Friday, January 20, 2012

The first step.

I wrote this note back when I was about halfway through my pregnancy, and finally realizing I had options when it came to childbirth. I was really scared out of my mind, and the only way to stifle the fear was LOTS of information. I knew very little about natural childbirth at the time. I thought it might be cool to look back at where my head was just one year ago...

Sorry guys, but I'm gonna rant a bit about childbirth, so stop reading now if you don't care to hear about it. People comparing normal childbirth to a medical emergency are the reason so many women are scared to do it without drugs (like I have been for 22 years). Rushing to the hospital after your water breaks and the painful contractions come was the standard start to the fright fest that I thought was having a baby. They give you an epidural and a doctor tells you "push! push!" and out pops a baby. Right? Apparently, I was missing some key points. Well, you could get the epidural, but it will numb you from the waist down so your only option for PUSHING something from your body is to...lie on your back...? This just seems counter-productive to me. Wouldn't you want to use your good friend gravity to speed it up?
Oh, and the epidural will make it nearly impossible to tell when you should be pushing, so push at the wrong time and your body will pay the price :S Also, it slows down the process, and if your labor is going too slow, they will probably give you pitocin. I should probably mention that this makes your contractions hella worse, so you might end up needing even more pain relief. If this cycle doesnt help (can't imagine why), then an emergency c-section is in order. You've got a long recovery ahead of you. My question: Why does it have to be this way? When did it become a "medical condition" from the moment you enter the hospital? Why go to a hospital at all, if you are a low-risk pregnancy? Of course, I do trust modern medicine and I am not one to "go natural" because its trendy or because I dont want my baby to be affected by the drugs. But I'm kind of curious about why natural childbirth has kinda become stigmatized? Like, only hippies and masochists do it. I was one of those people that said "why on earth would you put yourself through all that pain when there are perfectly good drugs to make it go away??" Well, I found my own answer. Because its going to be painful and difficult no matter what, as it has been designed from the very beginning, so trust that you can do it and you will be rewarded with a (usually) faster labor, and quicker recovery. Hell, you can go to a birthing center with experienced nurse-midwives who monitor you and your baby without making you feel rushed or scared to death, have your baby in whatever way you want (eat and drink, too), then go home in a couple of hours! Not to mention the fact that you will forever be able to tell your little one "You can do anything you want, if you just trust in yourself" and you will have the experience to back it up.
Now, I know not everyone even gets the option of having a natural birth, and of course there is absolutely no shame in choosing the drugs because that is what you know is best for you. I'm just saying that personally, I have never seen the idea of natural birth presented in a positive way and I wonder why?? Are we telling our kids that its so painful and scary that you should only do it if you have to?
Oh, Im sure I will be yelling for mercy, and using strong language to get someone to take me to the hospital for some meds, possibly making a run for the door... but I know my body will make me forget all the pain once its over and I can hold my little one in my arms. I, for one, do not plan on denying myself the experience of facing my darkest moment with the knowledge that I can do it myself. Frankly, all this self-reflection is making me kind of excited for it. So bring it on! Rawr!

 Alright, so obviously I wasn't very accurate on some details and I didn't take the time to check my grammar. While I would write this completely different today, I find it kind of neat to see myself getting excited over something for what seems like the first time in my life. This was the start of my journey to becoming the woman I am destined to be (heavy words, I know). I'm still on that journey, but so far I like that it's already made me stronger...

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