If you go over to Gentlewood Cottage you will see pictures of the most peaceful and beautiful birthroom I have ever seen. This woman has truly created a space for herself that is calming and relaxing. Contrast her lovely bedroom with the rooms provided by the birthing center. Even though I appreciate the birthing center's efforts to create a more relaxing and homelike atmosphere for laboring moms, they can't offer anywhere near the same kind of environmental control and familiarity that comes from establishing a sanctuary within your own home. Unfortunately, our small apartment isn't conducive to any such arrangements, and Allen and I agree that for our first it would probably be better to be at the birthing center than at home. Still, I can't help wishing that I could create a place to give birth. This is particularly important to me since doctor's offices have always made me uneasy and tense, and I don't want to feel that way when I go to the center to give birth. Even though I'm not due until mid-June I've been thinking about ways I could personalize my birthing room to take some of the medical "edge" off it. One thing I've though about is taking a strand of Christmas lights with me to birthing center. Christmas lights in June are about as unmedical as you can get, and for some reason I've always loved them. When I'm feeling busy and tense they relax me, and when I'm lethargic they help clear my brain. I figure that's a good thing in labor. I'll have to talk to one of the midwives about this when I go in next.