Heather's Pregnancy Compendium: Part 1

welcome to everything i know so far about pregnancy...my own that is :)
i am 20 weeks right now and have been surprised by how many varied and new experiences one encounters when pregnant. 
i don't know if this is enhanced by the fact that i tried for so long and for so long desired to be pregnant, but i am constantly aware of every tiny shifting detail of this incredible experience, standing by and taking notes!
so here are some tidbits of what's gone on for me so far....

1. age: 
i am 35 years old and this is my first pregnancy ( i am a primagravida!) well let's be more specific shall we; i got pregnant while 34 and turned 35 a few weeks later. technically i think i am considered a mother of advanced maternal age although kindly, when i first met with my obgyn and nurse they reassured me that they do not put me in this category and that they see mothers much older than me all the time. even though it doesn't seem to worry anyone else, it is often on my mind. when i hear about wonderful, healthy, non complicated pregnancies and childbirths i immediately wonder, well how old was the mother? i mean, optimum fertility is at 18 years old! lord knows what nature really intended! i have heard that younger mothers have easier childbirths but really...i like to think that it all really just relates to how healthy you are and your state of mind and being during that crucial experience. 
despite being a little older than a lot of other moms, one thing i have always had going for me is plenty of energy. i have always felt younger than my years, and you're as young as you feel right?! so anyway, although age plays a small part in aspects of my pregnancy, overall it is just a fact and not a worry.

2. anxiety: 
here age might play a role! because i am a little older and i tried to get pregnant for six years.... i mean do you know how many months passed when i tried not to get my hopes up? when i saw my flow begin yet again and i tried to stay positive, to welcome it, to carry on with my womanness with greatest of care and acceptance and love.
to suddenly become pregnant after so many moons of NOT being pregnant, the attachment i felt immediately was visceral and every action now tinged with a new resolve and a mighty tenor.
so yes, i've been anxious like i mentioned in my very first pregnancy post. this was much worse during the first trimester and also, each time i have been to the doctor my worries have been assuaged.
to deal with anxieties, i try not to go online too much. it is overwhelming the amount of information you can find about every tiny detail of pregnancy and often you can't be sure of your sources. so i have tried to stick to a few books so far, and some solicited advice from trusted friends. mostly my methods for dealing with anxiety come down to two things:
1. journalling
2. breathing
i have found these both to be immensely helpful in pregnancy. when i had fears or doubts or panics early in my pregnancy i would lay down or do a yoga pose like child's pose and just breathe deep into my belly. i really felt like my breath itself was swirling around that new being and providing energy and life and love. sometimes i would think a word, and breathe it into and out of my belly, like "love" or "healthy" or "grow." it might sound cheesy but it works wonders on keeping me calm and sometimes it helps me fall asleep. and i have always been a journaller, of both mundane and more profound topics. so i grab my little blank book and i spill it all out on paper so that my spirit can breathe too.

3. beer:
you all know i love to drink. usually it's wine in the winter, beer in the summer, but a little of all of it all in between. i love seasonal ales and IPAs and sometimes a nice hemp ale. remember this farmhouse ale? sometimes i dream about that flavor. so long before i got pregnant, i used to worry about this. when my friend kim told me, "you just don't crave it" i hardly believed her. i thought, yeah right, you're just obviously not me! well i am surprised and happy to say she was actually right. i do still enjoy the smell of wine and beer, even did during the first trimester, but a switch must have turned in my brain because i never crave a sip. now i am not a super hardcore pregnant woman and if indeed a sip becomes desirable, especially as the sun shines brightly, i just might indulge.

i think that's enough for the beginning of my compendium. as you can see i'm rather long winded on these subjects!  i'll be back next monday with body and boobs, cats, clothes, and coffee.  
meanwhile i'm off to go read and enjoy feeling these tiny movements i'm feeling inside me :)
goodnight sweethearts.

all photos taken by darin except i took the one of him walking away and the one of the little wooden house. 
we were on a country walk and i was doing some etsy stuff.
my outfit was 100% thrifted except the jewelry which was gifted :)


Teeny said…
I can relate to alot of this....I first started meditating to go to sleep when I was pregnant with Ms 4. I still use the same technique when I am over-excited or anxious. When I had Mr 8 I was really young compared to the other moms....honey....I was 29. In the city ladies are having their babies later, now that I'm out here, I'm an older mom. I do believe you've hit the nail on the head as to health and attitude. Our aunty was first pregnant at 41 and had a healthy baby and then another at 42. We always think of her as being way younger, her attitude and outlook. As to your compendium, it's all good, keep on writing!
Not read blogs for a while and u come back to read this amazing news, congratulations to you both it's wonderful, you look so lovely, blooming beautifully x
Amanda said…
You are wonderful and I am so happy to see you go through this journey.
i drank small amounts of beer and wine through out both my pregnancies. we're talking a half a glass of beer/wine on a not very regular basis.
that anxiety is so normal, i had it too. like i said in the other post, just wait till they come out! yeesh. talk about anxiety. parenting is having your heart walking around outside your body.
it's so wonderful getting to watch you bloom. my oldest baby just lost his first tooth yesterday. hold these moments close, they fly fly fly.
you look amazing!
oh, and someone as healthy and joyful as you should not worry about the advanced age thing. i know you will do just fine.
Bridget said…
You are just the cutest pregnant gal ever! And you will be a fantastic hippie mama, too. :-)

You are SO right to enjoy every second of your pregnancy! If I could do it over again, that would be my only goal. Every minute spent reading about what could go wrong (but almost never does) is a precious minute wasted.

Savor the miracle and keep on glowing!
Milla said…
I love reading beautiful mama Heather's musings. It's so fun to see you in this new, unfolding role. Of course I'm following your journey with great interest, since I'm gonna be an older mom too, that is if I ever go down that path. It's funny I always thought I'd be a young mom, but here I am 33 years old and no baby in sight ;) Life is funny like that eh? How wonderful that you're on this journey and enjoying every minute of it.
Much love to you, Darin and babe!
sip away, sip away. your pictures feel so placervillian february! age? i think the mid-forties would be a good time to start that advancement classification shi#. you are as fresh as a spring chicken or a lovely peony. i love your calming heavy/light breathing words. you are fully on board this wonderful train that transitions your life from oneness to twoness, if that makes sense. (it makes sense to me.) it ain't a crazy train either. honestly, my excitement for you is overwhelming. YOU ROCK THE MAMASPHERE!!!
Missa said…
Well, you already know this, but I'll say it again... I had a wonderful, healthy, non complicated pregnancy and childbirth and I was exactly the same age you are! So see, not to worry m'dear :)

I totally agree that how you feel and your attitude about age in general are so important. I've always felt much younger than my years too.

Your ample energy reserves will be such a gift when it comes to birthing that baby Heather! Strength and STAMINA are key. Weekly prenatal yoga classes and lots of walking throughout my pregnancy were the route I took for preparing my body for the toughest most strenuous act of it's life! I highly recommend those activities, and I hear swimming is really good too, especially when you get bigger (for the weightless effect). Not to mention both walking and yoga are wonderful stress and anxiety relievers, as you know!

Take care of your blossoming self mama, I look forward to hearing more about your experience, it takes me back in a lovely way :)

p.s. Aren't those first fluttery little movements in your belly the most amazing thing?!?!!
Melissa said…
The first time I came across your blog you were announcing your pregnancy to the world! As I was skimming the pictures, my thoughts were about how happy you looked. Then I read the post and saw that you were pregnant and it all came together. I had my daughter in 2010. The two best things that I did during my pregnancy was prenatal yoga every week and surrounding myself with POSITIVE birth stories. By the time I was at the end of my pregnancy I felt calm and excited about the birth. Good luck to you!

Jody said…
It is so awesome that you are opening up a discussion like this, I had my first baby recently, 5 1/2months ago! The journey is the most amazing thing you will ever go through. I had anxiety as well and still do but I think it is normal for most mama's. Your suggestions for helping with anxiety are great and helpful! I LOVED looking at beautiful photos of pregnant Mamas when I was pregnant so I thought I would pass along this link to a really fun website, Daughter of the Sun, such gorgeous goddess mama photos: http://www.daughterofthesun77.blogspot.com/2012/02/m-l-i.html
A book I loved while pregnant was "Birthing from Within", I thought it was a very empowering book for womyn. The book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" gave me a TON of anxiety, but everyone is different! I agree to try to limit internet info regarding pregnancy as well, good advice for sure. You look wonderful and happy. I believe it's so important to share this kind of info and discussion with other womyn and know that you are not alone and to feel supported. Enjoy, good luck and congrats.Keep on the discussion, love it!
Zoe said…
Aww your bump looks lovely! I have had other people tell me that they have had no cravings for alcohol during pregnancy, I wonder if it is an inbuilt thing x
Celynne said…
I think you are the perfect age to be having a baby! You've done so much wild running, learning, growing, exploring, and like you said, it's all about health, and you are certainly healthy and glowing. It's great you write everything down in journals, those will be so dear to you twenty years from now.
Violet Folklore said…
An alphabetical assortment of pregnancy preoccupations! This is going to be wonderful to look back on someday, and will surely be helpful for other soon-to-be-mamas to read and relate to. I look forward to more!
anne said…
so fun heather! i thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts on this incredible journey.
these pictures of you are beautiful!!!

age-my humble opinion is that a little older is better. i had max when i was 20 and when you're that young you don't really want to embrace motherhood. now that i've had children in my early 20's, late 20's and now 30's, i can say with certainty that being older is superior, for me at least.
alcohol-anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that i love beer. my first two pregnancies i rarely had sip or didn't drink at all. this was not because i didn't want it, i just thought that you couldn't have ANY. with shane i craved beer like crazy! and i had some for sure, but it was rather torturous. with marianne i thankfully wasn't too interested until the end, so i'd have a beer or glass of wine every so often. i don't think it's a big deal to have 1 drink a couple times a week. i even read that in some major pregnancy magazine, which totally surprised me.
anxiety-yes! with each of my pregnancies i was a worry wart. especially with alex, i was convinced she was going to be mentally disabled. i don't know why! i think i was watching a lot of that stupid show A Birth Story. EVERY show the woman had some difficulty. anyway, don't ever watch it! not that you would :D

can't wait for the next post!
Andrea said…
I too am following your journey with much anticipation-- as I will likely be an older mom. I've been so worried about age myself. I have not yet started officially trying, but its back there in the corner of my mind. I brought this concern up to my ob/gyn recently and she sort of laughed it off. I was surprised that she said she's 36 and hasn't had any yet--but still didn't feel that she was too old. It was reassuring.

My mom always gives the greatest advice on this issue because she had the fortune of being both a young mom, having her first two kids at 19 & 20 and then waiting a very long time before having my brother and then me (the eternal baby). She was 34 when she had me. She says it was so much easy as a 30 something to be a mom. That she had more patience, more wisdom, and truly enjoyed motherhood because she had some life experience herself by then.
AdieSpringB said…
well bun, You know how I feel about the age thing! I'm so glad it happened now, you being 35, I feel it's just perfect. You are one of the youngest 35 year olds ever and not to mention, though the bump is a teensy bit showing, you still look like a fair maiden, svelte and bright and beautiful. And you are my favorite pregnant girl in the world, setting an example of bucking the odds in so many more ways than one. I'm so glad I get to get a close-up vicarious experience through you, shall prepare me if ever the day arrives in my own life. Anyhoo, I can't wait til next Thursday's blog.

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