Elizabeth Grant is a gifted writer and a loving mother of a vivacious one-year old, Hope. When I found out she she was pregnant with her second child, I knew she'd be the ideal woman to launch ourpregnancy knots. Insightful, compassionate, and wise, Liz inspires me each time I read her words (or even better, get to talk with her in person!)
How far along are you in your pregnancy?
"By this time this is published, I'll be into the beginning of my second trimester-- around 15 weeks. My baby is now fully formed in miniature, and is about the size of an apple. Pretty soon I will find out this child's gender (around 20 weeks), so the countdown is on! Since our first was a girl, my husband and I are hoping for a little guy this time around."
How are you feeling physically?
I battled nausea early in the pregnancy, but that has mostly disappeared now (thank goodness!). I feel easily tired. Since my daughter is a toddler, I am sure that does not help me feel energetic either. But the tiredness is a great excuse for me to take an afternoon nap while my toddler also snoozes.
How are you feeling emotionally?
In my first pregnancy, I remember being surprised by how vulnerable I felt, particularly near the end when it is so obvious you are pregnant. Strangers feel comfortable remarking about your weight or touching your stomach, which are all behaviors that are normally socially unacceptable. It felt weird to be under the microscope like that. At this point in this pregnancy, though, I just feel excited for this baby to grow, to see my own stomach grow accordingly, and then to show off this miracle going on inside me with a huge belly -- which tells me that I must really feel thrilled to meet this kid!
How have you been preparing for childbirth? (any book recommendations would be great!)
Of course, I meet with my midwife, and we talk about childbirth together. I also exercise 3-5 times a week, to stay strong and to help with my pregnancy back pain. But other than that, I read like crazy! My favorites are Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin and Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz, PhD. Ina May's book is a midwifery classic with fascinating information about birth, although to me, the best part of the book were the 100 pages of natural birth stories! Those stories helped me believe that my body really was designed to make and deliver a baby, and that if I wanted, I really could do it!Birthing From Within is less scientific, but super practical. I found the pain techniques crucial for making my first child's natural birth a success, and the advice to the husbands is worth the money you paid for the book (so says my husband, anyway). I also found the documentary "The Business of Being Born" informative and the BBC series "Call the Midwife" to be fun.
What do you love most about being pregnant?
So far, my favorite part from last time is still a ways away: I loved feeling and seeing my baby girl kick. Often, it looked like a wave on my belly and it cracked me up to watch the show. It was a great reminder that there really was a baby in there, especially when I could make out a hand or footprint. This time, I love that my church community gets to watch this baby grow right next to me. We host a group of friends from church in our home every week, and they get to watch the whole process of this baby's growth, birth, and then life. It is a gift to share that with a community who finds your baby as precious as you do.
I craved mocha ice cream last Sunday, and anything crunchy sounds scrumptious. But I can no longer stomach mushrooms, which is sad for my husband-- he could eat mushrooms every day.
What makes you feel the best right now?
Sleep and back massages! My husband is sweet and makes sure both are available to me whenever I need them.
Anything else you'd like to share with pregnant mamas?
Your own strength will surprise you, both in the rest of your pregnancy, in your birth, and as a mother. You are a lot stronger and braver than you think! And if you are considering a home birth or even a natural birth (no drugs), I would encourage you to talk with a midwife and other women who have done both successfully. You can find a horror story for everything, but the success stories will be the ones that help you set a direction for your pregnancy. You do not have to be a hippie to have a home birth (I am a prime example of that!). Oh, and one last thing: try not to read the comments on BabyCenter. It's horror stories galore! I'd recommend asking friends about their birth stories instead; they'll be honored you asked, and you'll get a fun coffee date out of it to boot. It's a win for everyone.