It’s almost 10:30pm, and I’m pooped. I’ve spent some time tonight working on gathering together the various bits and pieces deemed as necessary on my “Checklist for Home Birth” that the midwife gave me a couple weeks ago. Initially I spent a few minutes just staring at the list, amazed that such simple items (6 bath towels, 1 large ziploc baggie, bendy straws) could possibly be associated with such a monumental event. Really! Isn’t it a marvel? How truly simple life is (2 large garbage bags, a roll of paper towels), and how birth, in its massively life-altering way, just fits into that simpleness.
I’m laying here watching the stretching and wiggling of my belly full of baby, and the strange movements of a little one who must be a little buzzed from the bowl of praline pecan ice cream I just ate (you’re welcome!). Time is coming fast for this one to arrive. I’m just over 36 weeks pregnant now, and in just a few more days I’ll be cleared for a home birth. Birth pool arrives later this week, baby’s in a good position, and I’ve nearly emptied that jar of tangy dijon mustard that seems to be finding its way onto almost everything I eat these days (pregnancy weirdness). Yeah, I think I’m feeling ready.
Well, as ready as anyone can be for Birth. We’ve been spending a bit of time talking to Finn about the upcoming birth experience, as we hope things will line up for him to witness his little sibling enter the world (he’s got his own ‘birth partner’ to keep tabs of him in the journey). A great little book “Hello Baby”, has become a favourite in the house (Finn has been wanting to read it 2-3 times a day) and been a good tool for discussion- including a midwife, birthing mama, tiny baby, placenta, and umbilical cord as part of the story and pictures. And a nice benefit of reading the book with Finn is the discussions that come up between Dustin and I- we are also working through our thoughts about this next stage of the journey. Roles, expectations, lingering anxiety, more changes, and ideas about simplifying life even more.
2 weeks ago we headed to Galiano Island for almost a week of camping with friends and just enjoying the island pace of life. It’s so different than our beloved Tofino- which is so gorgeous, rugged and remote, bear-filled and wild. Tofino always feels like a place you have to ‘hold your own’ against it’s unpredictable wind-swept fury. In contrast (as I assume most of the Gulf Islands) Galiano is (sparsely) populated and contained, and we lounged around the ocean filled days and starry nights admiring the racoons and owls prowling the evenings, enjoying bountiful and fresh food, driving the slow lazy roads that just wind along, checking out all shops (best cheese? cheapest beer?), and definitely tagging along to the foot-stomping country dance on Saturday night with the local folk band. And did I mention there were enough ‘For Sale’ signs to get my little country-girl heart racing at the idea of a little piece of land to call our own? Well, I just HAD to go look around. So, of course I fell in love with a little piece of land, which I am dearly trying, in my 36 weeks of pregnancy, to stop thinking about! Thinking about? Well, if you want to know- chickens, greenhouse, a small studio, gardens, wood pile, a couple canoes, and kiddos running around free as country kids can be. Of course, none of that exists (yet, heehee). The reality is we live here in a sweet little townhouse in a fabulous neighborhood in the middle of a big city. And over there on that island is a junk-filled, inexpensive piece of land with a funky house that needs a lot of work. Ooooh, what a tasty, tasty dream.
Anyway, in all of this I can feel the tempting of what that other lifestyle offers. I can feel it in my bones. Dustin, too. I think that the Spirit of Simple (and maybe our grannies from the next world) is holding a candlelight for us, reminding us of our roots, tempting us with dreams of little pieces of land.
In this dreaming, I can tell that the cloak of motherhood is wrapping tighter around me as I again approach that gate of birthing. In the ways that facing a life-altering event can shift the deepest awareness and perceptions, I’m standing before myself, revealed to myself, with earnestness and creativity. These late days of pregnancy feel so vulnerable, and precious too. It’s an exposure that comes so rarely in life and I am trying to just hold the awareness of myself, observing, curious and kind, in this very temporary state of being.
So I’m laying out the towels and sheets for a birth that will soon come knocking, taking these few quiet moments to watch my belly do the mysterious dance, and anticipating with my husband and son the welcoming of the next member and next stage of our little growing family.
I hope you can find some simple, too.