|Caitlin Jamison Photography|
Now that we are nearly 38 weeks, I'm thinking about it constantly, and it no longer terrifies me. Why? Because my best coping mechanism is knowledge and I've been researching the crap out of it. I have been reading all sorts of books, articles, and blogs about birth and breastfeeding. My husband and I are taking twelve weeks of classes on The Bradley Method. I have been talking to every mother I know about their birth experiences (and wow do they vary drastically!).
So I had to make some decisions about how I want all of this to go down. I always had a feeling that I wanted to go all natural, but the more I research, the more sure I am. My approach to labor and delivery is that while yes, I will be giving birth in a hospital, it is because I want to be prepared for a worst case scenario. However, my birth will most likely be low-risk, normal, and should not require any medical intervention. Birth is a natural event, it is not a medical emergency. My body is amazing and knows what it is doing, I just have to go with the flow (albeit a painful and exhausting flow).
We have hired a doula. I plan to labor at home for as long as possible. I do not want an IV, epidural, or any sort of drugs. I won't go into it all here because I could go on for days, but basically there is a lot of evidence that all the medical interventions now considered to a normal part of birth in American hospitals (induction, epidurals, pitocin, etc.) have a tendency to create a need for further medical intervention (and a scary high rate of cesarean sections).
Some of the things that I keep reminding myself of:
- Women have been doing it since the beginning of time, it's only recently that women have been giving birth drugged (and holy shit the early stuff was s-c-a-r-y).
- Babies born naturally have a tendency to be more alert and responsive after birth.
- Mothers who give birth naturally have a tendency to recover faster.
- The initial breastfeeding has a tendency to be easier for babies born naturally.
- The drugs in a mother's system can inhibit the release and reception of the hormones that cause the natural "high" mothers experience immediately post-birth.