33 Weeks

He flipped! Last week I wrote about being breech, feeling his big round head hanging out in my ribs non-stop. Upon recommendation of my doctor, I went swimming. I slowly swam around 16 lengths (mostly using a flutter-board), and gently moved my body so that my belly was parallel to the floor, and he had space to move with ease. I'm not sure if it was during swimming, or a couple hours after when I felt lots of wiggles and huge movements - but he flipped (I am very confident he flipped, but at the prenatal visit on Thursday we will find out for sure). I feel his hard head in my pelvis, and the movements and kicks come from a different place. With his head down lower, my bladder feels like it's the size of a shot glass - but other than that, I can't complain. I feel good, sleep well, and am happy he is in proper birthing position. Walking is an increasingly difficult task - but I just have to go really slow, and really not far. Three blocks is a solid pat-on-the-back for me. I mostly eat smaller meals and have to be conscious of still eating often enough, as well as getting sufficient iron. Two of my blood tests indicated lower iron levels, so it's something I have to keep an eye on.

I've been playing around to get Penelope to follow me where I need her to go rather than picking her up all the time. This is training for when I have our son in my arms, but also because I'm tired and MOMMA NEEDS A BREAK. She's been great. Last night I was really emotional talking about balancing love and attention. With the arrival of Penelope, the time I had to cuddle and give love to Mark was divided. We are adults, and talk about it and are aware of it, but I was worried about Penelope and how she will feel with the change, too. Mark was helpful in reminding me of how I felt before we had Penelope. I was worried about the energy and workload with a baby, and the thought of moving away terrified me because I thought I would need the all the help I could get from my three amazing moms all the time. Once we had her though, I learned so much and quickly figured how to do a lot on my own. I am always thankful for any help I get, and still ask for it all the time - but I did get a handle on it, and gained confidence faster than I anticipated. Mark's point was just that the same thing will happen with Baby 2; we will learn how to love and navigate life with two kids. I just have to trust that we are more than able, and have more room in our hearts than we can know.

Whenever I see a woman with a new baby, or really any baby I usually ask about the birth. Birth stories are amazing - every one is completely unique and sweet in different ways. Since being pregnant with Penelope 'hypnobirthing' has come up around 5 times with different moms - each time, the mom tells me about their easy, quick and relatively pain-free experience with birth. I was and am intrigued. You had me at easy and less painful. My husband's friend sent me a few tracks just days before Penelope was born, so I didn't get a chance to use them at all. We did play one in the labour room and I remember it relaxing me, but I didn't get a chance to have a natural labour anyways as I had to be induced. I pretty much forgot about the hypnobirthing tracks until another mom in Fernie told me how easy her birth was, and it ignited the interest and curiosity again. You can read a bit more about it here: https://us.hypnobirthing.com/about/what-is-hypnobirthing-definition/ - but my understanding is that it helps prepare the mom for birth using breathing, meditation, visualization, and deep relaxation. My thoughts are, if anything it will help me relax on a regular basis, and maybe even help me in childbirth. I see no negative. I aim to listen to one hypnobirthing track a day to relax and visualize my beautiful birth. I will keep you posted, and for sure share in the birth story, but if you have tried it, or are using it to prepare now, let me know! I am always eager to learn more about it! I watch my Healthy Birth Choices videos (birthing class out of Calgary), as well as youtube videos of people using hypnobirthing to prepare as well. It's been helpful and powerful for me to see what is possible for women in terms of having calm and smooth labour and births, when most of us only know over dramatized ER scenes from movies and tv shows.

It's wild (yet not stressful) for me to think I had Penelope 5 days from now, last year. I feel so different and calm in this pregnancy. Taking each day at a time, but feeling so good and grateful too.

I'll end with some gratitude:

- I loved having my sister up for the weekend. She's always been awesome with kids, but it's special watching her make Penelope laugh, and feel loved by her auntie. The quality time was awesome

- The sun came out!!!!! It truly felt like Spring this weekend. Although light snow is falling as I type this, it felt like a rebirth with the great weather. The snow mounds shrunk, the sun kissed our skin, and we went for walks. It was awesome. Looking forward to more of that in the months to come!

- Feeling our son move and even getting it on film (I attached a video of him dancing while I wrote this post). Even when he has hiccups, it's such a neat experience to feel him move. Sierra gets freaked out (thanks to a scene in Coneheads), but I LOVE IT.

- Our son's head is down. Woo!!

- I feel good. Feeling good feels good. Grateful for my health and my baby's health.

Sending love to you guys from the mountains! XOXOXO

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