Where to start...well, after two weeks of staying with my favorite non-blood related family, I'm back in my house which is both nice and awkward. I've already adjusted to the lack of walls among other things. Life in the office isn't as bad as I thought it would be though it is exhausting, and I'm having a hard time doing anything else productive with the remainder of the day. I'm going to try to join a gym tomorrow which should help me further lock down a routine.
My belly has grown to where it is definitely obvious that I'm pregnant and not just a beer and cheesesteak binger. The belly band is working out okay for now but I have to watch it because after sitting for a while, it slides up in the back and leaves my rump hanging out if I don't do a quicky check when I stand. I did end up with one pair of hand-me-down maternity pants which I am looking forward to wearing tomorrow. They're very wide-leg gray slacks--just my style. And they fit perfectly which is awesome for hand-me-downs. That elastic band at the top makes them so comfy, that I'm not sure why anyone wears regular pants. I'm ready to forgo the button and zipper forever. That said, eventually I will quit my "no buying maternity clothes" ban and do a little shopping...but for right now, we're broke (and I hate shopping so refuse to do it until absolutely necessary).
The hand-me-down pants came from a gal in my prenatal yoga class which I started last Sunday. The first 3 classes are just for me, but the last 3 are for couples. I loved the first class--very relaxing and positive and focused on movements and poses that should come in handy when Hannah decides to make her debut. It also has a relatively tribal element which I like. We did some goddess squats while chanting out the vowels (ahhh, eeee, ooooo).
Speaking of Hannah's debut, I'm on the hunt to find her an appropriate stage...it's not as easy as I'd hoped it be in a big city like Baltimore. Mom and I visited a birthing center in Annapolis on Monday (there are only 2 birthing centers in this area and both are down in Anne Arundel County which is a 30-45 minute drive, more in traffic). I was thinking that since the baby won't come popping out anyway, the drive is no big deal, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that I have to drive my butt down there every month for appointments...not cool. The rooms are great though, very homey which is exactly what I want. They have double beds with comforters and fluffy pillows, normal bedroom furniture, recessed lighting on a dimmer, private baths with nice big tubs...That's the atmosphere I'm looking for. But in addition to not being thrilled with the drive, the staff weren't the greatest either. The receptionist lady was flat out rude, and the midwife was fine, but just not particularly fuzzy.
Tonight Mom and I visited Mercy Hospital because a doula friend of Amy's recommended it as a very baby friendly/non-invasive place to deliver. Also, that's where her (the doula's) midwife delivers. I called yesterday and made an appointment with that midwife for May 11 then got myself and mom on the list for tonight's tour. It was okay...not as cold and sterile as most hospitals which is nice, but the rooms are not what I'm looking for. They're small and have typical hospital cots which look uncomfortable. They do have chairs in the room that fold out so Eric has a place to rest, but they don't look comfortable either...I love the double bed idea so much more. Everyone there was very friendly though and they seemed very flexible with baby care--it was stressed that the mother's preferences would be abided when it came to caring for the baby. Oh, and this place is only 3.5 miles away. But the garage cost me $5 for a 1/2 hour of parking!!! What the heck!!
Anyway, I've started entertaining the idea of a home birth. It was never anything I was interested in before, after all, it just seems messy, but I can't find what I want, and the more I think about it, the more I think it would be really nice to just be at home with my stuff, in my bed, rather than having to pack a bag and schlep everything somewhere and add discomfort to what I imagine will already not be the most comfortable experience. I was talking my neighbor (a different Amy then the one mentioned above) about it this evening, and she said she was the birth partner for her best friend who did a home birth and that it was the most beautiful, relaxing, awesome experience ever and that there was no mess at all--they put down plastic and when it was over, they just rolled it up and threw it away. Of course, when I mentioned home birth to Eric I could hear his jaw drop on the other end of the phone so I imagine that if I do decide that's what I want, I'll have quite a bit of convincing to do to get him on board.
Even though I'm now leaning toward home birth, I'm still going to meet with the midwife who delivers at Mercy, and I'm going to look into some other area hospitals in addition to talking to some midwives who do homebirths...I'm annoyed that the search is still not over and that this item has been lingering on my "to do" list for weeks now, but I think it's worth it to spend some time looking into all my options.
In specific baby news, I am 24 weeks today. I haven't read about what happens during week 24, but I did manage to catch up on weeks 21-23. The only thing that stood out during that reading was that Hannah is now about the size of a Barbie doll (though hopefully not so strangely proportioned) and weighs about 1 pound. Also, I think I feel her moving now...I can't be certain since I don't know exactly what I'm feeling for, but the strange movements and fluttering I'm feeling are not my usual gas and digestion flutterings. Whatever it is, it's calm now which is just as well because I'm exhausted. Bed time.