The baby has decided that after worrying me all last week it will resume it’s normal activity. Perhaps it knows there’s a party coming up. It doesn’t appear to be doing full body flips anymore, but I can feel precise movements; a limb scraping from one side to the other, a hand or foot pressing against my hip bones as a little body tries to jockey for a better position. There have been many times when a little head or bottom has tried to push it’s way out, seemingly thinking that my belly button is an escape hatch. Jacob and I are having a great time watching these antics. It’s amazing how entertaining it can be to watch a part of your body contort into shapes you never thought imaginable, and even more amazing to watch the reaction of a toddler as he realizes that “his baby” is responsible for the erratic movements.
We’ve had our lives turned upside-down this week as Rob volunteered to take over a co-worker’s third shift schedule during a week of training. These 10-hour shifts required that Rob leave the house at 9pm and return at nearly 8:30am the following morning. I had the challenge of handling Jacob alone all night (which was quite simple really) and more importantly keeping him quiet from 9am to 5pm while Rob tried to sleep. I have a new respect for those that work third shift, but I don’t think I could handle it for more than the weeklong adventure. What it meant was that Jacob and I had an abundance of quality quiet time together this week. We seized the opportunity to have long discussions about everything from the baby coming to the colors of items around the house.
This one discussion led into a conversation I’d never planned on having. Jacob wanted to know where our baby would be born. When I reminded him about the hospital we’d driven by he proudly announced that Mommy, Daddy and Jacob would be going there to have a baby. We have a trusted friend who lives with her husband and two-year-old son just about three blocks from the hospital. I tried explaining that he was going to go play with a good friend and that Daddy would pick him up and bring him to the hospital just as soon as the baby was born, but he insisted that he be present for the whole affair. Ever since Rob and I started trying to get pregnant I have had only one fear regarding the delivery, leaving Jacob. I’ve never been away from him for more than a couple of hours and I don’t want something as happy as the birth of a baby to break that trend. I’d really like to have a homebirth, but I’m too much of a wimp now that we live a good 30 minutes from a hospital. I know that “family birthing” centers are now the up and coming trend. I know that often grandparents and older siblings attend births, but I’m not entirely sure that extending the offer to a two year old is a wise idea. We’re still trying to finalize details, but I think we may let him come, on a limited basis. We’ll need someone who’s dedicated to his care for the duration of the delivery. We’re still trying to decide who to ask. Our thought is that I can weather as much of the labor at home as possible, then he can come “help” us check-in and can stick around until things get really moving (or overly painful). Then, at that time he will be taken out of the room (and likely to his friend’s house) until the baby is born at which time he will come back and meet his little brother or sister and, provided I can secure a private room, stay until we leave the hospital. All of this is pending a conversation with our midwife and a designated caretaker, assuming we’re all in good health when the baby comes and that the delivery is somewhat similar to his. (Our back-up plan is to revert to having him play with his friend as I’d anticipated.)