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<p>The basics....<br>
give us your name, where you live, your age, how many kids you already have, when you're due (whatever you’re comfortable with!)<br><br>
What is your favorite food?<br><br>
Do you own any pets? What are they and what are their names?<br><br>
What's your favorite baby thing so far (that you've purchased or had given to you)?<br><br>
Do you like to read? What kinds of books?<br><br>
What's your favorite thing about being pregnant?<br><br>
Least favorite?<br><br>
And now, everyone feel free to jump in with your own questions!</p>
 

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<p>Hi there!  Oooh, this caught me by surprise!  I have been lurking but watching....</p>
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<p>My name is Melissa, I just moved to New Zealand from SE Alaska this year.  This is my first, we tried for a while in AK but nothing happened, but then in NZ - wham!  Got to say I am glad now as the pregnancy medical is all free here, I got to choose my own midwife, and I can have a hospital birth in a natural birth friendly hospital or I can have a homebirth, no cost!  All prenatal care is free too, but the cost of living is a lot higher. </p>
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<p>In AK I lived in the middle of nowhere, on an island, so if I were still there right now I would have been freezing my butt off driving our lil' open boat through the rain and storms every day.  It was great fun, off-the-grid, and stunningly beautiful, surrounded by wildlife (orcas swimming past the house, kayaking with seals, bears, and deer everywhere).   I had dairy goats, cats, dogs and chickens.  My goats were trained to jump in the boat and we would explore the surrounding islands.  The cats, dogs and goats would all come for hikes with hubby and I at low tide (the only time you could walk around easily, it was heavy duty rainforest everywhere, we had to kayak for exercise). </p>
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<p>Now in NZ we live in the hill country, it is beautiful, but just cows and sheep around.  I have a dairy sheep for yummy raw milk, a few lambs, 16 chickens, and a young jersey calf that I will milk when she is older.  I do appreciate being on the road system with electricity now that I am pregnant!  But I think it is a bit tame for hubby, he keeps coming up with wild plans for as soon as LO is old enough!</p>
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<p>Fav baby thing  - a hammock - thanks mamas - you were the ones who gave me that idea!  No, wait, the Hypnobabies course, I love it!  It is giving me ideas for how to reprogram my normal life brain too!</p>
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<p>Fav books - Tom Robbins, Jeanette Winterson, Ayn Rand...  No TV here but I love docos.</p>
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<p>Love most things about being pregnant, I appreciate it as I had to work at it, but have to say the sex drive rocks!</p>
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<p>Least fav thing - sore, sometimes puffy feet, and trying to haul around a ton of extra weight.  I had always been on the skinny side but have since piled on weight in absolute abundance and everyone loves telling me just how chunky/tubsy  (I am serious!) I have become!  </p>
 

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<p>My name is Melissa too! <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>Since you are going to be a first-time mom, what are you most looking forward to about being a parent? What scares you the most?</span></p>
 

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<p>That sounds amazing!!!!  (both AK and NZ!)  Did you choose the hospital or homebirth option?</p>
 

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<p>I think I am looking forward to just trying to raise a child in a free and beautiful way. Just vague ideas at this point, actually not terribly sure what I will do with bubs when he or she arrives, and that may be what scares me too.  What do I do with a baby - yikes!  Everyone seems to take it in their stride, but it is such a huge life change!  I know what I don't want to do, and will just have fun figuring the rest out!</p>
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<p>Not sure about whether I should go for the home or hospital option.  I thought I would be sure about it, but I am not.  What do you mamas think?  I am 1.5 hours away from the hosp if there is a problem, I am classified as "Remote Rural".  My midwife said there is enough time, you can see when something is going wrong, and will have another midwife, and possibly a student with her, and all the equipment.  I am not really worried about that, I am quite convinced I will have an easy, fast birthing time. </p>
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<p>The hospital is lovely though, and run by midwives, there are 3 OBs and they only pop in if called for an emergency.  It is like a hotel.  They take wonderful care of you, pamper you to bits, take care of all the washing and cleaning, and give you endless help with breastfeeding.  (This has been the biggest draw, as usually I hate hospitals, but the BF help would be great, although my midwife will visit me every day at home for a week and then weekly for 6 weeks).   The hospital is pro breastfeeding, immediate skin to skin, non circumcising, and they leave all the tests, including even weighing, to the next day, all of which are elective.  They like you to co-sleep and just about every other "nice" thing, my birth plan went out the window as most of what I would put on it is policy anyway.  The birthing room has big windows and ocean views and they have a big birth pool and unlimited hot water! You get your own room.   The only thing they don't do is allow hubby to stay at night, he has to stay across the road in another building, and I do not like being separated from him at all. </p>
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<p>But I love the idea of just hanging out at home with all my creature comforts, the pretty countryside, and not having a long drive.  Figure bubs will drop out more comfortably at home and there is less risk of infection. But my midwife may be tied up with a birth in the hospital at the same time, which would be easier if I went there too. So I don't want to get my heart too set on a home birth.  So I don't know!  Guess I will just see what I feel like at the time and if I can find a birth pool to have at home... </p>
 

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<p>Sounds like a great hospital. I see why you haven't decided yet. How did you end up in New Zealand? Were you raised in Alaska? How did you and hubby meet?</p>
 

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<p>We just decided to move from Alaska mid last year.  Lots of reasons, family, political, just ready for a new adventure...  So we sold our house and picked up a campervan and travelled around until we found a spot that we liked and bought a house here.  Neither of us had been to NZ before, but I am an Aussie so I am allowed to live here.  Hubby was from Chicago, but we were both in love with Alaska. </p>
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<p>I met him in Australia when I was 18 and just fell instantly googly all over him.  He was a bit older than me, so he was not googly over me, but he thought I was a cool kid and we became great friends (on a purely intellectual level).  He was the first person I felt I could really connect to deeply.  We were friends for 8 years, we travelled together, wrote letters and then emails, we just had the best connection.  I was of course, in love with him the whole time and he was waiting for me to be single (I kept telling him about my older boyfriends so he would realize that I had grown up - not a great strategy -  lol).  Finally the truth came out and I confessed that I had a crush on him since I was 18, (I really did, no other man even came close), and he confessed that of all the women he had met he had never met anyone that he connected with as well as me.  So we decided that we should meet up again, summer in AK was coming up, I was completing my post grad year of college, so somehow we worked out that I would move there for 6 months (otherwise he would miss summer and I would screw up my studies).  Crazy, we were terrified, but it worked out!  As soon as I saw him again (July 4 - there were literally fireworks!)  I went all google eyed again, he did too, and we hit it off so wonderfully that we married exactly 6 months later (err, visa restrictions hurried us on!).  And we have been blissed out ever since.  Our relationship just keeps getting better.  I adore him beyond anything that I could have imagined. </p>
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<p>And now we have a baby that if it is just a little late, will turn up on our 7 year wedding anniversary!</p>
 
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