I left my doctor – late. I can’t remember, but I think I was 27 weeks along. There was fine medical care, but no art/warmth time for questions, and a rotating staff of nice but not ultimately warm OBGYNs, and I was getting nervous about a hospital birth so far from home in Manhattan, which would require me to cross a bridge or tunnel to get to. At 5pm, this four mile drive could take three hours.
I looked into birthing centers, and different doctors, and read articles, and found out that, despite what you’d think, New York City isn’t really the greatest place to have a baby. I called three midwives. One answered the phone while walking down the street, and told me to come in for an initial meeting. I did.
I have a thing that happens to my bones when I know answers deeply. A nice warm heat rises out of my arm bones, and across my ribs, then floats up into my face and brain, and this is how I know that I know something before I know it. I felt it first when I met Leeloo, the dog who was the absolute perfect dog, and when I tried on the gown that I got married in before I had even fully gotten a look at myself in the mirror.
I felt it when met Marley for the first time. I saw him from across the sidewalk waiting for me – I was late for our first blind date – and automatically extended my still-glowing arms outward and around his neck within 10 seconds of meeting him, a level of familiarity with a strange man I had never gotten close to on the dozens of first dates before his.
So I knew in my arms and ribs that I was hiring this team of two women, and that meant that I am, barring complications of course, going to give birth in my living room, and that this was the right – not even right, but obvious – choice for our family, and my body, and this baby, even though it was not what I ever saw for myself.
I hugged them, too, with my still glowing arms. They insisted on me waiting for 24 hours before I officially hired them so I did, and called them as soon as the time was up.
They have me drinking a homemade blend of herbal tea, and taking probiotics that will help stave off Group B strep and WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW THIS?!, and sitting on yoga balls, and feeling my uterus for exactly where he’s laying inside of me (we are currently working – him and I in our first project together – to get him a little more to the left to be in a better birthing position). They touch, and listen, and talk, and feel, and it’s different, it’s wonderful, it’s close to spiritual, and I’m so grateful. They taught Marley how to feel where the baby is, too.
I’m currently full of gratitude, and wonder, and tiny knees. I am growing large. I have never felt more beautiful.
(And don’t you judge my hairy armpits!)