That's right, I'm 26(ish) weeks pregnant. I wish I could say it has flown by, but seriously, I'm only 2/3 the way there. That's crazy stuff. According to my pregnancy app, baby is "about the length of an English cucumber." What?! Every week it tells me which random vegetable or fruit my baby resembles in size, and the next time I grocery shop I gaze at the different sized sweet peppers and wonder which one my baby looks most like. Not surprisingly, I don't dream of giving birth to kittens or monsters, like most pregnant women, but of delivering my very own patch of parsnips, or a whole head of celery.
Now that Christmas is over I have finally been able to think about the impending birth of this child. Since Silas's birth I have become fairly educated in childbirth. I have attended numerous births as a doula and friend. I have read even more books than I had read before. If I once called myself a birth junkie, I am now a bona fide addict.
So, I'm doing a few things different this birth. By moving into the condo I've accomplished my most important goal, to have a home I am comfortable in and won't have to leave during labour and birth. We will set up our birth tub right in the middle of the family room and I will have three of my sisters within minutes of my home to watch my boys if I feel the need. I'm already excited about that!
I'm also committing to myself NOT to get too excited when I start labour with this little one. While my midwife has assured me that this labour will go much faster than my previous births (really, how could it not after a 106 hour labour with Eli and 53 hour labour with Silas.) So, when I start to have contractions, I am going to ignore them for as long as I possibly can. I am going to try to sleep. I am going to bake a cake. I am going to do everything I can to make sure I am not exhausted when the "final push" comes.
Because that's my plan, I also plan on not calling the midwives until I absolutely have to. I've discovered, even as a doula, that it really bugs me when the birth team sits there and takes notes about the birth, be they midwives or nurses or anyone else. I don't want the midwives to have any downtime to do paperwork right next to me while I'm labouring, so I'm not going to call them until I know they will get there when we are all ready to work.
I will be having a photographer/wonderful sister/babysitter at my birth. Chloe is going to come to take care of my boys, if they need it, and take pictures of the event. I love watching birth videos, and I plan on capturing my own wonderful birth!
After the baby is born I will not clamp the cord until I feel the need to, be that a few minutes or a few hours. I will not be rushed into weighing, measuring or any other such nonsense. I will give my baby his or her first bath, not sit back and watch someone else do it. I will, as I have in both my other births, breastfeed my baby immediately.
In regards to my placenta, I am planning on having it encapsulated and will take it as a supplement in the weeks and months following my birth. Taking your own placenta has so many benefits that I am excited to experience.
I am preparing for this birth with Hypnobabies. I have borrowed the homestudy program from a new friend I met through MDC. I am going to review my Bradley Method material, reread Birthing From Withing and Hypnobirthing and practice all my relaxation techniques over the next three months.
And given all that, I am also very accepting of the fact that every birth is it's own experience, and that everything may not go like I want them to. In both my previous births, which did not go as I planned, great things happened, and I was empowered and strengthened through them. I also learned what is important to me and what I can do differently to have a better experience. I am looking forward to the preparation and the experience, whatever it may be.