I ordered the birth tub liner. The cervical ripening herbs have arrived from the midwife herbalist (to start taking next week!). All the backup emergency plans are being put into place, thanks to my diligent husband. I did one final harvest of red raspberry leaves from the garden, to aid my powerful uterus before and after birth. Nursing pad materials are cut and ready to be sewn. Old towels and bedsheets are stacked in the cabinet, ready for all the colors and stains of birth and postpartum.  The house remodel is done (mostly), and baby clothes are washed and organized into dresser drawers.

Basket

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

And then there’s the food.

Oh, the food. 4 lbs of chicken liver pate in the freezer, dozens of quarts of bone and feet broth, meatballs, nettle pesto, and soups galore. Pig trotters from my farmer friends to be turned into collagen-rich soup, frozen in bags (I’ve got to say, waking up to a farmer at your door with a vat of fresh pig feet, hearts, and livers has got to be the greatest gift a lover of traditional nutrient-dense food like me could ask for!). 275 feet of potatoes trenched into the ground, 62 tomatoes snuggled into the hoop house, 400 skimpy onions growing thicker every day, 200 garlic up to mid-calf height, thousands of seeds of carrots, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, and everything else nestled into the soil, 4 yards of last summer’s compost moved and turned into beds, and a few thousand feet of irrigation lines installed and ready to be turned on when the dry weather of May hits. Plus 500 pasture-raised broiler chickens ordered by my customers (don’t worry, that’s work for late-summer and fall), and a few dozen flowers coming up, because who doesn’t need flowers to keep their spirits high?

Flowers

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

I’ve been busy this Spring. Not much more than a typical Spring, except for the baby stuff. And the mental and emotional energy of continuing to care for me and my baby while cultivating as much peace as possible. Most of the work around here is done at this point, which means soon it will be time to rest. Rest before the birthing of a baby, the birthing of a new type of mother, the birthing of a new type of heart. All of which takes time, and transition, and thoughtfulness, trust, and surrender.

It’s starting to feel more real, this whole living child thing.

Libby's 35-week bump: It's Starting to Feel Real

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

I could be holding a living breathing beautiful child of mine in a month’s time. That thought literally blows my mind. I have to admit, my faith in this has wavered substantially over the past year and a half. I didn’t always believe it, and I still don’t believe it completely. At this point though, I am counting all my blessings, practicing so much gratitude for all the gifts around and inside of me, and enveloping myself in a huge bubble of love and gentleness.

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