Just like last time, as the clock starts to tick and we draw nearer and nearer to the baby's "due date", I start to question and doubt my decision to birth at home. Last time around, I was a total mess due to learning about my mom's condition and, no doubt, impending death. In my mind, I knew that I was too spent, physically and emotionally, to handle the birth at home. Honestly, I kinda wish that I'd put my foot down and demanded to be taken to a hospital. I was in such a crazed state, I could have used some hospitalization even if I'd NOT been pregnant I was grieving so.
This time, I just feel a little nervous. After my experience with having the Donut in the office of our old house (purple walls, still her favorite color) and repeatedly passing out in the ball pit, I can't help but be a little skeptical. However, I have every reason to believe that this time will be different. I mean, I've been taking my labor prep herbs, exercising more, I LOVE my midwives and, quite frankly dread not seeing them regularly), my blood pressure is still perfect (107/70ish on Thursday!), and, most importantly, I might be a little weepy but I'm NOT a wreck. I'm really not. I have particular things about which I am stressed (like the debate my husband and I are having about circumcision) but in general, I have it all together. Okay, at least in comparison to the last time around.
But there is a part of me that feels pressured though. We seem to have decided that this one is it. This is the last biological child we will be having. I struggle with this decision at times but when I look down at my tight, swollen feet and think about how much I miss being able to accomplish a ton of work, I remember why it's probably for the best. But having this last baby in the winter means there is zero chance of ever experiencing my fantasy, ideal childbirth. You know, that birth you dream of when you close your eyes and picture what it would look like if you could design it in any way possible? Well, my ideal birth would take place outside, on my back porch. I suppose the reason I chose that place is because of the peace and serenity I feel whenever I am out there on that porch. The first time I ever sat back there was before we bought the house and right after my mom had died. I was sitting on the steps, looking out into the cow pasture, imagining my children running amok in the yard. The tears started to fall. I immediately knew that I was home and that I would be able to feel my mom's presence in this yard. And it's true. I always feel as if she is with me the moment I sit down on my porch swing or wander out to the fence to stare out over the pasture. Had we been planning this pregnancy, I would have almost certainly timed it to where I would give birth in early October, when the leaves are starting to change, there is a slight crispness to the air, yet, in Tennessee, it's still "shorts wearing weather". But that is not how it worked out. So, I feel slightly pressured to come up with an "alternative" plan... like lighting candles and creating a serene scene in my bathroom (the second best selling point of my amazing house).
Over the past two weeks, I have known four friends or acquaintances who have given birth. All of them had their babies at home. 75% of them had beautiful, wonderful, fantastic experiences, one of which was with my midwife! I find this encouraging. Their stories certainly inspire me to visualize how it can go well.
My birth plan? I don't have much of one. I sent links to sites about massage, acupressure and other support techniques that my hubby can try this time around. I really do expect him to step up to the plate and take a more active role in this birthing process. He helped make the baby, now he can help get him out of me. I've requested that no one watch any violent movies while I am in hard labor. Seems like a given but trust me, it's not apparently. I have proclaimed that I tend to be comforted by sit-coms and 80's music (the spiritual food of my childhood) and so the tv is likely to be on either channel 426 (the 80's music channel on Comcast) or a tivoed episode of "Seinfeld". I liked using my exercise ball some during my last birthing experience so I plan to have that on hand. And I'm really looking forward to that yummy ice from Sonic that I am expected to have on hand (some for the ice pack, some for me to munch on).
The kids are going to be present. Originally we had hired a doula but it seems that didn't work out so I have found several friends who are willing to be "on call" and are making plans to hop on over once the time has come. I feel so blessed that people have stepped up to the plate and filled that place that a sister or a mother might have filled for me in a different life.
We've been talking about the birth with the children. We've talked about how the baby will look, how mommy might make noises and hurt (to which the donut replied that when it hurts me, she will give me lots of kisses... and that truly is the best medicine), what we might do during the labor, what would happen if mommy has to go to the hospital, what the baby will wear, and how mommy will have to stay in bed for several days after the baby is born. We also discussed the placenta and how sister still has her placenta in the freezer but that this baby's placenta is going to be dehydrated and encapsulated. He-Man was tearful when he learned that the doctors had just laughed at me when I asked about keeping his placenta and he wants it back! I don't blame him! I'm really excited for them. They are already experiencing so much more in life than I ever did until I was an adult. I love that we raise our kids to learn naturally and to be exposed to and not shielded from new experiences. I can't wait to see the pictures of them with their new brother. They are both going to be such great older siblings to this little guy. All three of my children really are lucky and blessed. In a lot of ways, I feel like, through raising them, I'm reraising myself the way that I should have been in the first place!
Readers, I ask you for prayers. I ask that you pray for this baby and his health. I request prayers for a short and easy labor and delivery. For no complications and for my recovery time to be fast and restful.