Thursday, April 12th, 2012
My midwives are coming over today, to our house, for our big pre-birth home/prenatal visit. This is the visit where they peruse the house and our supplies and make sure we are all ready to go for labor and delivery. I cannot believe that this day is actually here! The impending home birth of our babe is becoming so real. Wow!
Craig and I have been slightly scrambling over the last few weeks to gather all of the supplies and materials we will need to have on hand for our homebirth. These include an inflatable birthing tub, tarp for under said tub, new lead-free, eco-friendly hose to fill the tub, adapter for connecting the hose to the faucet, and air pump. There’s also PVC-free shower curtains for the bed and floors to protect them, food and drink that I will want in labor, a glass or metal bowl for the placenta, flashlight, hand mirror, garbage bags, heating pad, and various sterilization packs I have created of towels, washcloths, and baby clothes… and the list goes on.
Preparing for our homebirth has been such an extraordinary experience. The “work”—both physical and mental is gratifying because I am very much forced to visualize what type of birth I desire. I am claiming my territory and surrounding myself with the energy and supplies I need at home to settle in and focus on the work ahead. And at this stage in my pregnancy, it’s a bit exhausting physically running errands and gathering items on our lists—but so totally worth it.
I spend my days thinking through relaxation techniques, pain management, what rooms I may want to be in while laboring, what I will wear, who will be with me, etc. And I understand that any and all of this is subject to change once I am in the actual moment. I am okay with that. I have such an extraordinary amount of faith in the capacity of my body to show me the way—no matter what happens. My whole pregnancy has really opened my eyes to this unwavering faith and trust in my body, and it has been such a delightful discovery.
And I think all this reading and gathering and visualization is very powerful preparation. Craig and I have been reading voraciously at night—tackling the Bradley method, Hypnobirthing, Birthing from Within, pioneering midwife Ina May Gaskin’s collections of positive birthing stories in her Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery, and the list goes on. We’ve rented documentaries and watched online videos of homebirths, water births, and midwives explaining the mechanics of the stages of labor. We’ve been learning about labor positions, labor activities, visualization exercises, and more.
Dare I say I am actually pretty darn excited about the whole event. Don’t get me wrong… I hold no illusions that it won’t be hard work. I recognize that I may indeed doubt my abilities in the thick of it. I understand that circumstances may develop that are beyond my control. But I am confident in my body, Craig’s coaching, and my midwives to champion and support me at each stage.
Soon theory and practice will collide when I go into labor. And with labor will come a wonderful unfolding of self-discovery and growth. It will be here soon enough. I feel a primal sense of embodiment and wisdom burbling deep within my core.
When my body is ready, it will let me know. And until then, I plan to nest away and savor these last days of just me.