There have been some moments in between my pregnancies that called me into a place where I required extreme and, at times, immediate help from doctors. I had two very hard situations, one that could have been life or death. These circumstances also helped me in many ways. I learned a lot about my body and it's ability to fight, restore, and reginerate after losses. I learned that I am strong. Im strong enough to allow my body to work things out when I don't understand. I'm strong enough to do what I believe is right for me despite my pain. Im strong enough to feel pain in my heart and grow from it. I'm strong enough, also, to look at a situation and ask for help because something is wrong. This is a key in my journey to a natural life. I believe in what doctors commit their lives to day in and day out. They save lives, and I understand well that there are times, when you need a person who has gone to school, studied, apprenticed, practiced, learned and successfully applies expertise in the field of medicine. And I will call upon these men and women when or should I say, if, I find myself standing on the edge of fear and desperately need the skill that they posses. Be assured that there are cautions in my mind, but they are simply warning signs posted to help guide me in making sound solid decisions for my family. I do not believe that pregnancy, in its normal state requires a doctor, nor do I believe that labor and delivery, under normal circumstances, require a medical doctor.
WARNING: I am fully aware that those I love dearly may read this and take offense at my words because they may feel that I question them and the beauty of their experiences. Hear my heart, dear friends, understand that this is me and my goal in this blog is to clearly define where my heart and mind lie and to share with you my excitement for this blessed and exciting event! My goal is not now, nor will it ever be to criticize another's life or choices.
What I'd really like to share, though, is why I feel so strongly about natural childbirth. Childbirth is defined as: the act or process of giving birth to children. That's just a simple definition of something that is constantly occurig in the world. But are we, as women, giving birth, or is a medical system birthing children. Because for me, while my body allowed a child to be born into the world, I can't help but feel robbed of the innate ability to birth them with my strength and with my body. My reflexes were numbed, my hormones were put at bay, my mind was clouded, and in the end, my body was largely ineffective. So who receives credit? My conclusion would be the doctors. The doctors, while only there for the big show, are the ones who tell me how I'm progressing because I have no clue, they broke my water both times, they tell me when I'm ready to push and how to push and when I can't, they act, they tell me when to stop pushing, they catch the baby, decide when to cut the babies cord, they deliver the placenta and take care of any issues that arise. They are the hero! They are the star of the show really, I just showed up with a precious package to be delivered, but they delivered it and their role much outshines mine. Why? Because I was paralyzed, literally. It's not the doctors fault really, they did what was necessary, and I appreciate that. But again, I wager that a medical system dictates what we should be in control of. And the medical system here in America says that if we take the woman's control out of the picture, it's a safer situation, and a more manageable, wait, what was the term? Oh, yes, "A more Christian" situation. (See previous post, Living the Dream)
So, for me, natural childbirth is the way that I can achieve the simple definition and truly give birth to my child.
My picture perfect "Birth" Day looks something like this: I begin laboring, and the excitement is intoxicating. I'm elated to be beginning this process. I call the midwife and she says to give it a bit to make sure things stay steady. They do, and I'm breathing through these easier contractions. We contact her again and let her know. She says she is packing up and headed our way, because yes folks, we are having this party in the comfort of our own home (God willing, of course). We call in reinforcements for my little loves. They don't need to be rushed away, just entertained a bit while I'm otherwise inclined. Family and midwife arrive and things are getting more intense. The hubby is saying all the allowable items and non of the non allowable items (more on this at a later time). Maybe I use the birthing ball, but most likely, knowing me, I am pacing the house and stoping when I must. The midwife suggests that a walk down the street might be helpful (depending on the time). We take our time and walk down the street, taking in the sights and sounds, as I've read these things are quite vivid during labor. We return and the midwife decides to check. I still have a bit to go, but I'm progressing well. Maybe my water breaks around this time (all by itself hopefully). After this things kick up and I am writhing in pain. Maybe I decide to take a shower or sit in my birthing tube. I might shout, "Turn on the Beatles to calm me down!" Josh will reassure the kids that mommy is just fine, and the baby will be here soon! He then reassures me, as I may be shouting that we need to get in the car and go to the hospital for drugs. I may vomit. He will remind me of the beauty and importance of what I am doing and he will remind me that I am strong. I will become more settled because maybe , "Let it Be" comes on. I will get into a place where I make very weird noises, but I accept where I am at and I am having an out of body experience. And then without necessarily having to be checked, I will inform my midwife that it is about time and I think I need to push. (My kids may be out for ice cream at this particular time) I may get into the birthing tub, or I may not. My body will dictate when I begin and I will make my baby come into this world. I may even assist in catching him or her, but the hubby will be the first to shout if it's a boy or a girl! We may wait to cut the cord, and I will nurse immediately. My midwife will assist me in delivering the placenta and preform any necessary procedures. She will stay with us and assist us and make sure that all is well. She will also make sure that Josh has food ready for me very soon after, as this will be of great importance to me! My children and family will join us and we will marvel at this handiwork of God. The baby and I will be high on oxytocin, the love hormone. It will fill the room and intoxicate those around us.
It's not glorious, the pain is included. The possibility of ridiculousness is included. It's a bit messy and it will, more than likely, not go exactly this way, but it will go something like this, and my body and my baby will determine it. I'm ecstatic to be doing things in this way. And very soon, but not soon enough, I'll be posting the real birth story.
"And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, shine on until tomorrow, let it be."
The Beatles, Paul McCartney