We had our final midwife prenatal yesterday. The MW measured me at 39 weeks and her assistant measured at 38.5, so I'm measuring ahead. She's actually suggesting that I get a growth ultrasound to check things out, but that will depend on whether we can find a place that will accept medicaid. I'm not too overly concerned about it. A lot of it could be fluid, but it's also probably a fairly decent-sized baby. MW is estimating 8-8.5 pounds already. The girls were both only 7-something. As I said though, I'm not too concerned. Now that I know baby is head down, I'm calm and prepared for a fantastic, easy, empowering birth experience! I'm very excited about a homebirth. Can't wait!
I felt the baby drop a bit about a week ago. Woke up one night and knew it had, because I was suddenly peeing every hour throughout the night for two days. For a while, I was pretty concerned that baby might be transverse. I kept feeling two distinct bumps on either side of my belly. All week, I've been doing inversions and finally tried out the breech tilt Wednesday night. Josh did some reiki/hot hands magic on my belly, and we felt the baby shift around. When I stood up, it seemed like it'd dropped further. Had a lot of pelvis and back pain, too. Josh came away sure that it was head down, but I was worried. Terina (the midwife) and her assistant verified that it's head down on Thursday. WAY head down. I'm at 0 station already and 70 or so percent effaced. Terina's betting on another fast birth. Hopefully she'll make it on time! We're hoping it hangs in for another week at least, since I should really be 37 weeks for a homebirth. I've felt definite changes this past week though. No baking/nesting yet though, so no rush. Ha!
Terina is planning a Blessingway for her August clients on August 14. It would be nice to have a Blessingway before labor, but I'm not adverse to having this baby soon. If we based the dates on LMP instead of conception, that would make my EDD 5 days earlier, so I'm not sure which is more accurate. The girls were both based on LMP and came 15 & 10 days "early". We'll see. It was very nice of Terina to plan a Blessingway, since I had been a bit sad about not having one or a baby shower. I just don't have anyone around here to do something like that with, so I thought that was so sweet. I cried.
I'm still planning to hold my own Blessingway/ceremony with the girls. I think it would be good to do something powerful to acknowledge and welcome our new baby – and to teach them a bit about birth and female power. I'm not 100% sure what I want to do, but we definitely need to do something special. It's a right of passage that really shouldn't be ignored, especially now that they're both old enough to understand what's going on. I had them both draw me pictures of us all birthing together here at the house. We're going to make some kind of "Birth Board" (vision board). Their pictures are lovely. They both drew me in water, with the head poking out, surrounded by the family – including Achaiah. Love it! For some reason, they also drew some of the fams suspended in the air from trees or something, but that's cool. Adorably cool.
I'm going to bust out my box of old magazines and look for good birthy type pictures to create a real vision board with some good focal points. The girls love arts and crafts stuff, so I think this will be a great project for all of us. It's been a long time since I did a proper ceremony, so I may also ask them to help me make prayer ties and string them somewhere outside. I would like them hanging around for the birth.
If you would like to participate in our Birthingways, I would really appreciate it! Here are some things you could do that would mean a lot to me:
1. Send prayers, reiki, energy, light candles for me and the other women Terina will be honoring on August 14.
2. If you happen to have a neat bead on hand, infuse it with positive energy and send it to us. If I get enough beads, the girls and I will make a birthing necklace or bracelet to wear when I'm in labor. Men & women are both welcome to contribute, but I think this will be a nice way to talk about and conceptualize being surrounded by friends & family even though we're far away, as well as discussing the link between all women who have birthed or supported birth throughout all time.
3. Send a blessing, prayer, poem, or a pretty family/birthing picture for our Birthing Board.
If you feel like sending something to us (on a physical level, that is), my address can be found here. If you don't have access to that post and want it, just let me know and I'll be happy to add you to the filter.
So pretty much, things have already started changing and it's looking like we'll pretty much be ready any day now. I'm picking up a second day each week at work, to make up for the time I lost while visiting NC. I've ordered my homebirth kit and bought a rather large kiddie pool for birthing in. salleesuewho and Terina both gave us a bunch of cloth diapers (and some gifts for the girls!), so I am especially excited about that! I've never done cloth before and am looking forward to trying it out. salleesuewho also sent a boppy and a ring sling, and I've been buying an outfit here or there for the past several months, so we're pretty much all set at this point. No bed/bassinet yet, but I may qualify for one through WIC, and if not, we'll just co-sleep until we get one. I lost all of the casseroles/frozen foods I had been saving up when we accidentally turned our fridge off when leaving town. That sucked pretty badly, and we've been suffering over that idiocy, but I'm picking up an order of Angel Food tomorrow morning and plan to do some cooking over the weekend to restock. So...yeah, give us a week and we're pretty much ready!
Here's something awesome: