What's my plan for #3?
A lot of you have been asking questions about the upcoming birth of our third (and final... super final) little babe, because, well, we're now 3 months out from the big arrival. Truth is, there are still so many unknowns in this odd climate we're finding ourselves in - a global pandemic, bringing so many factors to consider that wouldn't otherwise be crossing my mind. First things first. Most of you may know about my previous two births. I've talked about my first daughter's birth - a birth centre plan turned hospital epidural birth that was exactly what I'd needed in that moment. A year and a half later, I gave birth to my daughter Auli at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre - an absolutely empowering experience that ended exactly as I'd imagined.
Having gone through both a hospital birth and a birth centre birth, I have to say that out-of-hospital births are my jam. It definitely isn't for everyone, but I personally found that the birth centre offered a more relaxing atmosphere for me to move around, let go, let my body do its thing, and give birth in whichever way I need to (like for Auli, in a semi-squat in the water, our favourite tunes playing on the speakers).
So, what does this mean for our third? Well. If I had to give a quick and easy answer, I'd blurt out 'BIRTH CENTRE' in a heartbeat. Honestly, I've preached it before and I'll preach it again - if you live in Ottawa and are longing for an out-of-hospital birth but not sure if home is the place for you, check it out.
Why am I not blurting it out as loudly right now? Well, there's this thing called COVID-19. I don't know if you've heard of it? What it means for expecting parents right now is kinda this big bubble of unknown. As it stands today, all of my midwife appointments are done over the phone to protect both myself and the midwives from close contact. Although this may be hard for some (and especially first time parents), I'm not really bothered by this aspect of things. It's my third baby in three years, and as much as I'd love to hang with my awesome midwife more often, I kinda sorta know the drill.
What is odd to think about, however, is the day this babe will come. What will things look like in the world by then? Will we still be in isolation, needing to respect some sort of social distancing? If that's the case, our plan to have my parents come over to watch our kids while Sean and I head over to the birth centre to have this little one will be out the window. We then will be left with two options, one of which may not even be a possibility. I can either stay home and have this babe here (which I'm definitely very open to), if midwives are still accepting home births in this uncertain time. It's a conversation that will need to be had closer to the date, but isn't ruled out as of yet. The main thing worrying me about a home birth is that my other two kids would be home. I don't personally like the idea of them being present while I'm labouring and pushing a baby out, nor do I feel like I'd truly be able to 'let go' if I heard the constant tantrums and demands from outside our bedroom door.
Second option if we're still in this climate once babe comes knockin' is for Sean to drop me off at the birth centre, and to pick us up when I'm done. What a hilarious concept, isn't it!? I have to say, as absolutely crappy as it would be for my husband to not be there for his last child's birth, the prospect of needing to give birth without him doesn't scare me that much. Not that he wouldn't be absolutely helpful if I needed him, but I have been so well supported by my midwives in the past that I have no doubts they'd be amazing in a situation like this. Plus, I kinda do my thing and labour solo (last time, leaving Sean and the midwife to a conversation on the couches while I moved this babe down), and one thing I could have done without is my husband's constant dad jokes as his discomfort rose. Don't get me wrong, guys. If there is any way for my husband to be there, we would absolutely figure it out, but if we look at the climate assuming the situation will be the same as it is now, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable opening our bubble just before bringing a newborn into our home. Plain and simple, it just isn't worth it for me.
So, there you have it. Our unknown plan of unknowns for an unknown situation that we can't exactly plan for. I'm so curious and excited to see how things turn out. One thing is for sure - regardless of what happens, this year will be one for the books.