Since this is my last opportunity to experience pregnancy and birth the way that I want, I'm having a home birth, even though it's costing us A LOT more money and I have to drive A LOT farther to my appointments. To compliment that home birth and also to increase the odds of a calm and peaceful birth, one that Hannah can be present for if she chooses to, I read through the Hypnobirthing book for the second time (the first was when Hannah was in utero) and then signed us up for classes. I watched some Hypnobirthing and Hypnobabies videos on YouTube and LOVE how uneventful and boring they are. I am not going for an Oscar on this--bring on the boring!
I intended to focus more on Hypnobirthing with Hannah's birth, but my midwife at the time said that first time moms have a harder time with it and suggested I use The Bradley Method instead. We learned a lot in Bradley classes, but now that I've learned more about Hypnobirthing, I wish I'd stuck with it the first time around. The philosophy is a lot more empowering, and the concept of teaching yourself to go into a deep state of relaxation at the drop of a hat and let your body do its thing seems more useful in this circumstance than an understanding of all the potential drugs and interventions that hospitals use (although a brief understanding of that stuff is useful as well).
Classes accomplished and practice routine set up, I moved on to my next bucket list item: turning my big ol' pregnant body into a work of art by getting a prenatal henna tattoo and some artsy-fartsy, black-and-white, tastefully nude photographs. See, in spite of being incredibly uncomfortable with this extra 35 pounds pulling at me from the front, I am totally amazed by my body right now. It's unreal and amazing to me that it can look like this, and I wanted to capture it so that I never forget. I wanted to be art, if that makes sense.
I really wanted a prenatal henna tattoo when pregnant with Hannah, but I didn't prioritize it, and the one time I was at a festival where I could have gotten one spontaneously, I was wearing a dress...this made access to my belly a little difficult. I did my research and then a photographer fell into my lap while putzing around Soft and Cozy Baby picking up some prefolds. Jill Mills of Heartlove Photography works there on Sundays and is always incredibly helpful when I have questions, and she's incredibly sweet so when she mentioned that the prints on the wall are hers, I got her business card and we started emailing. She recommended a henna artist, and I managed to line up appointments for henna, haircuts, and photographs in a 2-day time period last week.
On Thursday, Hannah and I drove to Christalene's house of Crystalooneys Creative Arts and spent the afternoon being decorated by Christalene and hanging out. Hannah's first henna! And mine too! It was a really fun afternoon. These are the pics that Christalene took with her phone after applying the paste.
On Friday afternoon, Hannah and I got our first haircuts since September and then drove to Jill's studio. I haven't seen all of the pics yet, but here's a preview of what she provided:
Pretty cool, right!! She sent me two others that I really love, but they are a bit more revealing, and I know a lot of family members read this blog so I figure I'll share those on an individual basis with people who are not weirded out by nudity/my nudity. I'm thinking I'm going to have them all printed in a book, like a coffee table art book. See, if they were pics of someone else, I'd want to decorate with them, but since they're me, it seems a little conceited...and also, it would really freak out my brother, so for his sake, I'll keep the nipple shots in a book.
Jill also took some straight-forward belly shots for Christalene to use in her portfolio and to print in a magazine that she has advertising space in. Here's what the henna looks like now that the paste is off:
And there it is--I checked off everything from my to do list, I tackled my bucket list, and I blogged about both! Bring on the baby!!