This bubba came as a beautiful surprise to us after I’d all but given up on being blessed with a third child. Over the past nine months we have been preparing for the homebirth of the fifth member of our family, a homebirth that for the first time will be in our own home.
Much of that preparation has been my own, a lot of reading (my favourite author Ina May Gaskin) and thought, letting go of fears as much as possible and increasing my knowledge on birth, and for the first four months just making it through each day of debilitating morning sickness.
We have been preparing as a family, talking with our beautiful 13 and 8 year old, talking through their anxieties and fears about the birth, what they can do during the birth, and what to expect, also reading stories, the favourite of which has most definitely been Hello Baby by Jenni Overend and My Brother Jimi Jaz by Chrissy Butler, Anusha asking for them to be read over and over.
We have also been preparing our home, creating a natural and peaceful environment for our bubba. We have had some trials, like a bout of shingles that I had to deal with at around 34 weeks. A painful and scary experience when all you want to do is nest and be as healthy as possible for your baby! But now as I have just past my estimated due date I am feeling ready and we are all waiting…
One of the first things I did to prepare for our homebirth was to, of course, wash nappies and more nappies,
so far all of our nappies are secondhand gifts from our lovely friends.
I began knitting early on in the pregnancy, recently finishing a pair of pants, but still going on a cardigan and burp cloth (which I hope to make more of).
I went op shopping for secondhand sheets, blankets, and towels, and made my own birth mat from an old mattress protector and flannelette sheet (with some help from Nush),
I also cut up the secondhand towels and hemmed them to be used as heat packs during the birth. I will not be having a water birth as I need my feet firmly grounded! But I will be using the shower and heat packs for pain relief.
I have been gathering bubba clothes, some bought, some given, and some old, and doing lots and lots of washing!
We have been in the kitchen a fair bit. Scott has been cooking up some meals to freeze for after the birth, and Nush helped me with freezing fresh juice ice cubes (and why not make some ice blocks at the same time!) in case I need a sugar boost during the birth,
My gorgeous partner and two little ones have started the year’s wood collecting and chopping so our house is nice and warm for bubba,
and I have been preparing for the birth with lots of candles, incense, and essential oil. I find candlelight extremely relaxing and meditative and wanted bubba to be born into a low lit, non intrusive environment.
As the birth has drawn near we celebrated Samhain. As Samhain is a celebration of death and new beginnings, with the beginning of the pagan new year, this was a very special opportunity for us to talk about the passing of our family of four. We talked with the children about the sadness that we may all feel as our lives will never be the same and how this sadness is completely normal. We then talked about the excitement of welcoming our new bubba into our family and the changes this will bring. We had a special meal together, honouring the season with pumpking gnocchi, made biscuits, and carved spirit guides to guide our ancestors to eat with us. I also thought of the spirit guides as guiding the spirit of our bubba to his/her loving family home.
And now, we are cocooning ourselves in our family home. It is such a special time to be together as we all await the arrival of our little one. We got out the paints yesterday and I suggested to Anusha that she paint a picture of bubba in the womb. This is what she created, so special.