Wednesday, February 2, 2011

. . . She Shall Be Saved In Childbearing. . .

. . .  if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Maternal Caress by Mary Cassatt

I am realizing how far behind I am getting ready for the new little.  The sorting, cleaning, a replacing of many things, plus the establishing a new sleeping situation for E. (4) who has been family bedding with us for the last five months and B. who needs to transition to the boys room.  

6½ weeks to go.  So many things to worry and fuss over.  I know I need to stop, drop (everything), and roll (my prayer rope through my fingers).  Everything will get done, one way or another.  

We have settled on a St. Irenaeus as the patron of this little girl.  As much for his apologia, as for our desire that this child should embody the peace that this name means.  We are waiting to see what day she will be born on before we decide on a middle name.  

What a year we have had already!  My beloved and I have almost always managed my labor together and mostly alone.  Husband-coached childbirth takes years to achieve.  Suddenly we've been thrown a loop in our routine.  Will I be able to walk pain-free and unassisted when the time comes?  What impact will The Ankle have on my labor?  I am now considered "High Risk" and I'm hoping this is a distinction that is more pro forma than reality.  These are anxieties that I am holding at bay (barely). 

There isn't much we really need.  Maybe a new car seat.  Some newborn diaper covers and a few more more newborn diapers.  A small layette and some onesies and sleepers.  I made one sweater, I'll make another along with some more hats and some baby booties.  It feels bigger than it really is.  

When I dwell too long on these things, I feel my heart lurch and run into to overdrive.  I think this is the faith, charity, holiness, and sobriety part of my salvation that I need to work on.  

What rituals and things do you have to have as you prepare for birth?  What prayers or meditations are helpful for you?


elizabeth said...

My patron saint is St Irene of Chrysovalantou and her name means peace as well; I am greatful. Love to you.

Michelle M. said...

You have picked such a wonderful patron for your little girl.

I don't necessarily have any rituals that I do before the birth, but I make sure all the clothes are clean and put away. I have diapers stocked and ready to go (I use disposables just until the bowel movements are "normal"). I read books with the children about the new baby bring born and joining the family. I found a great Usborne book while I was in London last summer that goes from conception to after the birth. I find great comfort in praying the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children. Most importantly, stay calm and when you feel anxious remember to pray :)

Are you planning to have a homebirth?

Matushka Anna said...

Oh my, prayers for you.

I guess the thing that calmed me down most was making lists and crossing things off. This is my stock answer to anxiety! It keeps me from worrying that I've forgotten something and I feel accomplished and virtuous when I cross something off. It's just too much to hold in your brain and overflow to paper is convenient.

I hope things go well and the ankle is not a hindrance.

Svetlana said...

I am not.

I tend to not go in to labor, plus other reasons pretty much send me on to the hospital. Unfortunately, ever since the break, they've kept me loaded up on anti-clotting agents, so now, I'm really not going to be birthing ex-hospital.

That said: it is entirely possible to have the birth you want in the hospital. I have had 6 pitocin assisted births. That said, after the first 2 they have all been epidural-free.

I have a midwife and a physician this time around. I'm just nervous. Like pre-Ball jitters, if that makes sense at all. I'd like to dance well.

Michelle M. said...

Yes, it sounds like you definitely need to be in the hospital with the meds you are taking.
I've had all hospital births as well. First two were induced, and I managed all three without pain meds. It can be done, even when they threatened me with a c-section (with my first). My third was with a midwife and she will also be delivering the child I am currently pregnant with as well. she was fantastic. As involved as I needed without ever pressuring me to do anything "medical".

I hope your delivery goes smoothly!

H West said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm laughing at 2 things: the 'stop, drop, and roll' technique. Love the 'roll the prayer rope' idea. And, I'm laughing at the whole 'husband assisted' childbirth thing. I tend to have fast labors. I also don't like to talk. I don't like people talking to me and asking questions. The last 4 labors have been 3-5 hours drug free (my first 2 labors were loaded with drugs and TERRIBLE). Anyway, my husband was working nights for the last 2 births (which, of course, happened in the middle of the night). I had to meet him at the hospital for both labors. By the time I arrived, I was tired. By the time he arrived, he was tired. He has learned from me yelling 'SHUT UP!!!' numerous times to just leave me the heck alone and let me pace the floor. When we were having our first few babies, we were trying to get into the whole 'birth partner', 'loving husband', 'helpmate' thing and then we realized it's better to just let me be and shut your trap. The last labor consisted of him nearly falling asleep, sitting on the floor and me relaxing in the hospital bath tub until it was time to break my water (I always go into labor, but my water NEVER breaks naturally). Anyway, it would have made a funny story for all the mushy, gushy, lovey, dovey types who want to be 'coached' and all that (not that I don't think that is great if it works for you).

And as for preparing? Naaaaaa. . . I guess I like to get the vaccuuming done, but that's about it. And as for the co-sleeping thing, we have 2 kids in our bed at the moment. If I get pregnant again, we're going to have to work on that one. . .Maybe I'll just sleep in the bathtub.

Oh, and I did find 'the Jesus Prayer' to be very helpful to me during my last labor.

susie said...

As you know, I was in a way different situation when I gave birth to Mae. I wasn't really able to nest, since we were not able to occupy our home. We were living in a hotel room, because I wanted to be closer to my midwife. As it was, we were still 30 minutes away. I thought about nesting, but never really did it. I spent about an hour sorting through clothes, most of which had been given to us. I washed diapers and bought a couple of diaper covers. I planned to buy a couple of things and pack for the birthing center on the day I gave birth. SO, I spent a few minutes telling others to pack for me as I contracted in the wee hours of the morning before we went to the birth center. It was not the experience I had planned.

And neither was the birth. It was my quickest birth and my only one at a birthing center. Honestly? I would never have imagined a birth such as this one. I cried in pain more than anything else. In retrospect, I think that pain was emotional as much as it was physical, as I was crying for all of the loss we had experienced during this pregnancy. I felt like such a baby and such a wimp, crying over childbirth pain. I mean, I'd done this 5 times before, only once with pain meds, I should know how to do this right?

G-d had other plans. He knew exactly what I needed. I finally grieved our house. I finally grieved over many, many of the losses we had to overcome this fall. I had a 3 hour labor and birth, 1 hour of that was pushing. It was an amazing experience with an amazing team - midwife, doula, birth assistant and husband. Never underestimate the power of G-d when it comes to the "planning" of labor and birth. And maybe I don't need to tell you that, but it's good to hear.

Phillippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" is not just a verse, but a life verse for me. For without Him, I would be but a puddle in the walkway of life.

P.S. I've got some newborn dips if you need them. Let me know.



Sh. Patty said...

My last two births have been to the background music of Eikona's Akathist to the Mother of God. Very soothing. :)