My baby's due date is approaching soon. I have two due dates; one based on the first day of my last menstrual period, and the other is based on an ultrasound that was done at 20 weeks gestation. The ultrasound date is 11 days later than the other, and I know that estimated due dates are not always accurate, so we are awaiting the arrival of our baby whenever he decides it's time to come. My obstetrician also admitted to me that ultrasound dates aren't very accurate at 20 weeks, and if we had done an ultrasound earlier, say around 9 weeks, it would have been much more accurate. When someone asks me when the baby is due, I just say "sometime in July". I get some pretty funny looks from them when I don't give an exact date, but I'd rather not focus on a specific day and get myself worked up about it.
My first baby was born 2 days past the due date. My last 3 babies were each born 4 days before the due date. If the pattern holds true with this baby, then I will have a new baby in less than a week! I'm not focusing on that however, and I'm happy to wait until the baby is ready.
We are busily preparing ourselves for his arrival, and we're very excited to be so close to welcoming a new child into our family. We have still been unpacking from our move a few months ago, and we only have a few boxes left to go through. It feels good to be organizing our home and staying busy. I'm especially excited that we're also preparing our home to have the birth take place here. I feel great peace about my decision to birth at home, and I feel ready for the birth.
My midwife gave me a birth kit that she put together with some essentials, such as chux pads (the absorbent pads used in hospitals to catch all the fluids and yucky stuff from the birth - I never knew before that you can buy them from the local store!), latex gloves, cord clamp, herbs for sits baths (for healing after the birth), suction catheter (just in case), gauze pads for cord care after the birth, and more. She told me that most births don't require everything in the kit, but it's better to have more than you need than not enough.
She also gave me a list of things to have on hand for the birth, including: feminine hygiene pads, diapers, towels, wash cloths, sheets, shower curtains (to use under the top bedsheet and under the birthing tub), garbage bags, paper towels, wipes, ice and bowl, crock pot (to hold and keep warm compresses) baby clothes, birth food for mom and everyone who will be there, lots of juice, and ingredients for her wonderful cayenne drink (which she uses to reduce bleeding). Anything else that may be needed for the birth will be brought by the midwife and her attendants, including the birthing tub.
My midwife has several attendants training under her, and I've met tham all. I don't have a specific preference of which attendants come to the birth, so we decided that when the time comes she will call them all and see who is available to come. We could have 2 or more attendants along with our midwife, and I feel good about that, knowing I'll have lots of support along with my husband (who is a wonderful support for me during labor and birth).
My husband has been more involved in preparing the house for this baby, and I think it's because the baby will be born here. I know that he's looking forward to not having to drive to and from the hospital. We're also glad that I won't be separated from the kids for 2 or more days like I was when I gave birth in the hospital. Our youngest is only 18 months old, and I know she'll be happier having me home rather than away from her for such a long time. I feel happy knowing that I will be able to control the atmosphere at the birth, and have all the comforts of home close at hand, and be away from the hustle and chaos of the hospital. I'm really excited about laboring and possibly delivering the baby in the tub (which no hospital in my state will allow), and not feeling like I'm under pressure to perform according to hospital protocol.
When talking about home birth, many people ask about the possibility of something going wrong. Many are afraid of the "what ifs" of birth, and worry that they should be in the hospital "just in case". I have not had any fear about these things. I feel comfortable knowing that 95% of pregnancies and births are low-risk and require no intervention. I've had excellent prenatal care from my midwife throughout the pregnancy, and have not had any complications so far. I will also be surrounded by a team including my midwife (who has 15 years experience with home birth) and her attendants, and they will support me and watch for any possible complications. They know how to handle many surprises at home, and if something more serious were to happen, they would know when a transfer to the hospital may be needed.
All in all, this pregnancy has been wonderful and I'm a little sad for it to be ending, but more overwhelmingly excited to be welcoming a new beautiful baby into our family and home. My family is the most important thing in my life, and I would not trade this life for anything else!