Hi, everyone! I've been lurking since I found out I was pregnant, but I should really get it together and introduce myself. I had 3 losses in the eight months preceding this pregnancy (11w, 9w, and 4w) and so I was pretty cautious about joining in. At this point, however, I'm well into the second trimester (23 weeks!) and I'm working to shed my residual fear and focus on our happiness and excitement. (And bond with this baby, who's going to stick and be born and live with us. Right?)
My name is Shannon, and I turned 39 earlier this week. I have a 14-old-daughter from my first marriage. DH and I have been together almost 9 years. We always wanted at least one more child, but we dealt with one stressful financial situation/job situation/etc. after another. All three of us -- DH, DD, and myself -- are very, very happy to be expecting this one (a girl!) around mid-June. After going kind of hyper-medical with recurrent loss testing and treatment, we're planning a homebirth. As I mentioned before, I'm trying to shake off my fears and just glory in this pregnancy. I've been outfitting my birthing area, making cloth diapers, re-reading boks on breastfeeding and attachment parenting -- in general, just letting myself believe this will have a happy outcome.
I'd love to get your ideas on how to help this feel more "real" (ie., less doubtful) and celebrate this baby. This process isn't just about me, but also about DH and DD, who lived through the losses right alongside me. Our social circle is pretty limited, and sometimes I feel a little down that few other people are excited about (or even aware of) this baby on the way. DH's parents and my mother have all passed away (and my father lives in an another state and is wrapped up in his own financial and health issues). DH and I both work from home, so we don't have casual coworker friendships. I left my previous job when my first miscarriage was impending, and didn't stay connected with anyone over that horrible year of losses.
Some things we're doing:
- I don't really hang out on Facebook, but DH does, and I think he plans to "out" us next Wednesday (when we reach 24 weeks). Most of his friends are out of state, and many have never met me. However, I'm hoping they'll give him lots of love and hoopla as a first-time birth-dad to be.
- I've asked my daughter to hold a shower, and she's getting excited about the planning: most of the attendees will be her teen friends (so a big focus of the celebration will be her becoming a big sister), plus their parents/families (we're pretty close to one family, and at least mildly friendly with another), plus two other couples we know as a family. Obviously, the focus won't be on gifts, but just on happy anticipation. I think DD plans for everyone to decorate onesies/shirts/socks.
- Hmmm -- I may suggest that DD announce on Facebook as well. We've kept everything under wraps for so long that the whole thing feels kind of illicit! She has a lot of extended family on her birth father's side who should be happy for her, even though the baby won't be related to them in the same way.
- I've started wearing maternity clothes, after getting by with oversized tops and skirts.
- I'm giving in to the urge to "acquire" a few things (although, not much to buy for a breastfeeding, cosleeping baby) -- we've laid in some cute blankets, clothes, a diaper bag.
- I'm making diapers and some simple clothes.
- I'm thinking about starting a pregnancy/baby book on Mixbook or some such. We have lots of US pics (from going a little hyper-medical). I'd also include pictures of the family from this pregnancy -- our trip to Las Vegas, the concerts we've been to, etc. I think once the baby is a toddler/little kid, she'd love to hear about all the places she went and things she did while still inside me.
- I'm going to join the bead swap!
Any other ideas? How do you revel in your pregnancy? How do you encourage your DH and older children to "own" the experience?