You are definitely going to have to sit down, grab a beverage, and open your mind for this post. I can already feel it is going to be lengthy! I do ask that you remember what your momma taught you..."if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".
I have been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of research and have found something that I think is pretty great! Something that I am now willing to share with you.
For some unknown reason, the second that pregnancy test proved positive I was terrified. Not terrified of having a second child, second mouth to feed, more responsibility, but terrified to give birth. When I think back to Karly's delivery I feel like it was awful. Truly looking at it and picking it apart it really wasn't AWFUL. I had your "typical" hospital delivery. I was induced, had pitocin, epidural, episiotomy, and vacuum assistance. My life nor Karly's was ever in danger and clearly we both survived it just fine. I feel I was induced too early, and it seemed like one medication was given after the other to stop the side effects from the first one. I guess I can't say my experience was awful, what I can say is that it wasn't for me. I do not want another one like it. "Normal" or not...I guess I am abnormal.
When I mentioned my previous delivery to my current doctor he was like, "and?...sounds pretty normal to me." Are you kidding? How and why should that be considered normal? What did women do before they had all of these wonderful, yet problem causing interventions? I just about begged him to promise he would just do a c-section. I didn't want to deal with labor ever, ever again. He wouldn't agree and looking back that is a good thing. I now find myself 22 weeks pregnant and a completely different person in this arena. I no longer would be the person begging to not have to do anything to get my baby here...I am now quite the opposite. If I could at this point I would switch to a midwife and have my baby in a birth center. The more research and reading I do the more confident I feel. As women, our bodies were truly designed to be able to do this! It's the decades of fear and the traumatic stories that have ruined it for us. I have immersed myself in anything and everything I can find that supports and encourages a natural and positive birth experience.
It all started with Hypnobabies. Self hypnosis for childbirth?!? I can honestly say I not only believe in this program, but find it life changing. It is a six week home study course on self hypnosis and childbirth. You literally retrain your mind to view pregnancy, labor, and birth as a wonderful and amazing experience. They have a completely different vocabulary to erase the negative, we don't call it pain, we call it pressure. They aren't contractions, they are pressure waves. This program has an online support group where people share their stories, questions, and concerns; the two women that essentially started and run the program are on throughout the day to answer questions and provide support. I have never heard such positive women. No one complains about their discomforts and how they can't wait until it is over. They immerse themselves in every moment with their growing baby and appreciate their changing bodies. How wonderful if all pregnant people were this way! What a great gift to pass on to our daughters!
Truly when you think of it, what did women do for the decades and decades before pregnancy was treated as an illness? They had their babies at home with a midwife, or local woman acting as such. Most countries other than America still birth at home, or in birth centers attended by midwifes and doulas. Yet America, has some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality rates in the world; not to mention by far the highest c-section rates.
Animals birth in much the same way as women used to. They find somewhere that they are comfortable and safe. If an animal is threatened or scared, labor will literally stop. Sounds like a lot of women that get to the hospital and progress stops?!?! If cows and horses can do it, so can we.
Do I think I can do this? Why not? If I keep my mind in control and let my body progress as it should I have nothing to fear. Will I accomplish a drug free birth? Who knows? I hope so, but am realistic to the fact that I may change my mind in the moment. My plan is to try to labor at home as long as possible. I am more comfortable in my own home than strapped to a hospital bed and a dozen machines. I will plan, prepare, and practice as much as I can and I will let it go. The one thing I do know is that I am no longer terrified. I actually have found so much peace.
If you want to learn more about this click on any of the links/words below and it will link you to some great websites that will hopefully help you to realize why I think this is such a great program.
Hypnobabies Blog (lots of great birth stories and links)
Empowering birth stories
Pregnancy, Birth and Babies
Also, check out this movie; whether you like Ricki Lake or not this movie is a must see especially for anyone pregnant! The statistics they show are really eye opening. Ricki Lake shows a few couples having amazing home births and actually even shares her own! Naked and laboring.., kudos to her!
The Business of Being Born
Well, if you are still reading...thanks! If you have any questions or want to know anything further please, please feel free to ask...even if you think I am a hippie. Please do not share your traumatizing birth stories with me though...Positive Polly over here :)