Our baby is due in five weeks. We are, I would think, as prepared as a young couple can be for the birth of a baby. He’s got his “First time Dad” book and I’ve got life experience (meaning vague memories), a haggard looking Birth Skills book and some Youtube videos. And a birthing ball. Everything will be just fine now I have a ball to bounce on. It came with a pamphlet listing numerous different positions you can practice on the ball. I’ve stuck to just the one. Though Maia has loved cruising up and down the bedroom on it.
Whilst we were looking forward to a more conventional face to face NCT antenatal class, the Zoom version was still enjoyable, and we both took a lot from it. (All five hours of it). As well as being highly informative, it was lovely to meet some other couples (around eight in total) also going through pregnancy during lockdown. Now we have a WhatsApp group. One of the Mums gave birth the other day which made my own upcoming labour and birth feel very real.
My partner set up one for the Dads, which now consists of him and two other Dads. No one has said anything yet.
My hospital bag has made some progress and is pretty much ready, though I keep using items of clothing from it then forgetting to return them. I also keep depleting its edible stock.
By this I mean I filled it with snacks (by “snacks” I refer to a variety of chocolate biscuits, special ones, the brands I’d never normally buy) but later that evening realised we had no suitable post-dinner nibbles, so delved into the bag and devoured the aforementioned chocolate biscuits, leaving only the granola bars. I will be returning to Waitrose this week to re-stock my hospital bag.
As well as the bedtime reading, we’ve also been indulging in some educational TV to help prepare us for what’s to come. We’ve now sat through all six episodes of “Life and Birth” on BBC iPlayer. My partner wasn’t keen to watch it at first but I managed to persuade him with the very practical: “It’ll be good for us to know what to expect!”. Well, it soon became clear, he didn’t.
He wasn’t aware babies come into the world a rather disturbing purply blue colour, often covered in blood and some white stuff and not the cute dreamy pink tone we see when parents send us their newborn snaps.
We’ve decided we’ve had our fill of baby programmes for now. Whilst every story is different and beautiful in its own way, there are only so many times you can watch a woman give birth before it begins to dawn on you the enormity of what you’re about to go through.
Upon my midwife’s advice I hesitantly wrote out a birth plan, which I am well aware will most likely be far from what happens on the day. It felt almost as though having a hard written copy of my wishes and intentions was somehow jinxing the main event. That I’d inevitably get the exact opposite of every one of my preferences. But at least now the midwives will know what they are, so hopefully the Universe will take some of it on board too and I’ll get my drug-free-tear-free water birth.
Whatever happens, we’ve done all we can now. I will try and remember to do my pelvic floors, perhaps try a few more birthing meditations on Youtube and he will continue to listen to me bang on about visualisation and breathing exercises.
I’ve written out cue cards with positive affirmations and key words for him to say when I’m in labour. My favourite so far has been when he goes “USE YOUR VOICE”. I like this a lot. It comes naturally.