Photo Credit: rouvelee
I always feel that girlie gatherings are particularly good for the soul. They remind me how lucky I am to have such kind, caring, interesting people in my life.
The impending arrival (only 6 weeks to go!) of Alicia Lily (yes, we have decided on a name. And it's pronounced 'alisseeya' not 'aleesha' BTW) was celebrated in style and both she and I were truly spoiled with lovely gifts including a Wilkinet baby carrier.
Wilkinets supposedly take a bit of getting used to at first as there's a special way to tie them, but they come highly recommended from several friends for their versatility and comfort for mum/dad and baby. Plus they hold the baby in an optimum position for their spine, as well as taking the weight off your own shoulders and back. I'm looking forward to practising my tying technique with El's Baby Annabel!
I start my maternity leave on 10th June - 4 weeks before my due date. I was intending to work till 2 weeks before, but am finding my memory and concentration dwindling and my thoughts turning more and more to babies, stuff I need to by for baby, things I need to do before baby arrives etc.
After a good hour (or more) of idle surfing the other day I'd nearly talked myself into buying one of these instead of a moses basket. As fab as they sound, I figure that I'd be making a rod for my own back though if Alicia has 6-9 months of being able to rock herself to sleep I can't imagine how nightmarish the transition to a cot would be
My usually eclectic mix of books 'on the go' (I often flit between 3 or 4 fiction and non-fiction books on various subjects in the same month until I've finished them all, then don't read for a week or so and then repeat the process) has now been reduced to Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and Gentle First Year. I love the approach of both, they're quite inspiring.
I'm particularly keen on Gentle First Year's recommendation to get your partner to massage you daily with Rose oil for four weeks post partum (to stave off the 'baby blues' and promote healing), after which you can take over the job yourself. Hmm. As lovely as he is, I am hard pushed to get even a five minute foot rub off J more than once a month.
I'm being a good girl and listening to my natal hypnotherapy CD pretty much every day which is making me feel optimistic that this time my birthing experience can be calm, powerful and within my pain threshold. I was pretty shaken after Ella's birth and felt quite cheated that I had been induced and not supported to 'do it properly' (my feelings at the time, not now).
Thanks to some 'healing past birth trauma' work with my hypnotherapist friend Hari - writer of the hilarious blog Thank you for the Days - a great hypnobirthing course which has also really given J confidence that he can support me in labour and, of course, the CD I just mentioned I'm hopeful that I will have the relaxed water birth at home that I would really love.
Check out these testimonials if you're sceptical that birth can be satisying and not agonising. Oh, and cross your fingers for me please!
Gratuitous Bump Shot: