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Image courtesy of Prawny via Pixabay

This pregnancy with Ant was tracking exactly like the pregnancy with Bear. The elevated amniotic fluid index at 28 weeks was exactly as Bear’s was and it was looking like I would be hospitalised at 36 weeks for unstable lie (and the associated risk of a cord prolapse) and a repeat c-section was scheduled for 38 weeks (tomorrow).  At 35.5 weeks – a miracle happened. For the first time in this pregnancy, this pregnancy started following a different route.  My belief is that it had to do with some very difficult life choices I had to make at that point. Ant has been able to descend further than Bear or Chippie could and has been able to stabilise with this head down.  I haven’t been hospitalised and for the first time, at 35.5, my medical team and I were able to talk seriously about having a normal birth. There are a few complications – because of Chippie’s unexplained passing at 39 + 6, I can’t go further than 39.5 weeks and because of the c-section with Bear, prostaglandins can’t be used for inducing labour (they carry a moderate risk of rupture of the c-section scars). So, here I am at 38 weeks, and we’ve started the process of nudging labour. On my “Calm in a Complicated Pregnancy” CD, I have a track about making peace with The Fear – that sense of trepidation and concern. While It’s always present to some extent, it’s been amazing to feel incredibly positive and hopeful. A point I make on the “Notice and Deepening Joy” track on the C is that we can have fear AND feel joy.  I feel the calmest I have in four pregnancies.

I made special playlists for both Chippie’s and Bear’s births. Chippie had a number of Buddhist chants as well as hypnobirthing affirmations,  Bear’s had similar chants and his song – the Jayamangala Gatha (Stanzas of Victory and Blessing), which inspire one of his middle names.  I played this frequently through my pregnancy and still play it for him. Although not Buddhist, there is a lot in Buddhist philosophy that appeals to me.

The Jayamangala Gatha are chanted on auspicious occasions to confer good fortune. They were written by a Sri Lankan Buddhist poet and they are a story of the Buddha’s victories over his enemies through the use of the virtues, including generosity and loving kindness. Here is a lovely video of the Jayamangala Gatha – I hope the song brings you peace and calm.

There has been a lot to sort in the last few months and in these final days before Ant arrives earthside,  I put together a playlist for his birth which includes Buddhist chants including to Tara, the female face of the Buddha. The Green Tara is said to embody compassion and protection.  My anticipation of one of his proper names, which incorporates his pet name “Ant” is Sinhalese and translates to “Stars of Peace”. I thought it might be fitting that his song, I feel, is Willie Nelson’s “From here to the moon and back”.  I’ve played this from early in my pregnancy. As I embark on trying a VBAC, these words spoke to me:

I could hold out my arms, say “I love you this much”
I could tell you how long I will long for your touch
How much and how far would I go to prove
The depth and the breadth of my love for you?

From here to the moon and back
Who else in this world will love you like that?
Love everlasting, I promise you that
From here to the moon and back
From here to the moon and back

On the topic of birthing and pregnancy resources, I have to mention my amazing, generous, and kind hypnobirthing trainer, Melissa Spilsted, who has been emotionally and spiritually present with me throughout all four pregnancies, even though we are geographically separated. Melissa has an amazing wealth of resources on her website, including online resources. I was drawn to hypnobirthing after reading Sarah Buckley’s “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering”. The opening line remains with me “Gentle births give rise to gentle people”. Despite their differences and the complications, both Chippie (born normally) and Bear (born by scheduled c-section) had beautiful, dignified, calm births.

Did you have a playlist for your birth?

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