What a lovely weekend. It has had a strange tempo to it – periods of busy activity and periods of rest.
I’ve not written much lately because I’ve felt a draw inwards, and I remember this feeling being heavily pregnant with Ava too. I’ve felt the need to retreat a little, and particularly after the somewhat frustrating conversations that have occurred with midwives/consultants, I have felt the need for quiet, time to reflect, and a desire to protect myself and what will be, I hope, my birthing space.
So home is where we have been spending a lot of time, happily, staying warm, playing, painting, finishing orders and just preparing.
But here are some lovely things that have happened. We met our Doula and decided we wanted her there at our birth. We will meet again next week and this will give me an opportunity to focus on what I really want for this birth – not what I am told I should have, but what I want.
Today, we had a dry run with our birthing pool. Once it was all blown up and filled, I got in, and immediately felt so relaxed, so happy. I stayed in for well over an hour, breathing and visualising and relaxing and getting into the zone. I am always surprised by what a strong effect water has on me and it makes me smile to remember the Astrologer in London (in the Atrsology Shop in Covent Garden) who told me quite emphatically that I should do anything and everything that is important to me in water. Everything. Well, I simply cannot imagine birthing elsewhere. Water is essential to me, and I feel connected and elemental and primal and strong in water. Wild horses would not convince me otherwise.
Of course Ava was somewhat unhappy she couldn’t get in too, but it seemed sensible to do it this way otherwise there’d be no logic to denying her when I really need to be alone in it. After a while she seemed happy just to do laps round it, peer inside and splash a little.
Yesterday marked my arrival at 37 weeks, and it was also my Blessingway, which was a lovely way to begin this period where I am focused on this next phase of such huge transitioning. We had a long walk this morning and then I felt a strong desire to be at home for the rest of the day. Plus, I’ve been having a lot of Braxton Hicks and felt like it might be a good idea just to balance out all the walking and making with some calm and relaxing time too.
If it’s true that we can largely affect when, as well as how, our birth takes place, I wonder if Ezra will be earlier than Ava simply because I don’t think I am holding onto him as tightly as I was with Ava. I am sure, regardless of how much I physically felt ready to have Ava, that emotionally and mentally I was not. I did not feel prepared, and was anxious about the unknown territory I knew stretched ahead. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, maybe it’s time you came out’ the night before I went into labour, when I was surrounded by talk of induction. Even though I knew I would refuse it, I think it nudged me into releasing her.
This time, I feel like Ezra can just come when he wants to. I know we’re not fully prepared – I haven’t stocked up on absolutely everything we might need. I haven’t sorted all our reusables out yet. I was reminded today about things like breast pads and such. But I am also aware that life goes on, that no matter how neatly everything may look, having a baby simply does not stop things in its tracks. You just adjust. You work it out. And you take time to relish in a space that is still as soft, as gentle and as womb-like as possible.
I am prepared for how unprepared I will be, but ready to meet this little person I am going to love, ready to fall in love with him and find a new sense of what family is once he arrives. I can’t wait to be unable to remember what it was like before him, as I do now with Ava.