Preparation-H

No, this post is not about Hemorrhoids… the H stands for the Housecleaning of a pregnant women which is also commonly referred to as “nesting”. That is my new full time gig these days. I am at home preparing to have a baby. Yet this extends far behind the setting up of a nursery. To prepare to have a natural childbirth (no medication or medical intervention) a housecleaning of the mind is also required. The Hypnobirthing class that I longed to take is just not going to work out… but it’s ok, I figure women have been having babies for thousands of years without pain medication and the human race has still managed to thrive. Somewhere within me is the power and ability to have a baby I just have to find it. I have been trying to prepare my entire pregnancy but we have entered the home stretch… the third trimester and serious focus and training are critical. So here is a little about my training regiment which I have delightfully named preparation-H
The journey to becoming a parent is fun and exciting but it also leaves me asking a lot of questions. I truly believe what other mothers have told me, that I will look into those big baby eyes… fall madly in love and experience greater joys than I have ever known. Somewhere in the midst of it all the mother inside of me will emerge and instinct will kick in. It’s the journey there that at times seems a little challenging and confusing. I mean this human growing inside of me needs to come out at some point, a thought I have at least once a day.

I also, like millions of women who have gone before me wonder about labor and delivery. I have opted to prepare for “Natural” childbirth (I put it in quotations because I am not trying to imply that receiving necessary medical intervention is somehow unnatural… because a lot of times it saves lives). My hope is no drugs, and no medical procedures. Just me and my body and my baby.

It can kind of be a lot to take in. I have been reflecting often on my experience of running a marathon as I prepare. Running a marathon is hard work and it takes a lot of preparation. I had to run six days a week, watch my diet to make sure I was getting enough calories and lots of water, and think positively because often it is a strong mind and not necessarily strong legs that get you across the finish line. You see during training 20 miles is usually the farthest you ever go… yet the race is 26.2 miles. I asked a fellow runner once why you don’t train the full 26.2. He said, “Because the last 6.2 miles you are running on sheer guts and determination.” He was right.

After about 18 miles I wondered if my body could make it… yet my mind was strong. I had spent hours upon hours in practice runs visualizing myself finishing, thinking about the thrill of crossing the line and seeing my family there who had supported me all along. At the start of the race I asked others who had run marathons before what their advice for me was… and a common answer was in essence to “Enjoy the journey.”

So when it hurt I would reflect on what an amazing experience it was… I would think about the beautiful surrounding of Duluth Minnesota and Lake Superior, I would feel overwhelmingly joyful at the water crews filled with happy volunteers dancing and playing music. I would savor each sip of water, run under every sprinkler and water hose, talk to and smile at each person I saw because I knew this was the experience of a lifetime (because you only get one first time).

I am trying to apply my marathon training to my baby preparation. I know it will be hard work… stretching my body to the limit (literally and figuratively). I know I have not experienced anything like it before and especially not the last “6.2 miles”. But I am trying to enjoy the journey and keep a positive attitude.
Preparation-H

I have finished reading the Hypnobirthing manual… despite my not taking the actual class I am able to apply the things I learned in it on my own. Plus I have an excellent resource to use, my sister in Law Julia used this method and had a great experience…
The author Marie Mongan encourages women to set aside all fear as they approach birth. Fear increases the feelings of pain by tensing important muscles that need to relax. The main focus consequently is relaxation and breathing techniques.
I practice these each day along with positive birth affirmations… which in essence are saying very positive things about how I want my experience to be and thinking about my baby.
I love it, I relax on the couch and listen to the soothing music and voice prompts that put me into deep relaxation.
The CD is called “Rainbow Relaxation”
And guides you through a visualization of walking through a rainbow and absorbing all of the colors. It encourages you to pick one color from the rainbow…
Now this is the point of my explanation where people might brand me a hippie for my love of holistic medicine and the acknowledgement that other things provide calming and healing besides pills and pain meds.
But I am not ashamed for I am not alone.
I have chosen Purple as my pregnancy color. It is the color of confidence, spiritual fulfillment, peace of mind, strength, wisdom and relaxation. It is a combination of red and blue… red being a color of focus and blue is calm and cooling. I figure a good combination of the two will be a needed balance to keep in the midst of birth.
I chose a theme color, if you will, when I ran the marathon too… only I choose the color pink and adorned my self in pink clothes, pink socks, and of course I painted my toe nails pink.
So part of the birth preparation occurred yesterday when I began sporting my new purple toe nails (sorry to people who hate feet for my posting a picture of me feet on my blog… Sarah Ware just close your eyes and scroll down). And trust me… this was quite an event. Painting your toe nails as a very pregnancy women is definitely not the easiest thing I have ever done. Trying to touch my toes at times seems impossible…

because I have to reach around or over THIS. (Note that I went from having the deepest cavern of a belly button to an outie!)

As small of a thing as painting my toenails may seem I know that during birth in my exposed state I will be able to see my toe nails and remember what they stand for.

I have also started reading this book written by Pam England who runs a birthing center in New Mexico (Yea for New Mexico!). It is incredible and I will be telling you more about it as I get deeper into it.
I have started a Birthing From Within journal where I answer questions she poses… write down my fears and worries, draw pictures and share stories and experiences.
It has been really helpful in allowing me to dig deep into my concerns and addressing them.
Plus there are fun activities which help me to anticipate and get excited for the birthing experience.

And what training program would be complete without some actual exercise. This is my daily yoga station. I have created my own preparation-H exercise routine with the help of YOUTUBE I found a few different pregnancy workout videos I like and do them each day. The diced tomato cans are my weights I use during squats and to work my biceps (I am going to need strong arms to carry around my little bundle of joy).
Other than that I am just trying to eat a balanced diet, and not give in to my every craving (although Chuck and I make sure to indulge in a few of my pregnant desires from time to time). I drink lots of water, try to stay active but also get lots of rest.
To all you moms out there…
What helped you most as you prepared for birth?
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About tacycall

I am a mommy of four little ones. Two girls (5 and 3) and two boys (3 years and 5 months) This only consumes about 95% of my life. I try to squeeze as much as I can into the other 5%. I am a stay at home mom with dreams of owning a hobby farm with my husband and recreating the garden of Eden in my backyard. I crochet , keep bees and spend time with my hubby, cook, read and of course do a little writing.
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6 Responses to Preparation-H

  1. Mallorie says:

    I am so excited for you!!! When is your due date?

  2. Tacy Marie says:

    My "Due Date" is March 29th give or take a couple of weeks. I hear it is rare to deliver on your due date… we shall see!

  3. Daniel says:

    Tacy, I just finished reading your blog and I loved it! I have been eating Julia's delicious hawaiian hay stacks and trying not to spit it out from laughing so much. Project-H sounds amazing. I believe your baby will be much happier because of it. Rae has a happy and light-hearted demeanor. I truly believe that her stress free, medication free childbirth assisted her in remaining happy and whole. I miss you guys. I think about the two of you all the time. I need to start reading your blog more often. Love, Daniel

  4. julia says:

    okay i have somethings to add to these lists…. one thing that i had a hard time with is learning how to be a stay at home mom. i had a hard transition from being busy every second with work school and social things to just being home with the baby. another thing is read all the books you can before she comes! you won't agree with everything they say but it is nice to have a base knowledge when working with a baby. also talk to her all the time, she will love it!`julia

  5. Tacy, for me, talking to other women that I felt lifted me up and encouraged me. I don't necessarily mean women who paint everything rosy when aspects of birth and motherhood aren't so rosy, but women that could focus on positives and not only dwell on the not so pleasant stuff.I think I told you I prepared for a natural birth just in case because of a back surgery (though I ended up having an epidural) and while preparing I found I got super nervous but then I would talk to other women that had been through it and it would help calm me and remind me that I could do it if I needed to. Anyhow, so for me, other moms are a great support in preparation.Good luck, it is going to be hear fast!

  6. Ok…You should actually get some real Prep H for after your birth. Your bottom will be soar, and the H is REAL! Oh so frekin' real. (And Tucks pads…bless them forever)And yes, you will love that little baby as soon as they put her on your chest. I know I did. It was the most spiritual moment of my life, because I knew that heaven had opened up for a brief second and that the whole of my family, the Lord himself, Jesus and all the saints were looking down on us.As for getting ready: I suggest making sure you have someone to bring you dinner for the day you get home, because you will be REALLY tired.Also just make sure you take extra clothes for Charlie Brown. I thouroughly barfed all over Joseph twice, and then my water also broke all over him as well. I was a mess, he was a mess, it was a mess. Take gum, chapstick, a box of good kleenex and your own pillow too…

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