Friday, July 7, 2006

the calm before the storm

We met with our doula the other night and talked about birth plans, practiced breathing and massage techniques and learned a few exercises on the birth ball she gave us. And she took some pictures of us — something she also will be doing in the hospital. I am still so happy we chose her. She makes me feel so comfortable ... and considering she is going to be seeing me in some of my most vulnerable, immodest moments (i.e. naked, panting, grunting and groaning), that is a very good thing.

I am loving the birth ball, too! I'm sitting on it as I write, using it in place of a chair in front of the computer desk. It's basically an exercise ball like you'd see at the gym. Sitting on top of it, rolling back and forth on it, is actually pretty comfortable, and it positions my pelvis in a way that's good for baby. Supposedly, it gives him more room to slide into a good position those last few weeks so his head is facing down (as opposed to his butt, which would make him breech) and his spine curves along the outside of my belly so he's facing my back (not vice versa — "sunny-side up", which would give me a lot of back labor). The better his position when I go into labor, the easier my labor will be. But of course, no matter what I do now, I can't really control how he turns. I can only improve my chances.

Toward the end of her visit, the doula told us we seem a lot different from how we did when we first met two months ago. "You seem calmer," she said. "Before, you seemed like you thought you might be having a baby. Now, you seem like you're ready to have a baby."

Steve and I were kind of surprised by her observation, but when we pondered it later, I realized it's true. We've been to six weeks of classes, I've been plowing through books, and Steve has been reading quite a bit, too. Obviously, books can only do so much. I can't say I'm any closer to knowing what the real-life experience of childbirth will be like, but I can say that I feel less anxious, more confident, more prepared ... and even more excited. I feel like Steve must feel when he trains for a marathon. He knows it's going to be grueling, and he might want to quit when he hits mile 19, but he'll keep going because there's nothing like that feeling of accomplishment when he crosses the finish line.

5 comments:

Carrie said...

Em
that picture is worth a thousand words. Wow. it is so telling -- the love, the joy, the anticipation, and the excitement of all that is to come (soon!). I'm actually teary looking at it!
Wow, you are so close!

LutherLiz said...

Emilie, that picture is beautiful! I think that you should frame it. In a few weeks there will be baby pictures galore and this picture is a picture of love and hope. I love it!

I'm so excitied for you and Steve. I can't wait to meet the little guy, and the doula sounds like a great fit for you guys!

liz said...

What a sweet family picture!

Was it really two months ago that you met the doula?! How time flies. I'm just so excited for you two (three)!

Monkeymama said...

I'm so excited for you! I hope you have a wonderful labor experience - it is really crazy how well our bodies are designed for this!

I think the picture is great too - it seems to capture the excitement you talk about in your blog.

Susanne said...

Em, what a prescious picture of Steve and you! The birthball looks pretty funky too!

Thanks for calling last night. 'Twas sweet of you to be concerned about my pathetic living situation.

Aaron and Andrea had their baby; a boy too! Named Andreas.