And, besides the ringing in of our family's favorite season, we have much to celebrate! The husband got a job this week! It's in the field he wants to move into (and will be starting school for soon), and he will be home more during the kids' waking hours. It's a paycut, but we are fine with struggling for a little while in order to make things better in the long run. I've been encouraged to apply for a job as a breastfeeding peer counselor with our local WIC office and plan to turn in the application next week, so I may be bringing in a little something extra to help out as well. Either way, I'll likely look for part-time work after the baby is a couple of months old during hours when hubby is home with the kids. I like having a little bit of an outlet, but the hassle of childcare isn't one I like to deal with!
The big girls started dance last week (9/13 and 9/17, respectively). The six year old is doing a tap/ballet combo, and the three year old is doing "creative movement". Which is intro to tap and ballet and fun movement. They both love it! It's the first time either of them have taken a structured class for anything. After the new year we'll likely add swim lessons. I think 2 lessons each is about enough though!
Six year old ballerina and her three year old copycat. :)
Three year old Ballerina
As for me, I've begun seeing a different chiropractor for this pregnancy. Not because I didn't like my old chiropractor...in fact I really do like him! BUT, my insurance didn't cover him and I need to go more during pregnancy than I could swing without the help of insurance. Plus the new chiropractor specializes in pregnancy and has some different state of the art equipment, etc. I've noticed a HUGE difference. For one, she adjusts the pubis symphysis itself rather than just the illium and sacrum in hopes of stabilizing the entire pelvis. The adjustment hurts. The little hammer (I forget the actual name) thing is not a fun sensation. And I usually have to come home and rest after an adjustment. But it is helping!
And that state of the art equipment? It found some rotation and issues in my cervical vertebrae. This is significant because it is the vertebrae that are connected with the nerves causing my wrist/hand issues. Getting adjusted hasn't been a cure, but I am able to do more with less pain and numbness in my wrist and hand! I figure it may take a while before it can fix it completely; I've been living with this for almost five years, two weeks isn't going to fix it all. But it has given me hope that maybe I will be able to massage again one day.
This autumn is especially significant for us. This is the season in which we will be welcoming our newest family member. :) I love that I will be birthing during the season that brings me the most joy, inspiration, and closeness to God. Autumn has always been special, this will just make it a bit moreso. We are still undecided between home and hospital, but I am leaning towards staying home and going with the original plan of an unassisted birth. The thing that sounds best about a hospital birth is the two day vacation afterward. No house to clean, no worrying about cooking for anybody, cable TV and room service! And really, with a little prep work we can have the meals and such all ready to go here. Microwaving isn't hard. And I would likely go nuts spending time away from the kids like that. Plus there's that whole leaving the house in labor and fear of precipitous birthing in the van on the way there. I don't even like going anywhere without my husband after 36 weeks for fear of going into labor when out and about!
31 Week belly. Ignore bad lighting and hanging converter box wire- we have to do that to watch Fox, lol!
Though we go into each pregnancy planning on it lasting up to 42 weeks, we could realistically have as little as 5 weeks and as many as 11 based on 'normal' pregnancies and the lengths of my others. Seeing as this is baby #4, we really don't have a ton of preparations. Washing clothes and putting them away. I'm turning my closet into a nursery nook. We co-sleep, but we'll put our mini pack and play in there (with the doors removed, of course!), the clothes in baskets on the upper shelf, and add a mobile and paint it a little different than the rest of the room. Just to have a nice baby "area". We've never done that with the other kids. Just planned for co-sleeping and that was that. We have a new carseat, we have cloth diaper covers and plenty of prefolds and flats, though we will probably pick up some preemie prefolds for the first few days. I need to go get my Ergo from a friend, but I have my ring sling and wrap ready to go. I want to finish the house. Some painting and decorating. And I want to get all of us into a good routine and get a household schedule worked out. Which will happen naturally as the husband settles into his new job. Then the fall activities. Apple orchard. Pumpkin patch. Maternity pictures.
As the leaves change and fall, the air turns crisp, and we are settling into life. I don't know how to explain the change from the summer. But there is a change. Things feel right again.