Friday, May 20, 2011

I do NOT think...

I have kind of put baby's birth on the back burner of my mind in the sense that I'm so focused on other things right now. So focused on my Etsy businesses and just being downright fatigued all day long that I have forgotten  three appointments! Yeah I'm a little spacey lately. But I have dreams almost every night of her birth. Of being caught somewhere in which I have an unexpected and unassisted birth (birth her by myself) or a surprise breech or even just a peaceful and painless water birth. There have been many, many different scenarios. The worst was being caught in public in labor and having everyone around me freak out, calling 911 and EMTs holding me down and making me go to the hospital and feeling absolutely powerless. My mind is subconsciously working through different scenarios; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

But I do have "plans" for Izaria's birth. By a plan I do not mean that I have a little schedule of what is going to happen and when. I simply mean a list of ideals or preferences, both in non-emergency and in the case of emergency. That is what a birth plan is, after all. It isn't a time sheet of what IS going to happen but just a list of preferences.

I plan to not have drugs this birth. I plan to be in the water. I plan to give birth at a birth center rather than a hospital or home. I plan to not clamp the cord or have ointment in my baby's eyes. And so much more. Basically I plan to arrive at the birth center, be quiet and alone with my husband, daughters, midwife and deliver my baby... and shortly afterward go home. I plan all of this based on countless hours of research (researching both sides of each argument for each and every thing).

Plans change and I think my mind playing out different scenarios is just giving me a glimpse of other ways the birth could happen and how I would feel or react to it. I think it's important to be open to things happening another way, such as not having a water birth with Zoë as I had wanted. Am I okay with that? Yup! Her birth was beautiful. However with Zoë I did accept a shot of some kind (Stadol or something similar) and wasn't okay with that. It doesn't take away pain. Seriously ask anyone who has had it. I have never had someone say their narcotic (Stadol, Demerol, etc.) brought them relief; just made them feel drunk, stupid, weak and dizzy and unable to focus properly during contractions; the pain was still there and not dulled in the least.

Sometimes it takes doing something you don't like to get an idea of what you might like. Many times women who've had traumatic birth experiences look to alternatives like unassisted birth, home birth, midwifery care, a new OB, etc. because they find themselves victimized during what is supposed to be the most beautiful and sacred moment of their life. Birth does matter.

And I just had to take a moment to say that - just because I am pro-natural birth and pro-midwife and pro-homebirth and birth centers does NOT mean that I think I am better than you if you are going another route. I simply mean to share what I feel for MY birth experience. And I do not intend to generalize as our birth system is highly complex with a myriad of issues on all ends of the spectrum.

Of course this isn't directed at anyone at all. I really am not thinking of any individual person as I type this. I just had to get it out because I do talk often about birth and the last thing I want is to make anyone feel isolated or judged. And also I will probably be writing a lot more about my views on birth in the upcoming weeks as her birth month draws closer. So please keep an open and patient heart with me. My only goal is to clear my mind, get myself geared up for her birth, surround myself with positivity and prayer and hopefully empower you in your journey as well, even if it is a tiny bit.

And just to add this in because I have a feeling someone might ask, "How WOULD you feel if you ended up having a cesarean because you're so set on not having drugs and doing things naturally?":

If I end up having to have a cesarean I want to feel part of that decision (unless of course I'm unconscious and it's the only sensible thing to do!). Which is why it was important for me to choose a birth place that has a very, very low cesarean rate. My midwives at the birth center don't have narcotics or epidurals nor do any of them perform cesareans (they are not surgeons; OBs are). Therefore they only transfer in a true emergency or at the parents' request. Their cesarean rate (AKA transfer rate to the hospital for a c-section) is less than 2% compared to over 35% at area hospitals.

I feel comfortable knowing that I will be transferred in a true emergency and not because I'm on their clock. I have preferences for a cesarean if that is what happens, such as double-sutures and having Daddy stay with baby the entire time if they are breathing well, etc. just as I have preferences in a no intervention vaginal birth. I feel that I have put myself in a position of least intervention which drastically decreases the risk of needing a cesarean and in an environment that is favorable to having a quiet, peaceful birth where I can take my time and be taken care of. However if the need for a cesarean would arise from that place of peace where the midwives are very keen on detecting problems and only transferring in an emergency I would be all aboard to save my child's life and even my own life if it was that dramatic.

There is always a way to have a voice in YOUR birth, no matter how the birth plays out.


Susan Sene said...

LOVED this post - and I found myself nodding my head throughout. Oh how I wish I could deliver my baby at home or even at a birthing center. Birth DOES matter - especially because, in my case, what happened during my first birth is now preventing me legally from birthing subsequent babies the way I'd prefer.

I've thought about the fact that I MAY need another c-section. But I do feel that, while I may be disappointed if it happens, I will have no regrets. I'm very educated this time around and if I have another c-section, I do feel it will be completely necessary (whereas with my daughter, I felt bullied into it and felt it should have gone differently).

I wish so badly other women would at least educate themselves on birth more. Yes, you can have a great birth at a hospital with an epidural. But what if a natural birth isn't as scary as most make it out to be? What if it can actually be, say it aint so, PLEASANT?!?? Well I believe it! And I'm actually looking forward to it. Maybe my labor will be hard, but I know what to expect this time and I'm excited to work with my body to get my baby into this world!

The Mommy said...

Well said!!
I had a breakdown with my favorite midwife during my pregnancy with Ellie. I felt like I had no choice but to have a c-section with Maggie even though my midwife had asked me and carefully informed me that it WAS life or death. She reminded me that I always had a choice and that I chose to take the medical route that saved Maggie's life. I had felt so victimized by the Vasa Previa and my midwives were my greatest advocates and supporters as I birthed Ellie by VBAC. A C-section was the one thing that I didn't want, but the one thing that I did want was a baby to take home.

Kristin said...

Isn't it funny how our mind works out what we're thinking about through our dreams. I keep having dreams where I've had my baby and about a day later I realize I never thought to ask if it was a boy or girl. Haha! I think I probably would've noticed that during diaper changes! LOL!

I should find out in a couple of weeks if mine is another girl or not. We looked on the little machine at the doctor's office and I swear it looked like a boy, but the nurse said it could have just been the cord or something like that. Now I'm dying to know!

Becky said...

Just wondering how you guys were doing...I saw the news that your part of the country had been hit pretty hard with tornadoes. Praying for the many affected families.

*~Chelsea~* said...

I love how much you know about all this!!! :) I enjoy reading about other options because people don't even know they have options! They just go to the hospital and call it a day. Thank you for all of this information and I will pray your birth goes the way you want it to and the baby is healthy and happy (as all of your beautiful children are). :)