Homebirth: getting ready

23 March 2010 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

So we’re really gearing up for the upcoming homebirth around here. All the newborn clothes are washed and laid out, the sposies for the meconium days are ready, the cloth diapers are washed and stacked, the casseroles are in the freezer, the bucket seat is in the car. We have rescue remedy for drinking (juice is too sweet for me, but we thought something with a little more kick than water would be a good idea) and other healthy and tasty snacks around. We have the ingredients ready for the birth day cake for the baby with the recipe on hand. We have all our phone numbers on hand and directions to our house nearby in case of an emergency if we need it — quickest routes to the closest hospital too, just in case. Towels, sheets, shower curtain (for the mattress), chux pads, bowl for the placenta, tissues, frozen peas, etc. The batteries in the cameras are getting charged. We have arrangements for encapsulating the placenta. Tomorrow afternoon I will drop our pre-schooler off for an afternoon with a friend and go and buy and wrap a “big brother” present from the new baby, so he gets to have something special just for him about that day too. Just about everything we can think of, we’ve done.

Now we just have to wait.

It’s a little easier this time, the waiting. Although having a homebirth is an entirely new experience for us, it’s not quite as mysterious and scary as it was the first time around. We know now for sure that a baby actually comes out, for example! With our son, I was pretty sured I believed that would happen, but until it actually did, it was kind of a crazy thing to wrap my head around.

But I’m not in as much of a rush to get this pregnancy over with. I think part of it is realizing just how NOT pregnant I will be once the baby is here. And as much as I don’t love being pregnant, there is a little bit of specialness that comes with it that I will have to let go of. I’ll happily exchange that specialness for the snuggliness of a squirmy wormy beautiful newborn baby, but I also am happy to wait and enjoy these last few days or weeks while I have them. I’ll miss feeling the little kicks and movements on the inside the most — so anytime this little one dances, I try to be in that moment as much as possible. It’s hard to believe our time together with this kind of intimacy is already almost over. I don’t know when I’ll be this close to someone I love so much again. There are days that I want to eat my three year old up SO MUCH that I almost wish him back in the womb, I love him so much. Every day he gets a little bigger, a little more independent, a little more his own person. That makes me SO PROUD, but it also means I’m not in SUCH a rush to set this one out on his/her own path too. They grow so fast! I won’t hold either of them back, but I sure am going to appreciate every moment I have when they are still small enough to be snuggled so much by their mama.

I am a little bit nervous. I had an epidural last time. I only made it to 5 cm. This time it will be at home, with no options for pharmaceutical relief. Will I be strong enough? Will I be brave enough? Yes, I think so, but I’m also not afraid to express my doubts. We get told so frequently as women that we can’t do it, that it’s hard not to feel any effects of that message at all. Still, we have lots of plans — we have wine that I like (Wine! How I missed you! Hehe) for a glass if I need something to relax me, acupressure points to try, lots of labor positions to consider, walking, water (for drinking or for soaking), yoga, massage, etc. An acupuncturist friend has offered her services. I will be fine — I may even be wonderful.

I feel so lucky to be having this baby here, in Massachusetts, where homebirth is an option. I know a homebirth is not for everyone, and I don’t think it has to be. But I am so grateful that even without a perfect maternal health system that we do have some options as laboring women. I have several friends and acquaintances who are all do right around when I am, and they are all expecting different birth experiences, and I love that. We all have had a chance to prepare and choose how we want to welcome our babies into this world, and I think that is beautiful.

I wish all you mamas-to-be out there blessed and beautiful births! Please feel free to post and comment below about your birth experiences — past, present, future! We also love to hear about beautiful babies!

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