Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support about my pregnancy. It all still seems a little unreal, but is slowly sinking in.
It has been fun to have a couple kids old enough to look at electron microscope pictures of the earliest stages of pregnancy. They are all being so helpful around the house and concerned with mommy's well being. They were a little nervous about me going roller skating the other night- "Are you sure you ought to skate Mom? After all you are pregnant..." I tried to reassure them that at this point there is no danger to the baby by me doing anything else I would normally do. I thought it was very sweet, though, that they were worried. Yesterday as I was gardening in the rain, Tim, my oldest, repeatedly called out the door to ask if there was anything he might do to help me, as it looked like I was working so hard. It's been endearing to watch them excitedly tell their friends, teachers, and coaches about the baby.
My oldest three kids are most concerned with being present for the birth of their brother or sister. My prayer is that we will be able to make that happen for them. We are in the process of trying to decide the question of where to have the baby. In the interim, I will go for a sonogram either next Friday or the next to ensure that there is only one baby (please God!) and that baby is inside my uterus, and to make sure there's a heartbeat. Because my wonderful OB has given up delivering babies in order to spend more time with his family, right now we are strongly leaning towards a homebirth, but are just unsure about how we will pay for it. If we don't have baby at home, we will most likely use the nurse midwives affiliated with the hospital.
Lucy, the 8 year old, was born at home. It was so peaceful and intimate. We had a great and knowledgeable midwife. However with the next one, Jane, we had to transfer to the hospital because of some placental issues. The next two were also born at the hospital, but I had an OB who was so respectful to my desires not to be touched and was willing to just watch and wait. While my births in the hospital were great, the post-partum time in the hospital has been just awful- the constant coming and going of staff, the fight to keep my baby with me at all times, the discomfort of the bed and lack of room for anyone to stay there with me. It was not a good start to things. And this pregnancy I am all about doing everything I can to ensure a good start to things.
I am trying to put in writing to pass along to my friends a PPD Action Plan, things like setting up meals, cleaning help, warning signs, and ways to help. If any of you reading have any experience with post-partum depression, any input would be greatly appreciated. What things would have been most helpful to you? What time frame did you seem to need the most help? In retrospect what kind of help would you have asked for in advance? I am determined to try to deal with my PPD without medication, as after Andrew I feel like the medication really just compounded my struggles. So any input helping me develop a concrete, in writing, plan would be so greatly appreciated!!