Now that I'm 30 weeks along in my pregnancy, my mind has really turned to focusing on the birth. I have homebirths and I would never willingly do it any other way. A huge part of the desire to birth at home is to feel completely safe and at peace. The home setting is just as important as every person you allow into the room to witness the birth.
I have been blessed with "performance anxiety". That's a nice way of saying that when I'm uncomfortable, things don't go well. I have discovered that not being at total peace for me means that I have long and very painful labors.
This pregnancy has been difficult in so many ways for me. I have had an excessive amount of nausea, heartburn, sleeplessness, fatigue and some depression. I think it's all been caused by a combination of the uncertainty of our circumstances, the long winter, and just the fact that my body is tired.
It's been weighing heavy on my heart the last couple of weeks how alone I am here. I have Dave and the kids, and that's great, and I'm more than thankful. But I realized that I haven't sat down and talked with a friend in more than 6 MONTHS. Take that in, seriously. 6 months without a visit from someone just to hang out, or talk on the phone, or to go shopping with. It's very isolating. It didn't get to me until the last 2 months, but it has now gotten to me.
Thank God for my sister and sister in law, because they're the only real friends that have been there for me to talk to. The friends that I thought I was close to just haven't been there. At all. It's been interesting. In thinking about it, I'm not sure if it's because I'm just not there in their presence, so they no longer think of me, or maybe it's because I'm not there to do things for them (which would be even crappier). I tend to be a person of presence. I'm not a big emotional person, so you'll not see me with a group of friends crying and hugging (*gag*), but if you need help with your kids or cleaning your house, or just a lift from a cup of coffee...I'm there. And I thought I had friends that would stand the test of time, but I'm not sure if that's the case. Food for thought for me I guess...not enough to be depressing, but enough for self examination.
Along with being alone, I have had HUGE concerns about the baby's birth. The prenatal care here pretty much sucks for me. The military base is a bit of a nightmare. I don't like medical care in any way unless it's absolutely necessary, but I usually keep some sort of connection with an OB just in case I end up in a situation that a hospital stay or delivery is required. Well, here you see 3 different OB's during the pregnancy until 36 weeks, when they transfer you to the local Army hospital (which is super nice, by the way) where you will see a brand new group of providers you've never met before. Seriously? Nice continuity of care. Way to make sure women feel safe and secure with who they're going to be cared for by while they go through an intimate and special time. No thanks.
Then there is the local birth center who's midwives will attend homebirths if you so desire. At first glance it seemed great. I've done a couple of prenatals there, but the costs are very high (over 2x what I paid for my other 3 home births). We have to pay out of pocket, so I've kept the care there to a minimum until a month before the birth. There have been a few things that were concerning for me as far as their protocols (too interventive), and I also have never felt super comfortable with the women there. The last straw for me was when I called them about a concern I had about early contractions. They gave me some pat answers and said to call back if they didn't stop. Through my sister I got in touch with a midwife from home and she was SO much more helpful. And she called a couple of times over the next couple of days to check and make sure I was doing okay. The midwives here didn't bother even once. They should have. There's a disconnect from them that I've never experienced when having a homebirth. That's the difference between a Dr. and a Midwife. They care personally, not on a professional level. It's missing here.
After some prayer and talking it through with Dave about both of our concerns, we're going to fly out a midwife from home to attend the birth. It will be cheaper AND I will be so much more secure and comfortable with the care I'll be receiving. I am beyond excited, but the biggest emotion I'm feeling is relief.
I am looking forward to having another beautiful, calm and loving labor to bring this new baby into our family. God has given me so much peace. I am thankful tonight for a wonderful family and a fantastic midwife who is willing to fly all the way here with her own babies to help me have a good birth. That's dedication and love.
Thanks for bearing with my whining and venting. It's all good, but I had to get it off my chest. I feel better now, and I feel incredibly blessed tonight.
I thought I'd post a couple of pics from my last birth for fun.
This is me in labor about 45 minutes before Ephraim was born. Nothing like being in your own bed to help you feel calm
And right after he's born
And then about 40 minutes later. THIS is the other reason I have mine at home. Bringing a baby into the world is personal and beautiful and normal. There is nothing better than having us all gathered around just minutes after a new squishy baby is here...it's all about our family.
Now as I feel this precious little girl kicking and moving around in my belly, I am excited and calm about her coming for the first time since I got pregnant. I can't wait to meet her and see what she looks like and what kind of personality she has. Because I am finally ready. Thank you Lord.