One of the things that’s been nagging at me about having a home birth is how to break it to our neighbors–neighbors that we’ve never met. It’s not for lack of effort though, we just seem to live in a building where people like to keep to themselves.
We hosted a “Get to Know Your Neighbors” potluck a few weeks ago, and of the 20+ people who live here, only 4 showed up. It’s better than nothing, but I was less than thrilled with the turn out. So its no exaggeration to say that we know less than 1/5 of the people who live in our small complex. In a building with aging insulation and thin walls, I felt obligated to at least inform them of our impending home birth. But how do you first introduce yourself to someone who you’ve shared walls with for the past 8 months and drop this kind of news all at the same time?
“Hi, I’m Dona I live next door. I know we’ve never met, but I’m having a baby really soon and we’re having it at home. So uhhh, if you hear so strange sounds coming from our place over the next couple of weeks, don’t worry.”
This would surely be followed by some awkward long pauses and the exchanging of a few even more awkward pleasantries. Or maybe they’d be really genuinely nice and this supposed awkward conversation would forge the beginning of a new friendship. But probably not. We tend not to have the friendliest of neighbors and despite repeated “hellos” and “how are yous”, the status quo here on Pakington Street seems to be keep-to-yourself indifference.
So instead of put ourselves through way too many bumbling introductions, I instead baked a batch of lemon rosemary shortbread, wrote an explanatory note, and with a little ribbon to make it look pretty, placed homemade cookies at everyone’s door.