Today, this story topped the headlines on BBC News (and made me late for work as I listened intently) so I thought it was time to talk about our plans for the arrival of Baby Mallia.
The Birth. As maternity leave, Christmas and our due date draw ever closer, the birth of our little friend is more and more at the forefront of my mind. We have actively taken an interest in the process of bringing our child into the world over the last 8 months and it’s been an interesting ride so far.
Back in the summer I started devouring Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and re-reading inspiring birth stories that I’d seen over the previous few years online. B and I knew that we wanted something as natural as possible when it came to labour, but with friends and family birthing in doctor-led hospitals or with drugs and procedures, we didn’t know much about what was involved and how much input we had in such decisions. Reading this book opened my eyes to how glorious an experience birth can be. The more I read, the more I was filled with surprising positivity about something the western world (and a surprising number of people we spoke to) can really cast a negative light on.
B’s hippy-at-heart ways have certainly had a great influence on me over the last 11 years and in our house we believe quite heavily in mind over matter and the power of positive thinking. We’re a pretty happy-go-lucky pair and we truly believe that this attitude has inspired and led to many of the wonderful things that have happened to us over the years. So as I read (and recalled to B) Ina May’s words, and the words of sensational mama’s from around the world and throughout the last 30 years or so, we felt an absolute connection and decided that a doctor-led hospital birth was not for us.
So where to go next? Whilst the home birth stories we read sounded so calm and relaxing we weren’t sure we were quite prepared for that. Probably because of some sub-conscious fear-factor related to the media portrayal of home births or the look of terror and horror stories that met us when we even mentioned it. My best friend had planned to use the Chippenham Birthing Centre near their house for the birth of their daughter (she was premature so they wouldn’t take her in the end) and we knew that it was a possibility for us too, despite it being about half an hour from where we live in Bath. When we spoke to our amazing, awesome and lovely midwife about arranging a visit, the joy in her eyes and voice instantly reassured us that we were making the right decision. She was more than chuffed that one of her couples were thinking outside the box to use what is apparently a small, warm and friendly cottage style hospital run by some of the best midwives she’d met in her 40 years of delivering babies. Our tour is next week and we can’t wait to see the place we hope will become a home from home during those last hours of labour and our first as parents.
So, while we have an ultimate destination sorted we’re drawing on other stories to help us as we birth at home for as long as possible, and as long as we feel comfortable. Plus on Sunday we’re heading to our local community hall and the Bath Homebirth Group (where we’ll hear about the role of birth partners, what to get ready and attitudes to home birth) to prepare us more for what we can expect when it all kicks off and we’re working through contractions, just B and I. Which, with the help of the hypno-birth CD we’ve been listening to and the mantra I’ve been repeating, should help us have the birth we hope and dream of. And with utter conviction, I can say that right now that I have no fear at all. I know that with B by my side and working with the baby in my belly, we can create a magical experience.
ps. I’m fully aware that sometimes things don’t go to plan and that these little people can have opposite ideas to you when it comes to making their way into the world. But for this post, I’m not going to say hopefully or maybe or all being well. I’m going to say this is what is going to happen. Positive thinking – it’s the way forward.