We are officially 38 weeks and 2 days preggy, and in the home stretch.
I haven't shared much during the pregnancy, as I felt a deep sense of going inward rather than outward, but now I feel ready to reflect a bit and share how I'm preparing for birth.
Pregnancy has been a beautiful and positive experience for me, and uneventful in the best way possible. Aside from first trimester morning (and evening for me) sickness, soreness of my hips adjusting in the second trimester, and catching tummy bugs and colds due to a lower immune system, my body really has handled it well and I've felt connected and at peace.
Here are some resources I used and loved:
1. Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
This is a beautifully holistic guide to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. It's simple and easy to navigate and it gives you the facts, but with a natural stance which I loved. Highly recommend.
2. The Birth Hour Podcast
This podcast has a wide variety of birth stories- one can focus on the ones that align with your birth preferences, but I've found it useful to listen to positive birth stories of different varieties. In the end one doesn't know how your birth will go down, and knowing that all roads can have positive and wondrous outcomes is definitely helpful and sets the mind at ease.
3. Positively Birthing on Instagram
Megan has a beautiful page with empowering content. Pics aren't for the faint hearted, but they've really made me feel empowered that giving birth is even possible hah! We are seriously superwomen!
Besides for that, Megan shares evidence based research on all topics birth. She shares this in an easy to read and understand format, and I've often turned to her website when I needed some clarity on anything from inductions to episiotomy's.
Her website : www.positivelybirthing.com
I found tidbits of info and inspiration in many other places, however I tried to not overthink and over research everything, so these three mentioned above were my main focus.
Preparing for birth:
1. In preparation for birth we did antenatal classes with Birth Options linked here.
It was a well rounded course covering all serious topics, but still with a sense of humor, something I believe is necessary in this all!
2. We also completed a one day course called Relax Into Birth linked here.
This was a fun day going through many tips and techniques for the big for both mom and partner, and we also got sound tracks of affirmations and meditations that I've been doing to keep in the right mind space.
What else have I been doing?
1. Drinking red raspberry leaf tea since about 36 weeks.
2. Trying to eat 4-8 dates a day (I find them so sweet, struggling with this hah!)
3. Massaging belly with my normal oil, but adding one drop of Clary Sage since 38 weeks.
4. Stretching every day and listening to my body's cues for rest.
5. Doing my meditation/breathing/affirmations
6. Talking to Portmini :-)
I'll talk a bit more to Surrendering.
The biggest thing I've learnt is how unique each persons experience is with birth and how it truly is an unknown journey. Although I have the best intentions of doing a natural home birth, I am surrendering my plans and expectations to the bigger picture of what reality will bring.
Working every day with my emotions to trust that all will be exactly as it should be, and surrendering to my body and my baby leading the way it wants this to go.
I'm carrying this through to being a new parent as well: surrendering and letting go of whatever stories and expectations I have, and simply allowing each moment to teach me.
Pregnancy has been an intense journey of self-love and self-care, and I am so grateful for how it has all gone, and for the support I have received.
Regardless if you're pregnant or not, I think these principles of letting go of rigid ideas/plans and surrendering to what the moment gives us can do wonders for our self-love and self-care journeys.
A last cheers from me for now before baby joins, I look forward to sharing more soon.