How I’m Preparing for My Home Birth

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I hope to have a natural home birth, without drugs. I want a very calm, quiet birth. I’m a Scientologist and I’m sure you’ve heard of “silent births,” but that term is inaccurate. It’s a media misnomer. Really, it’s about keeping everything as calm as possible and using as few words as possible during the delivery. My doctor will give me hand signals when it’s time to push, instead of anyone yelling ‘PUSH!’ In Scientology it’s believed that the words spoken during times of pain or unconsciousness (say, due to injury or medication) can adversely affect people later in life.

My mom will definitely be at my house during my delivery and she may be in the room with me. I definitely think we’re going to invite my dad and my brothers, too, but they’ll be elsewhere—not my bedroom where I plan to give birth. It would be great to have them come over a few hours before it all goes down and hang out and maybe order a pizza. Just so we can all be together. They can see the baby as soon as feels right, too!

My husband and I plan to document our daughter’s birth. We bought some Polaroid film for a camera we’ve had forever so that we can take photos during my labor and after the baby is born. He’ll probably also make a video just on his iPhone, even if its only for us to watch.

To prepare myself for giving birth naturally, I’ve been learning about the Bradley Method, which is conducive to a quiet birth because it’s about relaxing and not tensing up. It advises visualizing contractions as a wave that you ride and when it peaks you float up over it and then you go down the other side. I think this will put me in the right frame of mind philosophically, which is respecting and contributing to what your body is doing, without resisting in any way. Also, between us ladies, I bought some almond oil for the doctor to use to massage my perineum to help prevent tearing.

I intend to be in the bath for the labor but not the delivery. If I’m in the bath when the time comes to push, then I’ll get out and maybe go to the bed. My ob-gyn has also delivered babies right on the floor; really, I’ll be free to get into whatever position I need to be in. I’m imagining that squatting will work well for me. My doc is allowing my husband to catch the baby and cut the cord, which is really exciting. My husband is gung-ho about it, like, “Of course I’ll do that!”

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