This is part three of a 3-part series on Pregnancy and Home Education. Click here for part one and part two.
The first half of the Third Trimester was pleasant and enjoyable. We had an unusually short spring and summer though in London. It felt as if summer was desperately trying to break through but alas, we got more days of rain and cloudy weather instead. It was disappointing but we made the most of the summer days that we did have.
We took a small break in the gorgeous Peak District,
went on a trip to Godstone Farm,
had lots of fun for days in our backyard with an inflatable swimming pool
and we even did some homeschooling in the backyard on warm, sunny days.
We visited a strawberry farm and picked a tonne of strawberries to bring home to eat,
and we even had a unicorn-themed birthday party for a five-year-old!
We also worked hard to finish Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations by May 2021…which was not bad considering that we missed many weeks of CC during the first part of the pregnancy!
Then the second half of the Third Trimester hit me like a tonne of bricks, and it literally felt like we were trudging through mud. It started to get increasingly difficult until I had to raise the white flag in defeat and resort back to my beloved sofa. I was glad to have completed quite a bit of schoolwork during the past couple of months, but it was time to hunker down again and brace myself for the next couple of weeks. Homeschooling continued in brief sputters for a short while but, eventually came to a halt a few weeks before the due date.
It was during times like this that I was reminded that pregnancy is a form of ‘suffering’ in some sense. Even before the baby is born and toilsome child-rearing begins, you have to die to yourself to give life to another. On one hand, the raging hormones, fatigue, pain and fear of the impending birth make you self-centred but at the same time, at this stage, you are acutely aware of a person inside you with all the kicks and movement that you experience in the third trimester. Pregnancy is tough. The last few weeks were especially so.
I went back to watching the clock and counting down the days.
August 8th – was the due date and it came and went. Finally, after quite a memorable 2 days, little Theodore came into the world on the 11th of August at 4 in the afternoon! The kids were absolutely delighted to have a baby in the house and are smitten with him. We are constantly yelling out, “be gentle, stop smothering him!”. They can’t wait to see him first thing in the morning when they wake up and must be restrained from giving him a suffocating bear hug before they retire for the night. That said, I am grateful that I have three ‘helpers’ in the house who can assist me with the baby and oh, are they are all so eager to help!
As summer came to an end and the next school year was about to begin, I was aware that schools were re-opening and the homeschool academic year was beginning. Classical Conversations communities were starting Cycle 2 in August/September as well. I was beginning to feel the pressure of needing to get into a routine quickly and starting the Academic Year. But then, Husband gently reminded me that I should give myself some grace and take advantage of the fact that we homeschool and are therefore not restrained by anyone’s so-called academic calendar.
I heeded his advice. We decided to take a longer break:
to heal and recover,
to enjoy the baby,
and to adjust to life as a family of 6.
It was a good decision.