Life just has a way of taking off sometimes. Sunday night at the end of Christmas day, with Zoe in bed and all the presents unwrapped, enjoyed, and in their piles under the tree, I caught my breath a little bit when I thought, "Oh my gosh. Christmas is over. Next comes pushing a baby out." Gulp.
I've had a couple of trips to the farm since I last wrote. Each time I go, on my drive there I am doubting myself and my decisiont to birth my baby there. It's a long drive, and my home and my new king sized bed are so comfortable. But then I think about the 'vacation' aspect of living at the farm for a little while, the absence of 'shoulds' that comes with that, and I imagine my wonderful midwife's smile and encouragement that, "It's going to be so different this time." I am now resting into my intuition of several months ago, that - when all things were carefully considered - led me to my decision to go to the farm for this baby's birth.
These last few months have been, suffice it to say, hard. I have spent the last several years of my spiritual journey learning how to guide my thoughts and my mind - my prayers, if you will - into positive directions. I have concentrated on getting clear about what it is that I desire in my life from the deepest part of myself, while at the same time being open to the vast possibilities that God has to offer me beyond my own small ideas. I had learned how to let things go, to let most feelings wash over me instead of getting stuck here and there in inappropriate ways.
Oh, how the hormonal tides of pregnancy can wreak havoc on these lessons learned.
I have been so porous to others' emotions, issues, expectations, judgments, and sideways glances. At times, my mind has endured throwbacks to a bad junior high dance party where the only attendees were Mean Girls and - worse - my own abusive, critical, insecure girl whom I thought I had banished years ago. There have been some physical discomforts as well that I did not experience with my first pregnancy, but those have paled in comparison to the intensity of my mind chatter.
It seems, however, that the locomotive that has been my life of the last few months* has come into the station. Christmas is O-V-E-R. Although it was fun, I'm so thrilled to have it done. These last few days have just been mellow and enjoyable. I've had the time and space to turn my attentions more inward towards my family, and my focus to this next chapter in our lives. This was even furthered by a dinner with the first love of my life - whom I hadn't seen in 12 years - and his amazing wife and two year-old daughter. As it turns out, she is a birth junkie/cloth diapering/natural mama like I am, she is 15 weeks pregnant with her second, and we actually had some amazing similarities in our birth experiences! So funny how life works sometimes. I asked for a shift in focus, and it arrived in way I never would have expected it to.
The time before last that I traveled to the farm, back in November, we stopped to take pictures of the murals painted on...well, most things, and of the horses that we stopped to pet on our way out.
A few weeks ago when I went back, I took lots of pictures of the cabin in which we will be 'homebirthing' our baby into this world. It's a very cozy place, warm and inviting. I am looking forward to moving in and making it my own a little bit, with our own bedding, some decor addition/subtractions, a good saging and filling up with the love of our family and the care and attention of our wonderful birth attendants.
At that visit, Pamela checked me for the very first time. All is well, and nothing's doing. Baby's high, cervix is closed. I've started taking a Gentle Birth tincture from Mountain Meadow Herbs that she recommended, that will help my body get ready for a...well, gentle birth when the time comes. Other news is that the baby is OP but head down. I'm not overly concerned about this, but am trying to do more hands and knees and less reclining.
The anxiety that I was feeling about the trip there and settling in is starting to dissipate. Plans are being solidified and my Birth Crew has been assembled (Pamela Hunt, an assisting midwife - hopefully Deborah Flowers, a midwife apprentice named Laura who is a dear, Scott of course, and perhaps Sherry if she is there in time). I am not going to go back to the farm until we are ready to move there and await the arrival of Number Two. This date has been an elusive one, and hard to decide upon. But after conversations with my husband and midwife, the comfort zone is sometime around January 10th, with my Nichols due date being the 15th, my Harvard due date falling somewhere around the 20th, and my 18 week ultrasound due date falling on the 22nd.
I am, however, going to have a local homebirth midwife check me next week, and she is on deck to attend my homebirth in Maryville, should this baby decide to make an early arrival. That's a weight off. Also, my best friend has purchased her airline tickets and will be arriving in Nashville on the 17th, and is scheduled to fly out of Knoxville on the 30th. (Hear that, Baby? So come after the 17th, but before the 24th so that we can get back to Maryville before your Aunt Sherry has to hop the flight home...) I have decided that she is the only one I would like to have 'on property' (at the farm) during our waiting time and immediately postpartum. I had originally thought I would like to have someone on hand for Zoe Care the whole time we were there, but as I've gotten closer to my due date, I have felt the need to pull inward and keep my world as small as possible. Zoe is easy these days, and I think we will enjoy the time together as just our little family before the new addition arrives.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of meeting with a friend of mine (Thanks, Marva!!) to go over some visualizations and comfort measures. It felt good to shift the focus with Scott to having another baby together, and to connect over this quiet time. We had the chance to get clear about what we learned the last time, and what we would like for this time.
After the baby is born, we will stay on property for at least 5 days, and then head home. We have family on deck to come and help us should we need it, and a wonderful community of neighbors that I'm sure would be happy to help out should we need it. "It's going to be so different this time," extends to the postpartum period, as well. Living in San Francisco last time, away from all of our family and not among a closeby (like, within walking distance) community of friends (Except you, Carlo! Thanks for giving my placenta a ride home! ;), everything was very planned out. This time? I'm not so freaked out about knowing what I'm doing with a newborn, and I have plenty of family and friends who would be happy to help both within walking distance, and within driving distance.
I'm getting excited for what this new chapter will bring, but mostly? Right now? I'm happy that it's 10:30 a.m., I'm still in my jammies, and there's nothing urgent on any to do lists around the house. Aaaaaahhhh. Looks like I will actually get a chance to relax and prepare for this baby. It was hard to imagine a week ago!! So off I go. To do nothing. Or maybe lots. Or maybe whatever the heck I want to do. :)
*Oh that locomotive! When I typed that, I remembered the dream I had this morning...Scotty and I were on vacation or something and had rented a convertible. He had been playing a car racing video game, and then we went for a drive along the (very windy) coast. I was distracted by something while we were in the car, but then when I turned my attentions to the road, I realized that he was litterally *flying* the damn car around curves, bouncing back onto the road, careening out over the open ocean. Oh my Lord. Terrifying. The last thing I remember is the car ride ending, and me taking that video game and smashing it to bits. Ha! Symbolic, no?