we’re are approaching the point now where there is definitely a date looming after which we will most certainly have a baby on the outside. of course that’s always been the case, but with that date being a mere few weeks away, it’s become a lot more real all of a sudden. it’s exciting. and it’s also OHMY@#!%^HOLYSMOKESALIVE. our midwife will be so relieved to hear that we are finally preparing for the birth, ha! it’s just been so easy to put the arrival of chilly on the back burner because there have been so many other much more immediate tasks and adventures at hand over the past 3/4 of a year.
that’s not to say that we HAVEN’T been preparing all along — it’s just that we’re doing it now with slightly more purpose.
we have pretty much all the “gear” necessary for a homebirth. really, it’s not very much at all. the midwife will bring all the cool baby tools (her doppler, for example, and pitocin, and the blood pressure cuff and the tools for checking the baby’s blood type [good chance chilly’ll be Rh+, as jeremy is and gus was too], and oh, you know, various other mysterious things). we’ve recently acquired or at least gathered into one spot a new shower curtain for under the bed or futon (depending on the weather, we might drag the futon up into the attic and bring chilly into the world up there, under some holiday lights, very pretty), we have diapers for chilly and menstrual pads for me, and chux pads, and a bowl for the placenta, clean towels, clean wash cloths, clean sheets, and some pillows. i need to wash the newborn clothes and blankets for chilly yet. we need to get a box of kleenex and the midwife suggested some bendy straws and ice cubes of juice (although i think i’ll pass on that one, yuck) and a bigger trash bag for this big box we’ll use for throwing out tissues and chux pads etc during the birth. we need to bake and freeze some casseroles and things soon and get together the ingredients for the cake gus and his doula are planning to make for chilly. some snacks for all of us. stock up on coffee for jrms. things like that. but if chilly came RIGHT NOW, we’d be just fine too.
i think one of the reasons we’re so laid back about this whole thing is because not having the baby in the hospital takes so many crazy logistics out of the equation. we’ll have the car filled with gas in case we need to do a transfer, but we don’t have to pack any bags or make lists of things to remember and we don’t have to think about what time to “go” anywhere or really even time contractions unless we want. it’s not just that we’ve “been there before”, because it WILL be different birthing in a different environment and the birth will be different anyway — little chilly is not the dingo and neither will their births necessarily been anything like each other’s — but that we’re preparing for a lot fewer bells and whistles and hoops this time.
a lot of the labor will be like last time. we’ll eat and drink and shower and walk and watch movies (maybe) like last time. we’ll talk to gus about what’s happening (if he’s awake) and we’ll talk to chilly. we’ll use the birthing ball and all the positions and we won’t have to remember to take any books or papers with us because they’ll all be right here. a friend has offered to come do some acupuncture for me if i want and i think it might be kind of wild to take her up on it if i need it. our doula will come to hang out with gus (of course this part is new) so that he can have some attention that i am sure he will be needing, and maybe they’ll go outside for a walk or to play croquet or to the playground or just read books or play games or bake the cake he keeps talking about if he wants to do that.
and then unlike last time, when it gets harder, we will all just work harder, here, together. we don’t have to drive anywhere, we don’t have to worry about if we’re “too soon”, we don’t have to get anyone’s permission or approval about how labor is progressing to be “allowed” to continue to labor in another space. i won’t have to be strapped down on a bed for 15 minutes every hour so they can watch the contractions on a monitor — we’ll use the doppler to check on chilly’s heart tones to make sure all the fluctuations are normal for labor (some ups and downs but nothing TOO up or down). i’ll maybe spend some time in the tub. or no. we won’t be on anyone’s clock. our midwife will actually be able to palpate my belly and have a pretty good idea about chilly’s position (already i can do that better myself this time around) — and we’ll be able to move or wiggle or bend or shake to get little chilly into a better position if we need to instead of feeling like something was wrong and hurting too much and have everyone be skeptical (oh, first time moms! what do you know anyway, hmm?).
and then, after some time, we’ll have a brand new teeny tiny wrinkly old person to nurse and snuggle and kiss and love. and it will be a new sister. OR a girl. or a brother. you know, whatever (apparently, being a boy, however, is technically not on the table).
and then, hopefully, not too long after that we’ll post some photos of our newly-grown family. it’s all very exciting!
in the mean time, though, i’d really, really like to take a nap.