Last weekend, we had a little get-together at my mother’s house to make my birthing blanket. This is an item that my midwives require me to have on hand, it’s a cushy and waterproof blanket (made from thrifted materials) that can follow me around the house as I labor — couch, floor, bed, stairs, bathroom, wherever. We will have a birthing pool, but it’s impossible to predict where I will feel most comfortable, of course.
So my mom and I went to thrift stores and picked out some soft sheets and a fluffy comforter, and she found some clear vinyl in a remnants bin at Mill End. With munchies on hand, and some tapestry needles and embroidery floss, we laid out all the layers on the big table and started stitching them together, nothing fancy, just simple tied knots every six inches or so.
We rolled up the edges and sewed them in place:
As I kept saying while we did it, remember that it doesn’t matter what it looks like, it just has to be functional. When my baby is born, this blanket may very well be soaked in water from the birthing pool, in blood and other fluids, and it is meant to be rolled up and thrown away. There will be other keepsakes (like one roly-poly baby!) to hold onto, and this blanket is not destined to be anything more than a soft basin to hold my labor in.
So it was gloriously imperfect, fields of purple knots mixed with pink as we switched thread, each woman’s corner a little bit different in spacing, areas of geometric regularity mixed with riotous pointillist arcs and dots of ties. It was a lot of fun, and two hours passed pretty quickly.
We felt very accomplished when it was done. Here is my nephew Cos, his homebirthing mama/my sister Katie, me, our friend Caren, and my mom, holding up our handiwork:
It really is soft and a comfortable place to be. Right now it’s in the linen closet so it doesn’t become the cat’s newest favorite item to shed hair on, but I’m thinking maybe it should come downstairs into the living room (where I will probably do a lot of my laboring, since that is where the tub will be) so I can do yoga moves and other baby-positioning postures on it as I move into the last two months of my pregnancy. It’s hard to believe we’re so close! I can’t wait to meet our little baby girl. On Tuesday I will be at 32 weeks exactly.