To ease my end-of-pregnancy aches, I went swimming the other day and was pleasantly surprised by two wonderfully sweet older men I ran into. The first one asked if I was going to be in the water when I had the baby, and before I could even answer, he went on to tell me how he’d been reading all about how great water was for birth. He then told me, with an enormous amount of pride, about how his wife had all four of their children naturally, without anesthesia, despite the fact that everyone else was being knocked out at the time. He shared how she then nursed their babies and that they were so healthy, so smart, and grew so well. I was still reveling in the joy of that conversation, when another man commented on how comfortable I looked in the water and that he too had been reading about the benefits of water for pregnant women and birth. I’m not sure what these guys have been reading, but I love it and hope they keep sharing!!
As I go through week 40 of my pregnancy, I am feeling much more relaxed and prepared to birth and meet this little nugget. Just about everything is washed, arranged, and packed in anticipation. My belly cast is done and drying, courtesy of my doulas and husband. My body is also getting ready–the baby has moved down, finally giving me relief from the constant heartburn, and I’ve started to lose my mucous plug. When it happened, it occurred to me, “Oh, that means my cervix is starting to change. Oh, that means I’m going to have a baby soon!” despite the fact that I had just described to a room full of expectant families what the whole mucous plug thing meant earlier that day. Most importantly, my mind is ready for birth. I’ve gotten to a place of acceptance with the entire process–the big change in birth plans, the uncertainty of the health of our baby, all of the unknowns of birth. Rather than play out scenarios in my head, I’m leaving this whole thing up to my baby and the birth goddesses. I trust that things will work out exactly as they should, that the right people will be there, and that my baby will come exactly when and how he or she is supposed to.