~ We had some baby robins on our neighbor's back porch. They've flown away now, but when they were around they chirped eagerly for food, throwing their heads back like they were ready to eat anytime. They awakened my mothering instincts--it took all my self control not to bring them water (it was so hot). And now that they're gone and the empty nest is still out there, I feel like I observed in a matter of weeks what will take Baby Leopard 18 years--they went from utterly dependent and flightless to gone. (Francisco loved them, too--he now wonders if every robin he sees is one of our robins grown up.)
~ More baby shower thoughts: I've been to about a million baby showers in my life, especially at the church I grew up in when I was young. I never liked them very much--I found it mind-numbingly boring as a child to watch people open gifts, and I didn't really like any baby shower games. When I found out we were expecting, though, I realized that I did want a party to celebrate the baby. And, after having my very own baby shower, I realized what an important community function they serve--they are a show of care and support from family and friends as you enter a new phase of life. They let you know that your baby is being born into a community that cares for it already, and they let you know that when you need help, those people will be there to help you. Plus, they are a great picture of continuity: I remember looking at pictures of my mother's baby shower before I was born, and several of my great aunts and relatives were present at both my mother's shower and mine. I feel ever so grateful that even though I moved away from my hometown a dozen years ago, I still have such wonderful family and friends there.
~ We went to our first birthing class. It both gave us lots of information, which is helpful, and let us know what we're in for, which is anxiety-inducing. All I can think of now is labor and wondering how I'll handle it. And wondering which of these seemingly hokey relaxation techniques could possibly help me!
~ Speaking of labor, the mass readings this week made me think of it even more. From Romans 8:
This made me think--the pains of childbirth were Eve's curse for sin, and Adam's was pain and effort in tilling the soil. Of course, pain and effort in tilling the soil now often applies to women, too. And, funnily enough, we now force/allow men to accompany us into the delivery room, so they get to join us in the pains of childbirth.18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
~ I tell my husband everyday how thin he looks. My mother and sisters look way thinner too. I wonder if part of it is that I'm getting thicker.
~ Birth Reborn by Michel Odent. Oh my--what a hippy, crunchy book. Written in the mid-80s, the main idea is to feel free to go with your instincts during childbirth. He criticizes Lamaze breathing methods for trying to control women, arguing that they automatically know within themselves what to do if they just let it out. Including all the screams. All of the naked birthing pictures in this book are pretty entertaining.
~ I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions (the fake ones that are your body getting ready for the real ones). I've abandoned my wedding ring (it still fits, but is tight at the end of a hot day).
~ I joined the pool a couple of blocks from my house--so it's me and a bunch of little kids in the water, but I don't care because being in the water is basically the only place I feel comfortable now. Plus, since I'm wet when I get out of the water, I can tolerate being outside, which is a nice place to be in the summer. I've also taken up a bit of letter writing again, which is pure bliss.