preparing for birth


a boy and his mother at 36wks
things got very real at my 36 week visit yesterday when the midwife asked if i had already thought about a plan for if baby comes early. it's not uncommon for the second child to be born before their due date, so i didn't think much of her question and casually replied that yes, i know how to recognize early labor symptoms. but that's not what she meant. "no, have you discussed what to do if the baby comes before we get there?" ummm. i knew that labor can progress a lot faster with baby no. 2, but so fast that andy and i might have to go at it entirely alone? i had NOT thought about that.

the decision for a home birth came late in my first pregnancy and was (surprisingly) met with only a little resistance from andy. it hadn't occurred to me until the dozenth trip to the birthing center for my regular prenatal visits that those 45+ minutes in a car might be especially tedious once i was in labor. and when a tour of the birthing rooms at the center revealed that they weren't much different than my own bedroom, a home birth just seemed to make the most sense to me.

that is not to say that deciding to have a home birth was an easy choice to make. to be honest, i actually felt a bit self-conscious telling people about my decision, weary of the assumptions they might make. i feared that it put off an air of superiority or projected some sense of privilege (but that was just me projecting my own insecurities). the truth is that i've always had a holistic approach to living and a home birth seemed to fit so well in line with that philosophy. as it came to be, august's birth was a positive experience and so solidified that the next time, there would be no decision to be made. 

as i approach these final weeks of pregnancy, i am acutely aware that labor and birth is imminent and i would be lying if i didn't admit that i have anxiety about it. in moments of doubt and fear though, i find comfort in the memory of my previous birth experience. it was a long and laborous (ha!), but it was also one of the most empowering and enriching experiences. knowing that i will be in my own home environment, surrounded by the people and things that i love and that this baby will come to know and love, makes birth seem so much less intimidating. 



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