All natural birth, I'm doing it. (eek!)

When I first got pregnant, I just didn't think about the whole birth thing. I mean, I knew it was going to happen eventually, I just kept putting it off as something I would think about later. Newborns seem so very teeny tiny... until you think about one exiting through your lady bits. So I chose to ignore that inevitable event for the first half of my pregnancy.

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.
So yup, I'm doing it all naturally. And while yes, it intimidates the hell out of me, women have been doing it since the beginning of time and I can do it too. Hopefully it will all go smoothly and there will be no need for medical intervention, only monitoring. So wish me luck, because in a couple of weeks I'm going to be squeezing a tiny human out of my vag and feeling every bit of it. Gah!


Jay T said...

I think it's awesome you're planning this! I hope it all goes well for you and I can't wait to see pictures of your baby girl!

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

I hope the birth of your little one goes exactly as you want it to go! I desperately wanted a natural birth and it wasn't in the cards for us, but I'm hoping next time it will be :-) Also, I loved having a doula, so I think that's a great decision!

Britt and Hive said...

I had my baby boy naturally four weeks ago...And it was such a beautiful experience. Don't get me wrong, it was painful as all get out – but with the right support group and a good attitude, I truly believe you will be so happy with your decision. I was. Can't wait to hear how your birth goes! So much fun!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

You are a SOLDIER, girlfriend! I love that you're doing your own research regarding this rather than just taking everyone else's opinions (you know what they say about THOSE) at face value. It's YOUR opinion that matters... especially in this case! P.S. I think I'm already having sympathy pains for you though, hahaha!

The Modern Tulip said...

Major prayers for you dear! I am doing just what you did and blocking most thoughts about birth out of my mind. Another good thing to remember is women have one baby and then they usually have more so although it may be painful in the moment, apparently it's worth it and easily forgotten :)

shannon said...

you're some sort of angel.
i'm sure of it.
my mom had all three of us the natural way and i'm completely in awe of it.

i SO hope everything goes according to plan and P.S. you're BEAUTIFUL.