Thursday, June 2, 2011


We are getting very close to birthing time, but things feel so different this time around. At this point with Judah, I was definitely having mixed emotions, it having been only a year since Benjamin was born. I also was having huge conflict over somehow destroying Charlie's world by allowing a sibling to enter into it. Even during labor I remember lamenting to my birth assistant that everything was going to change for Charlie. But now I understand that birthing a sibling is the best gift that I can give my kids, and I'm so excited to be doing that again.
Except that they are growing way, way too fast. Just a minute ago, when Judah spied a picture of a cat on a blog, I heard Judah start to say, "Meow," which USED to be his name for cat, and then stop mid-word and correctly say, "Kittens." It made me sad. He's also stopped saying "wow-ee-o wuck" for "fire truck" and "hee hee" instead of "sissy." Charlie's all grown up in other ways, and suddenly we need to stop spelling things in hopes that she won't hear what we're discussing. It's a beautiful thing to watch them grow up, but it's so painful to recognize that they're in our hands for such a short time.
These feelings make me want to hold onto every single second, which, I think, is partly why I'm not quite ready to birth this baby. I am one of those obnoxious women who so love being pregnant. I really do. When I'm pregnant I feel more myself, almost as if this is why I'm here. And so I'm holding onto the pregnancy for that reason, as well as because once the baby is born then he/she too will start to grow up like everyone else. It's crazy, I know. But right now the baby is mine all mine.
But alas, the day will come when I have to share him/her, and so I have been working like crazy to prepare. I've become the subject of a photography project on homebirth, which has been much fun! It has also lit a fire under me to do some projects of my own, which I might not otherwise choose to do.
Ginny over at Small Things had a great idea that I copied in order to get photos for my friend's project, but the dried herbs didn't arrive in time for the deadline. The kids and I put things together this afternoon by combining comfrey leaves, calendula flowers, rosehips, rosemary leaves, chamomile flowers, and lavender oil in small muslin bags. When in labor and after the baby is born, I'll steep a bag and pour the tea into the bath for healing and relaxation.

Yesterday I sewed this pretty gauzy nightgown to wear during our birthing time. I wanted to have something special and nice for photos.

And though I have no pictures, you should see my stocked freezer! I've made several casseroles to have on hand for immediately after the birth and in the weeks afterward. As for the food needed during labor and immediately after birth, I know that some people think it's preposterous that a woman should have to be concerned with providing food for herself, let alone the birth team. But what they should understand is that this is the way it is. Having a baby at home means that there will not be a cafeteria (thank goodness), and that it's a really, really good idea to prepare food ahead of time. It also means that the midwife and the rest of the birthing team (birth assistant, possibly a midwife student, childcare provider, etc.)--these people on whom the birthing woman is depending--may not be coming from their own homes, and therefore will not necessarily be able to grab a TV dinner on their way out the door to come help birth the baby. I'm happy to provide a good, healthful meal for myself, my family, and everyone involved! In fact, it's sort of a fun ritual to welcome baby. It fits nicely with our philosophy regarding the home and the family, if you think about it. We homeschool, homebirth, and provide a homecooked meal. :)
So, as soon as I know that I am in labor, I will make my phonecalls to gather my team, set out a casserole to thaw, and then settle down with my little ones that are here with me already. I'll do my best to relax and gently welcome baby into his or her new world. Until then, more nesting. ;)

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