Well it’s the baby’s due date today! I’m not expecting anything dramatic to happen given that Seren was 11 days late. So I’m taking her to her swimming class as usual then meeting friends at soft play.
But I do finally feel ready for the baby to make it’s appearance! Preparation wise we haven’t attended any antenatal classes this time (we did an NCT antenatal course before plus a NHS Active Birthing Workshop) but giving birth is such a significant life changing event regardless of how many times you’ve done it before so I needed to get my head around it! And deal with the logistics and practicalities of course. Things that we’ve done:
* Prepared the nursery. I’ve talked about my design inspiration before and I’ll share some photos of the finished room soon. The baby will sleep in our room for the first 6 months of it’s life so in a lot ways having a finished bedroom is unnecessary. I find it useful though to get that task ticked off and have a dedicated place to store all the baby paraphernalia and for nappy changes. I’ve also sorted through and washed Seren’s old baby clothes, bedding and toys and put those away. The toys keep getting played with though by a certain someone.
* Visited the hospital for a tour and attended a yoga and massage focused Birthing Workshop both of which I wrote about here. And saved lots of change for hospital parking fees!
* Thought and talked through my labour experience from last time and how things could be different this time. I’ve found it catarthic writing the experience down (you can read the birth story starting here). I feel more confident this time around to trust my body, I just need to get my mind into the right place at the time.
* To help with mind control I’ve just started listening to a natal hypnotherapy CD, ‘Effective Birth Preparation’ by Maggie Howell. I find the hypnobirthing concept interesting but haven’t got round to taking an actual course. The CD is very calming although I haven’t managed to stay awake through the whole thing as yet!
* I’ve also been reading the newly released ‘Bump’ by Kate Evans. Kate writes in a down-to-earth, funny, honest and empowering way, you can read an extract from the book on her website which I’ve linked to above. I loved her breastfeeding book ‘The Food of Love’ too and I should probably give that a quick flick through again very soon.
* Written my birth plan. You can see my plan from last time here. It was so, so long! And whilst it helped me and MrS get straight in our heads what we wanted, I’m not sure how much attention the midwives paid to it during labour. I tried to cover every eventuality in the plan and the things that were important to me got lost in the detail. Our plan this time reads like this:
- As natural and drug free as possible (will take gas & air)
- Ideally use pool when get to hospital for later part of 1st stage
- Would consider delivery in pool and if not then delivery using birth stool (used stool last time and loved it)
- Baby straight to mum for mum or dad to find out gender
- Please delay cord clamping until cord stops pulsating
- Happy to have syntocinon injection for 3rd stage at suitable time to allow delayed cord clamping
- Skin to skin and will breastfeed
- Vitamin K injection OK
* Packed my hospital bag. I’ve tried to take my own advice and skinny things down a bit compared to last time. Things I’ve ditched are: birthing ball (this didn’t leave the car last time and they do have them in hospital), things to wear in the pool or on dry land to give birth in (I wore nothing in the pool then a hospital gown when I got out), Magicool spray and handheld fan (though we did use the Magicool, perhaps I should get some!), flip flops, eye mask and breast pads also went unused last time so I’ve left them out. The baby bag contents are identical to Seren’s though we’ve added a small bottle of sunflower oil in case of try skin (and to stop the meconium sticking to the baby’s bum!). MrS’s bag of “things to do whilst waiting around” went unused last time so I’m guessing he will give it a miss this time. Trying to keep my camera and phone fully charged and will remember to pack my phone charger this time.
* Prepared the big sister! I’m going to write a whole post on this probably after the baby is here, but at this stage Seren is very excited and getting quite impatient for the baby to ‘hatch’. Practically, we are very lucky to have grandparents close by for emergency childcare duties when we go into hospital. I’m sure Seren will have some wobbles when reality sinks in, it took her a while to get her head around the idea that I would be this baby’s mummy as well as hers but I’m confident she will be an absolutely wonderful big sister!
I think we are good to go, come on baby!