Saturday, May 22, 2010

We’re Havin’ A Party!: Our Planned Home Birth

I received this hilarious homebirth comic the other day,

I’ve read it three times already and laughed aloud each time. I am so excited about the birth. It’s ridiculous how I am looking forward to this experience. I have really come to think of it as a kind of surprise party. There will be food and games and music. And then we will all get to meet the guest of honor just as s/he steps out into her life—a brand new person, joining us on this plane, in this incarnation, for the very first time!

Knowing that I am going to this party pretty much assured that it will end with the beginning of a new love affair gives it some of that giddy excitement that one might feel heading out to a high school dance. I daydream about who this person will be, how they will look, how I will care for them, the way I once did about my unmet husband.

And then there is my birth team. We have asked two fabulous women to support J and I as we bring this child into the world. Both women are of incredible spirit who positively shine with optimism and acceptance. They are sunny and humorous, possess spines of steel, and are wonderful cooks! I haven’t any doubt that they will be invaluable sources of loving support and mood lightening hilarity if and when J or I begin to flag.

I like and trust our midwives. Sometime during the many hours we have spent together during the last twenty weeks I have come to think of them more as extraordinarily knowledgeable friends than health care professionals providing a service. They are interesting and competent people, and I’m genuinely glad they will be at our party!

With any luck my mother will join the party before the main event. She has always been such a source of inspiration to me; I so admire her and aspire to be like her in many ways. It will be a dream come true to have her present for the birth.

Then there is J. I am so happy to be sharing this experience with him. He has been such a considerate and supportive spouse these last months. I can see my own excitement mirrored in his eyes. And his unwavering faith in me strengthens my own. I am lucky to have him and can’t imagine sharing this journey with anyone else.

In preparation I have watched numerous birth videos. Some documentary types like “The Business of Being Born,” “My Body, My Baby, My Birth,” and “Orgasmic Birth,” but also lots of home videos. Some favorites included the unassisted birth of twins in Alaska, a water birth following a day spent picnicking with family in Mexico, and a home birth assisted by one of my midwives right here in Philly featuring a lengthy post-partum interview with a very animated new grandfather. (J and I plan to record this birth too and have already started compiling material. ☺)

I had originally thought that I would have this baby at a birth center, but when Bryn Mawr was booked it was on to plan B. Now, I am so glad that we will be birthing at home. I have turned the fourth floor into quite the cozy little birthing suite, complete with supplies for post-partum recovery. Our birth materials are all neatly laid out in tidy piles on the nursery dresser. The master bath has been disinfected with tea tree and rosemary oils, outfitted with candles, and stocked with fresh towels. We moved the mini fridge from the garage (where it held extra beer) to my nursing station where it now sits adjacent to the rocker and the window sporting it’s supply of coconut water, ensure, prune juice, cheese, and peanut butter. I have filled a snack drawer with nuts, dried fruits, canned fish, V-8, crackers, and chocolate.

I was delighted with how well you all received our call tree. The calling is J’s responsibility, like the woman in the comic I have some cooking planned to occupy me during early labor. Unlike the woman in comic I will not be preparing anything too time intensive or involved (I’ll leave that stuff to our birth team) but I have set aside recipes for edamame hummus, marbled tea eggs, and naan to snack on and serve to the midwives and birth team as they arrive.

So, everything is ready. Now, all I have to do is wait for the party to begin…
(All dressed up for our due date date last night...)


  1. You have dropped a lot, but still looking gorgeous! We are all on pins and needles awaiting that phone call that will announce the imminent arrival to the newest addition to our family.

  2. I love reading about how excited you are! You and me, we have different ideas about fun, but I sure can't wait to meet the new one. Do we have a definite name yet?