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Not that I intended on blogging every little detail of pregnancy #2, but man…it has been 12 weeks since an update. Whoops!

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Time is just flying by. Perhaps it’s just that our world is busier, but I can barely believe that in just a couple of months we will be a family of four. Personally, I am more than ready for baby’s arrival. I just want to meet my little one already!

We’ve moved into biweekly appointments, and we’ve been so lucky thusfar to have most of our appointments with our favorite midwife, Heather. Now that her practice has grown, there are two other midwives who might also be on call the day/night we deliver, but we prefer Heather as we’ve known her the longest. She is so calming, yet she is also very open and she listens to our concerns. I’ve been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions, which is normal for a second pregnancy, and our midwife is amazing at making me feel heard and validated. I can’t believe that my next appointment {in just a week} is in September. Where did August/the summer/this whole pregnancy go??

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At 32 weeks, I’m also starting to hit my “I’m done” phase. I love being pregnant, and it’s super easy for me, but MAN do my hips kill. It is way worse than last time, too, and I now have two children to carry 😛 I also have trouble breathing, I feel like I’m starting to waddle…I’m getting to the “fun” part of pregnancy, and I still have two months left!

Baby-wise, this kid is doing great. My “easy child,” as I sometimes say! This baby seems to be much more of a mover than Norah was in utero. While my mom-brain makes it difficult to remember exactly what it was like to be pregnant with Norah {that space has kindly moved over to remember the exact wherabouts of Norah’s most favorite thing-of-the-moment and the time that she last used the toilet}, I feel like this baby is much “rollier” than Norah was. I always remember Norah’s kicks; I’d be sitting in a meeting, and she’d be nudging me away. This baby seems to have more “dance parties” than sweet “nudges,” and will frequently make me question whether or not the head is still down with all the movement I feel {it is}. Hiccups also resonate throughout my entire belly, which I don’t remember happening last time! Peder, my mom, and my sister have all gotten to feel hiccups, which are much more predictable movements than the kicks.

We have done literally nothing to prepare for baby’s arrival, save for some {admittedly unnecessary} clothes buying. Since I know the gender this time, I can’t help but buy some cute gendered things when I see them on sale. A September goal of mine is to get the baby’s clothes washed and put away, to pull out Norah’s fall things, and to do a better once-over of Norah’s old clothes that I don’t want to drag on our move. I’m sure once I take a full inventory, I’ll be pleasantly surprised to realize I can clothe this kid into what will probably the 8th grade. We do still need a seat/bouncer/rocker of somesort, which my mom has happily offered to buy, and I think I’ve settled on the rock n’ play. Otherwise, baby could come tomorrow and we’d honestly be ok! Yay for cloth diapering and breastfeeding, right?!

One big change we’ve made this pregnancy is to hire a doula and to take on the Hypnobabies homestudy course. With Norah, we took a basic birth class in Omaha–and while it was great to connect with a natural-minded birth group {something Lincoln is STILL sorely lacking!}, it did little in the way of preparing me for both the scope and management of the pain. We both admit that when the time came, all of the positions we’d learned and the advice we’d heard flew right out the window. I don’t even remember utilizing the shower or the tub {though my birth story says I did? Apparently former me remembers better than current me}. This was a big consideration in hiring a doula, if only to have someone else supporting us and focusing on just our needs {again, cue the higher demands of the busier birth center}. We were lucky to find someone we feel very comfortable with, and are looking forward to building a relationship with her and having her help when the time comes.

I also just ordered and started reading the Hypnobabies home study course. As I approach the birth, I recognize daily that I carry a lot of fear and anxiety into the whole process. This is due in part to having an entirely new source of stress this time around {what to do with Norah/how is Norah doing/when can we get back to Norah/etc}, but also largely due to the feelings and memories I have tied to the last time I gave birth. I was in labor with {a posterior} Norah for 41 hours, 18 of which were full-blown H.A.R.D. It hurt immensely, and I do not shy away from pain nor cave easily to the option of help. It shook me to my core, and we’ve always joked that I’ll probably have a lot of fear going into birth #2. Turns out we were right, and it’s not so funny when it’s staring you in the face! Everything I’ve read about a hypnobirth is exactly what I had wanted for Norah’s birth but didn’t have. I’m excited that it gives me some power and control back, and gives me more tools to help me cope.

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Only two more months til we meet our sweet babe…October can’t come soon enough!

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Two year olds are amazing. While we certainly have our days where Norah is more insistent and independent than may be convenient for me, overall her ability to express herself and interact with her environment far outweighs the so-called “terrible twos!” As my husband (and parents!) would say, these are the Terrific Twos 🙂

One of Norah’s favorite things is to talk about the world around her. Not only is she obsessed with animals (and what they eat and drink), but she also loves to think about what is happening to the grass, the trees, the sky, etc. It is in these moments that home schooling makes the most sense to me. It is so effortless to simply see what she is interested in and learn more about it, and to talk to her about what is happening in the world around her.

One such {unplanned} moment happened the other day. I was enjoying my morning tea {a solitary ritual I used to enjoy at work…and has shockingly fallen by the wayside since I came home! This was a rare treat morning} when Norah came up to me and announced that it was raining. She promptly asked if we could go for a walk outside….so we did! We put on raincoats and rain boots and grabbed our umbrellas, and went outside for the slowest walk known to man. But she saw everything! She loved jumping in puddles and seeing the “rivers and waterfalls” in the gutters.

Then, she saw a bird up in the distance. We try to be as specific as we can with our animal identification, to 1) encourage her to be specific with her language, too, and 2) to differentiate among the multitudes of animals in her animal-loving world. So I asked her, “What kind of bird is it? I see red and black, which means it is….” and she replied with “A robin!” As usual, our conversation then moved on to talk about what this animal must eat. As I explained the phenomenon of birds eating the worms that come up out of the ground when it rains, it occurred to me that birds also eat bird seed….which we have at home, along with all of the accoutrements for a bird feeder creation. So as we finished our walk, we planned the design of a homemade bird feeder and promptly went home to build one {ok, eight}.

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In these moments, I see her so completely enthralled with her world. I see her little mind spinning and whirring and learning. I see her completely engaged with every academic subject, in a way that SHE chose, in a way that works best for HER. This is all that I want for Norah and her education, and I’m honored that I can help her learn this way. I’ll help her do this for as long as she wants.

Norah-roo

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Our family

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Norah’s words & signs

Words:
Mama (7 months)
Dada (12 months)
Kitty (11 months)
Bear
Bath
Book (12 months)
Bird (12 months)
Baby
More (13 months)
All done
Cheese (12 months)
Fish (12 months)
Norah (14 months)

Signs:
Kitty (10 months)
More (10 months)
All Done (10 months)
Bird (12 months)
Dada (11 months)
Mama (13 months)
Train (14 months)
Please (14 months)
Carrot (13 months)
Banana (13 months)
Fish (12 months)
Horse (14 months)
Goat (14 months)
Thank you (10 months)
Milk/Noms (12 months)
I love you (15 months)