Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Practicing Patience

Yesterday, Carole, our midwife, came for our first home visit. We received a clean bill of health from the ultrasound. Fluid levels and the baby's size are just fine. We're back up to normal measurements: 36 cm for 36 weeks. By the way, isn't that amazing? The uterus or fundus measures in centimeters roughly the same number of weeks one is pregnant. Nice touch up there, God, You really outdid Yourself with that little bit of trivia. So last week's short measurement was just a fluke or a weird position.

Now we are to the waiting game. We are 36 weeks pregnant - we have about 25 more days!!

In case you're wondering, we are planning a home birth. This choice, while becoming less surprising or radical than it was, has still led to some interesting conversations. In Canada, where midwifery is becoming far more common, home births are recommended ONLY if a pregnancy has presented nothing unusual and has no complications. So when I say we are planning to have the baby at home it means that Andrew & I understand that this will only happen if we have every indication that the baby and I are healthy and that everything is happening safely. So far so good. Our little one is keeping her head down, her vitals up and I'm feeling good.

We are approaching the birth of our child with fear and trembling and we are not seeking to prove anything or take risks with our child's health and well-being or with mine. We actually believe that this is a safe and healthy way to have a child and we're not alone: studies have found that births at home are as safe or safer than births at hospitals (http://mothering.com/canadian-homebirth-study). We are holding the expectation very loosely with the knowledge that it could change at any point.

We happen to live down the street from the hospital (it's a five minute walk). I have even assured my mother that in the event of a severe blizzard, Andrew could drag me on a sled to the hospital. She asked, "Do you have a sled?" Well, truth be told, we'd have to build it; but he's a resourceful guy, I'm sure he'd think of something. Also, the wise and wonderful Kim will be around and she's a paramedic. In addition, we will have two very experienced midwives who will be supplying everything from oxygen and suction masks to the pitocin necessary for stopping abnormal blood loss after birth.

In an ideal world, we will have our little girl right here. I have rented a birthing tub that we will pick up tonight (they just called!). Water has shown to have many of the same pain-relieving effects as medication for labouring women and God knows that I love a good bath. I have acquired all the things needed for the homebirth: drop cloths, extra sheets, towels, thermometers. Carole came and checked out our house and was pleased with what she found. We've been re-arranging furniture and nesting like our lives depend on it and I'm pleased to say that things are coming together nicely.

Carole officially approved of our space for birthing. She did mention that a glance at our crazy backdoor neighbour's house and all of it's kitsch made her hope that she hadn't misjudged us. "The Christmas decorations were still up" (and so are Easter & Halloween ones), she said laughing. I nodded knowingly and silently thanked God that Andrew had removed our garland last night.

Now we begin to wait. But while we're waiting: I've got chairs to re-cover, pictures to hang and Andrew has dressers to refinish. Wait, maybe we should repaint all the trim so it looks better. Lord, is that kitchen cabinet messy again? Perhaps I should organize the wine cellar for easier access?


  1. "Do you have a sled?" — ha! She's definitely asking the right questions!

    Where will you have the birthing tub, etc. set up? Glad to hear you're so well prepared!

  2. Amy Hudson KilpatrickFebruary 13, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I had my second baby in the tub! It definitely did help with the PAIN. I'm so excited for you--and that we made similar decisions for birthin'!