Ten weeks to go and I’m getting prepared for the birth, finally! We bought the birth kit and the birth pool this week, and I’m on the lookout for cheap towels, a shower curtain (preferably not vinyl) to put under our sheets, cheap sheets I don’t mind ruining, and what else will I need?
Buying the pool was a little bit of an experience. Our midwife, Kathryn, informed me that the one I was thinking about on Your Water Birth is no longer being manufactured and no longer for sale on that site, but that I could still find it on Amazon so I better hurry. After getting on Amazon, however, I saw there were other pools in the same price range that I liked better. Kathryn had said to get one at least 22″ high, and I found several that met that requirement, most of them with a 7.5 foot diameter. However, there was one very nice one with an 8 foot diameter and 30″ high that I preferred. I wanted a deeper pool, and since we’d probably be using it as a family pool, we might as well buy a nice one. Jeremy was concerned it wouldn’t fit in our bathroom though, and voted for one of the smaller in diameter pools. Ever the practical thinker, Jeremy went and got a tape measure to measure the space we figured the birth tub would be in. Five and a half feet! None of the pools would fit! Well, there was one that would, but it wouldn’t leave any room for the midwife or others to maneuver around, so we opted for the big pool and scrapped the idea of having the pool set up in our bathroom/bedroom area. We will most likely be birthing the baby down stairs.
This actually isn’t a bad idea for me. Kathryn and Jeremy both have some concerns about my ability to climb the stairs to our bedroom after the birth, but the idea of birthing in our room feels awfully crowded to me, and I think I will prefer the space I’ll have downstairs. What if I want to walk around a lot? There’s no space for that in our room. What if I want to eat right now? The kitchen will be right there if I’m downstairs. And even if I spend most of the time in my little 8 foot circle of pool, I just prefer not to feel crowded. I’m sure I’ll make it up the stairs. If I need to, I’ll ask Jeremy to carry the baby up. I’m sure he’ll have no problem with that.
Really planning this birth makes it seem so much closer. I’m surprised that I have as much fear about it as I do. It’s not so much that I worry it will hinder my experience, but it’s still more than I thought I would have. Labor hurt for me the first time. I coped well through the bulk of active labor, but it still hurt, and no one looks forward to pain. Okay, not many people look forward to pain. Pain hurts, you know? But the idea of going through that pain at home, surrounded by loved ones, is comforting. Not having to worry about hostile people, or inconvenient policies, or any of that jazz you encounter in the hospital, that sounds very nice to me.
And I am looking forward to the big picture of the birth. To the bonding experience with my husband. To the magic energy of an old family becoming a new family. To finally meeting this little one and finding out just who she or he is. To breastfeeding again. I’m looking forward to all of that. I’m just not looking forward to the pain. But the pain is a very small part of it all, and the experience is totally worth it, in my opinion.