28 June 2016

while i'm waiting...

these are unique days of my life - days that feel kind of weird and also kind of precious. i'm waiting for a baby, my first baby ... waiting for an experience i have longed for, prepared for, envisioned with earnestness. i have definitely lived days kind of like this before - days building up to a big, dreamed of, really significant day - but the sheer uncertainty of timing makes this experience different, and new, and fascinating, and hallowing. i feel like i'm teetering on the edge of something miraculous, not knowing when i'm going to drop, and it's pretty exhilarating.

i still feel like there's a plentiful list of things i'd like to do and prepare before our baby is born, but i'm also feeling an urge to be still and deliberately soak up these last days. i want to emblazon on my memory the sensations of a moving life, this moving life, inside of me. i want to rest my body and mind in preparation for the great work ahead. i want to draw up any last shreds i can gather of learning and conditioning and organizing. i want to enjoy being childless while also sunbathing in the fond anticipation of what's to come.

and so, my days lately have been laced with both busy preparations and with quiet, meditative moments. there's been a lot of happiness and excitement and also a lot of tears (it was a hard weekend for several reasons, and pregnancy hormones are making me all the more tender!). what a wild slice of life - one unique to anything i've ever experienced or will ever experience in the future.

here's four random tidbits from post-maternity-leave, pre-baby life that seem worth sharing:

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it has certainly been an interesting few days here in the united kingdom. brexit has affected us personally in some pretty direct and negative ways and has put strain on our family that is not fun. we absolutely recognize that any adverse effects do and will cut much deeper for many, many others, and we are curious and worried about how this event will play out and change the world. it's a historic and fascinating time to live in the uk. somehow in tandem with the gloom of the past few days, i've felt a deeper love for this amazing city and beautiful country (which i've been so fortunate to call home several times in my life). today i took a long walk to east london and then to the hospital and then back home and just reveled in the magic that is london. i believe that nothing can dim that magic!

yesterday i watched the business of being born and really enjoyed it. when ian got home from work, i showed him some of the scenes of childbirth in action. have i mentioned how much i have loved immersing myself in learning about the miraculous world of pregnancy, labor and birth?! it has become one of my ultimate passions, and i am seriously considering a career move into prenatal education. today i re-read my sister saydi's post on why she loves childbirth, and i have also been absolutely devouring the book the gift of giving life. all of this has reminded me to go back and review a post i wrote on this blog four years ago. and i am just gobsmacked at the gratitude and joy i feel of my greatest life dream coming true. {picture above from @monetnicolebirths on instagram, which is the best part of my feed. look at that emotion! we are planning on laboring in and possibly birthing the baby in a birth pool.}

one downside to being pregnant at this very moment in time is that it means i have to miss some things that i just really, really don't want to have to miss. it has taken me months to feel at peace with the reality of missing out on my family's annual and epic reunion at my favourite place on earth (which is happening two weeks after the baby is due to arrive), and last month we also had to confront the reality that i'll have to miss ian's sister's wedding (which is happening three and a half weeks after the baby is due to arrive). aaaaand, ten days ago one of my very, very dearest closest and most beloved friends, dani, got married! all day my heart was simultaneously soaring with happiness for her and her new husband and breaking with sadness that i wasn't there to celebrate with her. luckily our other sisterfriend sara facetimed me right as dani and bryce were coming out of the temple and sent loads of pictures from the wedding dinner. i have a feeling i'm going to be super grateful for facetime around reunion time and while ian is at his sister's wedding. {pictures above: dani blowing me a kiss for sara to photograph and send to me <3}

after a lot of back and forth and weighing pros and cons and trying to figure out the right thing to do, we decided (and then had to re-decide!) to travel back to the states at the beginning of september. and this week i am just feeling giddy about going home, and seeing loved ones and introducing them to our baby. i really hadn't felt a strong longing for the united states of america since we moved abroad until we finalized our flight plans to go back across the pond. once that was set in stone, my eagerness and excitement became feverish! i am sooo looking forward to reconnecting with family members and friends, to being in the mountains, to eating cafe rio and a wendy's frosty, to being surrounded by the sweetly familiar, to getting in a car and driving to target - hahaha! while we'll miss the big 
gatherings of family, we are hoping to see as many siblings as possible and my friends are throwing me a baby shower! it's going to be so great. chick fil a! and creamies ice cream bars! and utah mountains in the late summer!!! (we are going to new york city for a few days, and then to ian's parents' in texas, and then on to utah - i'm so excited for all!)

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this active waiting and anticipating is beautiful in a lot of ways. we are confident that baby boy will come at just the right time. and oh, what a glorious time that will be. 

36 comments :

  1. Love your thoughts! Fun to see Dani, since we couldn't make the wedding! I'll be there in 6 days!

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  2. Remain open to the deviations you could experience in childbirth. Remember that a healthy child is what matters the most!

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  3. Charity your plans are perfect! You've said a million times how you and Ian are both prepared to deviate from them should the health of the baby need you to. Maybe some have missed that. Any whoo! Such a sweet time waiting to go into labor, one of my favorite experiences of pregnancy. Praying for a quick delivery that goes the way you'd like it to and for a healthy little boy! Blessings to you!

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    1. thanks jenica! yes, of course we are flexible and a healthy baby is number one. this anticipation is crazy cool.

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  4. As my friends all used to say - no matter how baby arrives - the best thing about an NHS birth is the cup of tea and slice of toast you get afterwards!

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  5. Loved reading your thoughts. When you mentioned building up to a momentous day, this really resonated with me. Sending prayers your way for a safe arrival of your new little one!

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  6. What a poignant post - for all of the glamour and excitement inherent in living and working abroad, it's clear from your post and conversations with many other friends that you don't just blithely turn your back on your home country and "jet set"! :) I loved that your list included driving to Target, enjoying Chick FilA and Cafe Rio - little things, perhaps silly things to those of us who take these things (or their equivalents) for granted. But if I didn't have my favorite places/things for an extended period of time, however wonderful my "second home", I'd miss them too! It's fantastic that you've had multiple family members to visit, but I'm sure you will be rejoicing on whole flight as you get a little closer to "home turf" bonding - with your Little Guy in your arms! Very, very happy for you, looking forward to the He's Here! post...

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  7. Charity, in the German language we have the saying "Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked." Don't worry too much about the Brexit! I don't know how it will work out, but it will. As negative as it might seem right now, it won't be the end of the world.

    I am very happy for you that your dearest wish will become reality! I've got the feeling that even with all the pain and sleepless nights it will be wonderful!

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    1. definitely not the end of the world :) but has definitely affected us in ways that really sting! it will be so interesting to see how it all plays out. we are not too worried. but it's a part of our life right now, which i am documenting here, for sure!

      thanks so much for the well wishes. we are so excited. xx

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    2. You have to remember the UK is only your home for a short while, the majority of the country outside of London understand all too well what Brexit means for us, we are reclaiming our sovereignty, immigrants will always be welcome but not by Europe's mandate but by our own choice. We have never considered ourselves to be European but they are part of the family, the pound has already regained strength. This is a good thing, the U.K. Is more than the microcosm of London

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    3. I wish Ireland would be able to self govern in its entirety instead of being split in half.

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  8. Charity--my OB/GYN is one of the lead doctors in Chicago and she is open to everything for her patients. She has no problem with water births but she always said to her patients..."If the idea of giving birth in water with poop or diarrhea in it doesn't bother you, go for it!"

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    1. haha, awesome. I have read a lot about water birth, and my sister had one, and i haven't heard this sentiment yet! either poop in the water isn't too, too common, or people really don't care (there's bound to be a loooot of other bodily fluids in there too!). good to be aware of, so thanks for mentioning, but i still think the benefits outweigh the costs :) having some poop in my bath sounds much better to me than my perenium tearing, being stitched up, and having to heal for many weeks. there will be lots more poop in our lives with a baby around anyway :) we will see what happens - i can't predict until the very moment what position i will chose to birth in. i am ready to listen to my miraculous body.

      thanks for the heads up though!!! :)

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    2. I would take sitting in poop over a tear any day. I delivered 7.2 and 7.9 pound twins and tore something fierce. My recovery was long and miserable. Enjoy that sweet baby when he comes. Motherhood is pure joy!

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    3. I don't think water birth eliminates the chance of tearing. You get what you get and you don't get upset. Everyone is different and saying if you do X then Y will:won't happen in childbirth is silly and inaccurate. My personal experience....I had a land/air birth with my first, he was a big 9 pounder, I enjoyed the pain management of an epidural, I tore just a tiny bit and it didn't bother very much compared to other many very gross, uncomfortable things new mamas deal with. Oh, and he shined with God's great light the first moment I saw him m.

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    4. certainly doesn't eliminate the chance of tearing, but certainly has been shown to lower the chance! you're right, every mom/baby/birth is so different. because we have prepared earnestly, i'm feeling confident that we will experience the birth that is right for us, no matter what happens.

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    5. Ha! I had a water birth with my first baby no poop in sight! It was an amazing experience and really helped me regain some peace when I needed it. I still got a tear on my labia though, but it was just perfect for his birth. Funnily I didn't feel the need for a water birth with the next two. You just go with what you feel is right for you. I hope you feel the peace of it too. Good luck with it all.

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    6. Ha! I had a water birth with my first baby no poop in sight! It was an amazing experience and really helped me regain some peace when I needed it. I still got a tear on my labia though, but it was just perfect for his birth. Funnily I didn't feel the need for a water birth with the next two. You just go with what you feel is right for you. I hope you feel the peace of it too. Good luck with it all.

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  9. I love reading your blog and I'm always so amazed at your vigor for life. You just seem like such a lovely and positive person. Best of luck with the baby!!!

    I've also thought of you in particular (hah- seems such a creepy internet stranger thing to say) with the Brexit vote. Would you be willing to write more about your thoughts and how it's effecting you? Most of my UK friends are naturalized citizens so I'm getting most of my information from them and would be genuinely interested to hear an "immigrants" POV. No worries if not, I realize it's an amazingly busy time in life for you!

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    1. i am still formulating a lot of my thoughts about the whole thing, to be honest. and it's all so fresh and no one knows how the heck it will play out. but it has affected us personally because the value of the pound plummeting (and probably not recovering for a long time) means we lose a good chunk of money, and because the changing face of london as a financial center provides us with much less job security. what hits closest to home is ian having to work very long hours in the final weeks leading up to our son's birth, which just stinks. obviously others are affected much more than we are. we don't know what will happen with our many friends who are european immigrants living in london. we don't know what will happen to the leadership of and makeup of this country. in my opinion, one of the things that makes england (and especially london) so great is its stunning diversity of people - people really coming together from all over the world and living with and learning from each other. i am worried about how brexit will affect this amazing dynamic, and some of the rhetoric of the leave campaign, especially around immigration makes me really uncomfortable. but this certainly isn't just an immigration issue, and i wonder how the country, continent and world will be affected in many ways. i am hoping this will prompt positive change and that things will somehow get sorted out in a way that makes humankind better. we will see!!

      just some scattered thoughts!

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    2. England will always be diverse. It decided centuries ago to start occupying and annexing controlling as much 3/5 of the land mass on the globe at one time. Many places have not been put back yet. There are generations of citizens from every corner of the world and every ethnicity. Are you really only concerned with the European expats?

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    3. Thanks so much for your thoughts Charity. I'm glad to have the perspective of a US citizen currently living in the UK. My step dad is a Brit, and still owns quite of bit of land and property there. We've chatted as a family about beginning the process of making the jump across the pond, and its become more of a possibility lately. Though with Brexit, we've stalled a bit in our conversations.

      I genuinely wish you, Ian and the baby the best!

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  10. Lots of love to you friend. My offer to help still stands, especially while Ian is away! xxx

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  11. Since this is the internet, I want to clarify: I didn't mean to imply that you are overdramatic. From your post I figured as much as you have confirmed in another comment. While your feelings are valid, I thought some peace of mind wouldn't hurt right now and I tried to offer some solace.

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    1. i totally appreciate it! i was hoping my reply wouldn't come across as defensive, just clarifying - since sometimes i can come across as, and actually be!, pretty dramatic :) thanks for your comments, kerstin!

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    2. Charity my darling!!!!! You will be such a great Mommy. We are thrilled for you!!!! Our London was born in Oxford in a birthing pool. Best experience ever. So natural and wonderful!!!!!the water has a magical way of soothing you and bringing peace. It is Heavenly!!! Enjoy every minute of it. You will be amazing and Ian will love you more then ever!!!! Love you guys!!!!!!

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  12. Laboring and birthing in the water is literally the best best best. I can't imagine it any other way! Sending you happy healthy and loving birthing vibes. And praying your baby comes sooner then mine. 42 weeks was rough by the end. But there aren't as many rules with home births. I would imagine the hospital will make sure you go before then! I'm just so excited for you. Birthing that little one and holding him right away it is one of the most magical, intense, and truly amazing moments you will ever experience! ♡ ♡ ♡

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  13. Laboring and birthing in the water is literally the best best best. I can't imagine it any other way! Sending you happy healthy and loving birthing vibes. And praying your baby comes sooner then mine. 42 weeks was rough by the end. But there aren't as many rules with home births. I would imagine the hospital will make sure you go before then! I'm just so excited for you. Birthing that little one and holding him right away it is one of the most magical, intense, and truly amazing moments you will ever experience! ♡ ♡ ♡

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  14. i think you are just awesome. thanks for sharing yourself with all of us. that's all!

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  15. Kudos to you Charity for desiring a great birth for yourself and your family.

    I have learned the hardest part about going natural is all the grief women are willing to shove on my head after the fact. The birth is easy compared to that.

    I was a Bradley teacher and hav had four natural births, two Family Births at home with just my husband, and one section for a breech babe.

    The key to pain relief for me ( and for many women I have known ) is vocalization.

    A deep throaty ahhhhh during contractions really moves the energy up from the uterus and helps mom feel more in control.

    It also helps tremendously to NOT get induced. The latest trend in birth is the mandated 39 week induction.

    If you can go into labor spontaneously and use that vocalizing (and get a priesthood blessing from your husband), there is no reason why you can't have a great natural birth with your first.

    I will be cheering you on!

    Jenny Hatch
    Boulder, Colorado

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    1. thanks jenny! luckily induction is really uncommon here in the uk. i've been practicing my deep vocalizations :)

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  16. This is nice, Char. Really lovely writing.

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  19. Lovely post! Can I ask where the mountains are calling print is from?

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