baby but I am trying not to be a pest 🙂

    My little guy is thriving, he’s got baby fat everywhere! I love it! Having my “body back” is sort of nice I get kind of anxious to look like I did before I was pregnant and have to remind myself he’s only four weeks old!

    I am loving summer veggies from friends and markets-especially squash and tomatos! Your garden looks amazing!

    Little Vera is so cute! She’ll look so much bigger when the baby does arrive, my three yr old Jabin seems to be growing as fast as the baby suddenly- she looks more like a four year old to me…she talks likes a big kid and remembers all kinds of things with detail that she didn’t before. Sometimes it makes me sad to see them grow up so fast! Other times I rejoyce at how cool the little stinkers are! Bright and funny and very much their own!
    I am enjoying your posts 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      A pest! Not in the slightest! I’m really glad that people are excited- I know I was just tapping my toes waiting for your little guy. 🙂

      I have heard that about kids looking enormous next to their newborn siblings. haha. Vera still seems so little to me!

      I’d love to see some pictures of that baby fat!

      Reply
  3. littleloveflame

    My heart will be with you when you bring forth the new beautiful soul – a gift to the world 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      What a lovely comment. Thank you. I appreciate all the love sent my way right now. 🙂

      Reply
  4. david_anderson

    Cool! You just validated my social incompetence! I never really know what to say to very pregnant women that I don’t know that well, so I just talk to them about other things.

    I’d be much more likely to talk about your garden or your eggs anyway, they are topics I’m a lot more comfortable with. We are having a really cool summer, and we are just at the scape picking part of our garlic season. Seeing yours all braided up has my mouth watering. Fresh picked garlic cooked into fresh picked eggs = yum!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Haha awesome! Yeah, it’s not that we don’t want to talk about it, but it’s so so refreshing to have someone talk about other stuff! We’re still just the same old people doing what we do- we just have a whole baby in our bellies. Anyway, you are doing a good thing in my opinion, talking to them like they are just themselves and not “pregnant woman”. 😉

      I think I planted an early variety of garlic- I only got two scapes and then it all flopped over and turned yellow. This year I’m going to get one that people like to plant in this area and experiment with it. Although I cooked with some of it yesterday and it was SO GOOD.

      Reply
      1. david_anderson

        I’ll talk to my friends about their big ol bellies, and they always get the nickname of “slim” for the last few months, but that’s just a small part of the conversation because we have so much else in common. They are still the friend that I have lots of other stuff in common with. I figure they will tell me it there is any significant milestones.

        If I don’t know them, and don’t know their situation, it just seems risky to “go there” much beyond asking a question like “when are you due?” And I only do that if there are other reasons for us to be talking in the first place.

        On a similar note, one thing I learned when my dad was terminally ill, was you always ask the caregivers about themselves, before asking about the sick person. You aren’t just a pregnant woman, and they aren’t just a caregiver.

        If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up like me. Every year I grow saved garlic of every variety from the previous year, and add a couple new ones. Just like tomatoes and potatoes, they are all so wonderfully different that it becomes an addiction.

        Reply
  5. decemberthirty

    I totally understand what you’re saying about the people who make comments to you in public. It’s seems like pregnancy really underlines the degree to which women’s bodies are seen as public commodities, available to be commented on, judged, etc. Most people who say these things to you probably think they’re just being funny or friendly or whatever, but don’t realize how it comes across.

    I have a random question for you: is Vera named after anyone? It’s such a pretty name, but it’s one that you don’t hear very often (or I don’t, at least!)

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That is a really good point. It is definitely coming from a friendly place, I think, but is still sometimes inappropriate. I haven’t had much trouble with this, but I hear from lots of women about people touching them without asking and how uncomfortable it makes them. People don’t think about it really. I think it would be great if after everyone got done rubbing and talking to your belly without asking, we all just said “My turn!” and then rubbed and cooed at their bellies back. haha.

      Vera is a family name, actually. Although we didn’t know that when we picked it. It means “faith” in Russian, and “truth” in Latin. I just liked it- it felt so appropriate at the time, and it was sort of rare but not odd. But then before she was born I found out that it was a family name. There’s this old story of a great great aunt named “Primrose” who ran away from her family to join the circus (no joke). She was an aerialist and we’re told fell to her death… Anyway, it’s a well known story in my family. It turns out that she just went by her middle name, and that her full name was “Vera Primrose”! So we thought it was perfect, although we joke about keeping Vera far away from the circus…

      🙂

      Reply
      1. david_anderson

        Whenever I see someone walk up to a pregnant woman and just start feeling her belly and talking to it, it makes me think of the scene in 16 candles where the grandma goes “oh look! she’s got boobies!” then feels her up. It’s just so wrong, but the person has no clue.

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Haha, horrible!

          Reply
      2. decemberthirty

        Ha! That “My turn!” idea is great! That would be a real shock to some people, I’m sure.

        And the story of Vera Primrose is great too. I mean, sure, she came to an unfortunate end, but it’s wonderful for your daughter to share the name of a woman who obviously was not willing to be held back by fear.

        Reply
  6. purerandomness

    Your garlic looks so awesome! 🙂 What a fun little thing to have hanging around the house.

    I’m sorry you’re going through days (and weeks!) of pre-labor. That has to be draining, physically and emotionally. I’m glad you’re taking the time to relax as much as you can.

    I love the picture of Vera standing on tippy-toes! How adorable. Such a sweet girl. I’m sure she knows subconsciously that something BIG is going to happen and it will rock her world (in a good way)! I’m glad she’s so verbal and can let you know to a point what is bothering her.

    Peaceful thoughts 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you! I love your peaceful thoughts… and that lavender bath is calling my name soon!

      Reply
      1. purerandomness

        This site was recently linked to in the naturalbirth community and I immediately thought of you! http://www.rawmom.com/
        I don’t know how much you ascribe to the ‘raw diet’ mindset, but this (http://www.rawmom.com/raw-mom-blog/archives/2845) was linked there and this recipe (http://www.rawmom.com/raw-mom-blog/archives/2923) looked pretty yummy!
        🙂

        I made carrot-tops pesto last night after I thinned our row of carrots and we had it with pasta tonight. Tasty!

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          I’m all about raw foods! I don’t think a vegan diet is healthy, though (which it looks like the site promotes), and I also think that we have to cook some foods in order to get the best out of them… but in theory I’m all about some raw smoothie goodness!

          That chia fairy garden is soooo adorable. I really might have to do that with Vera soon. She’d love it. Thanks for the link!

          Reply
  7. pithy_epigrams

    My brother Dylan and I were about three weeks late. And, as you know, my parents are both physicians, and have not seen many problems with such occurrences. People need to trust a woman’s ability to give birth! Sad that so many people doubt their bodies signals.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Your parents are also really awesome, and a total exception to the norm in most areas… but yeah, truly babies just can come at different times. I hate that the system is so often set up in one way, when birth just does not work that way!

      Reply
  8. unicorntapestry

    Grace!!! I am coming to seeeeeeee youuuuuuuuuu!!!!! Five more days….

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      OMG! So fun! Hopefully I will have a little bundle for you to meet. 🙂

      Reply
  9. haurelia

    Grace, I totally understand where you’re coming from with the commentary. And I totally second David’s comment about just talking about normal stuff. While some folks do get consumed by being pregnant, most of us just want to be our normal selves having our usual conversations and minding our usual business! 🙂

    Vera looks like such a girl now, and not a baby. She’s lovely and I’m sure, very challenging as her sense of self and independence are developing. Plus, she’s gotta feel the vibes that life is soon to change radically for her family. She’s lucky to have a patient and loving mama who respects her for all that she is.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I can’t believe how big Henry is now, too! He’s soooo beautiful. I am often a little sad that I can’t come knock on your door and have a cup of tea…

      Reply
      1. haurelia

        Thanks! He’s quite a character…it’s amazing to see his changes happening before my very eyes.
        I, too, wish we could just walk down the street and chat in person!

        Reply
  10. wolfteaparty

    I find it saddening how “normal” induction weeks before the due date has become. There was recently an article I saw where women were being urged not to “shortchange” their babies by inducing early, because like you said, they can have problems even a couple of weeks early.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I know! It’s craziness, especially given the great risks associated with it. It’s amazing to me that it goes on the way that it does. Both the inductions that I attended as a doula ended up as cesareans… So much about birth in this country is just really confusing to me. I find it’s like so much else- from trying to pick a sunscreen to having your baby, you can’t just trust that it won’t be a toxic thing… you have to dig deep and find out what’s truly best and safest for you.

      Reply
      1. wolfteaparty

        I was induced, and then born by cesarean. It seems like it’s getting a lot more common these days, though…

        I see birth in this country as a chain reaction. My theory: Doctors fear malpractice suits and are under a lot of pressure so they do c-sections at the drop of a hat, and patients put their complete trust in a doctor and don’t realize doctors can make mistakes too. Then both the patients and the doctors almost forget what it’s like to not be induced and/or have c-sections, even when there is no compelling reason to induce. While not every birth goes perfectly, I think more people need to trust their intuition and look at alternatives. I, personally, have heard way too many horror stories about the way women are treated in hospitals…

        Reply
  11. yayhappens

    -What you are describing about public domain is something I have a similar experience with for being tattooed. People want me to shift my clothes or take off enough so they can get a good look. They want me to tell them the very intimate spiritual meaning I have placed on them without us being on that level. It can be very intrusive and violating even if they mean well. I know it’s not nearly the same as what you are experiencing. There are just some cases where it would be nice if people could contain themselves. lol.

    -Vera is just so precious. Your consistent capture of her spirit in photographs really speaks volumes about her personality. It would be so cool to hear her talk. *begs for a voice post!* =P

    -I really want to have chickens!!! Yay for their eggs. Are they really talkative throughout the day? Also, when it comes wintertime how do you keep them warm in their coop?

    Your garlic braids look great! No sparkly vampires will be at your place anytime soon! 😉

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I don’t see how it’s that different- we’ve both become spectacles when we weren’t comfortable with it. Although in my case, it’s only temporary. 🙂 That’s interesting about your tattoos… on the one hand I can totally see your point, but on the other I can see how people would just make the assumption that you’ve put them on your body to be seen and commented on. But that’s still totally an assumption, and it’s someone else’s body! Seems like when it comes to this kind of thing we should just tread carefully and ask ourselves if there’s a possibility that it could be an unwelcome comment. I don’t like to ask people to walk on eggshells, but at the same time completely unsolicited comments about someone else’s body from a stranger is just… not always going to be welcome. 🙂

      A voice post! What a good idea! I should totally take a video of her talking soon and post it. I’m surprised I haven’t done it yet!

      They cluck around all day, but one is super vocal- Peacock. She “baaaagaaaaaawk”s all the time. It’s great. Actually, I just found out that one of the old chickens that we sent to our friends house just crowed! Haha, so we know there was at least one rooster in the bunch!

      Reply

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