It is time. We have had nine months to prepare ourselves for this day, and now it is here. Take a deep breath and relax. Everything is going to be fine. I have kept myself in good health, eaten well and Anastasia's room/stuff is ready. We have everything we need for her to come home. We have read all the books, followed the sage advice of our mother's and bought Ana all the creature comforts that a little baby girl could want for.
Here are a few things to remember when I call you or turn to you and say, "My darling, sweet husband IT IS TIME!!". First, do NOT panic. Labor will take more than a few hours, so we can take our time putting the bags in the car, neatening up the house and any last minute adjustments, (including my silly notion of baking muffins for the nurses, midwife and doctor). The birthing center is only a half an hour away, and more than likely I will go into labor in the off hours and not during rush hour. We know all the alternate routes, so if Ana decides to show up on the 31rst (during Chelsea Clinton's much publicized wedding ), we will get to the birthing center on time.
I have my birthing plan all printed out, so you will not have to explain anything to anyone about my desires and wishes for a natural birth with a tub labor and possible water birth. I have some fun things packed in my suitcase, like snacks and lavender oil,washcloths, magazines,cds, a rolling pin for my back and yummy smelling Kiehls lotions. When we get to the birthing center and get comfy in our room, I have a list of activities that you can refer to, to calm us down, keep me relaxed and comfortable and keep you busy.
First things first, you need to help me keep track of the contractions. It may help to write them down and call the birthing center, ob/gyn, or midwife, when they seem to be regular, and coming 5 minutes apart. They will let us know when to leave the house.
Then, you need to remind me to stay calm and take deep breaths. Everything will be easier if I am in a meditative state.
Once at the birthing center, things will be easier to keep track of.
Things for You to remember while I am laboring:
1. Please do not forget to call all of our parents to let them know that we are safely at the Neugarten and that you will call them when I am closer to giving birth to let them know when they can come visit.
2. To help me relax, you can apply counterpressure to my lower back with your hands, the rolling pin, and your knuckles. You can use the rolling pin under my tailbone for relief.
Also, you can take the washcloths that I packed and using hot or cold water apply it to my lower back. I packed a heating pad and that might work well.
3. Rinse a washcloth with cool water and put a dab of lavender oil from my suitcase before applying to my neck, and forehead. This will be soothing.
4. Make sure my ipad/ipod or cd player is playing one of my mixed cds with my favorite songs, including Ana's song. This might make us a bit more emotional, but will be soothing.
5. Make sure I am drinking lots of liquids: water, fruit juice, tea so I do not get dehydrated, and also make sure that I use the bathroom regularly.
6. Keep me distracted. Tell jokes, read me a funny story, take a walk with me, or watch some funny television while we wait.
7. Give me encouragement. Tell me I am getting closer to meeting our dear sweet lil Ana, and it will be worth it! I need support, and even if I am not complaining, tell me I am doing a great job!
8. Make sure you eat something. I need you to keep your energy and spirits up. Do not forget to pack snacks or drinks that you would like (and I dont mean Vodka, lol).
Once I am in active labor, the tone may change a bit. I will be feeling more pain, maybe moaning, rolling my back from side to side, squatting, in the tub or taking a shower. There are a few things I would like you to help me with once active labor sets in:
1. Quiet the room. Please keep the door closed, the lights as dim as they can be, put my softer music cds on and let everyone know I am listening to my Calm Birth cd to meditate and might not want to chat.
2. Help me through the contractions. If I am on a fetal monitor, you can ask the midwife or nurse how to read it. Or you can rub my abdomen offer encouragement as each contraction peaks and wanes. You can breathe with me, and massage my abdomen or lower back.
3. Please do not take what I say personally if I am cranky, or seem irritated. You are a great labor coach, and I may need some silence or comforting with my thoughts more than usual.
This is it! Anastasia is almost here. We are going to meet her soon. But, this is the hardest part, so do not forget:
1. This is the hardest part for me so I will really need your encouragement. We will both be very tired, maybe even sleep deprived, and I will probably look and sound worn out. Keep talking to me, holding my hand, rubbing my head, and breathe with me. Just keep eye contact and let me know that you love me.
2. Get the cameras ready. This will be the time you want to record on video our little Ana coming into the world.
3. Keep me hydrated with ice or water. I may have dry mouth or lips at this point. I have packed some Burt's Bees for my lips as well.
Pushing and Delivery!!!!
Ok..here we go. I hope you are ready to be a Daddy, because she is here!!
1. Help guide my pushing and breathing...with the advice of Dr Bloch, or one of the midwives, you can help by supporting my back..holding my hand if I am in the tub.
2 . Stay close by. Do not think you are in the way no matter how many people are around me. I need you and want you as close as possible.
3. If you see the baby's head crowning, let me know...Tell me the progress of the baby , especially if noone else is.
4. And finally enjoy cutting the cord. I want you to do it..it is a special moment and you should have the pleasure.
Phew, I am tired just typing this all up. But I think we may want it with us. Just as an easy, neurotic Zoe type guide.
Now we can celebrate her with kisses, hold her little toes in our hand, kiss her downy hair and smell her perfect baby skin. I am so proud of you and happy that you are the daddy to our daughter. You are going to be a great Dad!! I love you and cannot wait to share the joy of watching a little person grow and develop into a girl, and then a woman!!
I love you babe,