wait a minute..you want me to do what?

To be honest, I haven’t given the whole “laboring” part of pregnancy much thought.   You know.  The part where I actually get this baby out of me??

In the beginning it was easy to push (har har) the thought aside.  I mean, it felt so far away.  NINE whole months away.   Besides, I was worrying about plenty of other things like buying bigger bras, planning a nursery and cursing my ever-tightening pants. 

Perhaps I thought that ignoring it would delay the inevitable.   Or that maybe I’d be lucky and just wake up one day to a beautiful baby girl in my arms and get to skip that part of pregnancy all together.

It could happen, right?

But now?

Now the end is in sight.  I can’t help but focus on what’s about to happen.  

And to be honest I’m feeling quite ill-prepared for it all.   Like somehow I have no tools in my toolbox for this particular job.  

I didn’t research any birthing techniques like the Bradley method, hypno birthing or hypno babies.  I didn’t read any books.   I didn’t have strong feelings one way or the other about drugs during labor.  I didn’t develop a birthing plan.   I guess I just figured that giving birth is a natural thing and my body would know what to do when the time came.  

But now I’m starting to feel the need to be a bit more informed.  I mean, what are my options?  How will I really feel if I need to have a cesarean?   What if I don’t want an IV?   What are the risks of medical interventions for me and the baby?  And dear lord, do I really have to wear a hospital gown?

And why, praytell, does every person feel the need to tell me their birthing horror story?    Do you realize that I’m pregnant and this is inevitable for me?  Why would you put these thoughts into my head when I’m 7 weeks away from my own birth experience??!   Please, please, please Janna:  remember to NOT to this to other people!  It is not nice and certainly not productive.   I’m currently accepting positive stories only.

Because you know what?  The reality of it is that yes, there is going to be some pain involved.   You can’t squeeze a watermelon out of a lemon without some of that (I would imagine). 

Gah!  The pain!   I don’t want to be scared of it and I don’t think we should be.   (I know!  This thought process coming ME.  The person who is faints at the sight of blood and is terrified of weird things happening to my body.)

BUT…we must also remember that women have been doing this for thousands of years.  Our bodies were meant to give birth for pete’s sake!  Hell yes it’s going to hurt, but why not try to embrace the process?  It really is a beautiful thing.   And no amount of reading, planning or hypothesizing about it will change what actually happens when the time comes.   I have no idea what my birth story will be, so I’m certainly not going to make a bunch of plans around it.  In fact, I feel pretty strongly that I don’t want a birth plan because any deviation from it could feel like a failure.  

The reality is that you aren’t in control of this whole process.   You may be adamantly against medical intervention and need to have a cesarean.   Or you could be committed to a natural birth and for whatever reason choose to have an epidural. 

You just never know what’s going to happen, and you can’t plan for it. 

However.

That being said, I’m starting to feel pretty strongly about some preferences I might have during this whole process.   Which is kind of weird because I am usually not a person that has strong opinions about things.   But the more I learn about labor and birth, the more I would love for it to just happen naturally.  On its own.  Without induction or  “speeding things up”, without medicine, without tubes connected to my arms. 

Which is weird because before I thought:  “Well, I’ll do what I can.  I mean, I’ll try doing things naturally but if I need an epidural, I need an epidural.”

Now I’m not so sure. 

I know that I don’t want to be induced.  I want the baby to come when she is good and ready.   Who am I to pick her birthday anyways?

I’d like to go without an IV.  Unless of course there are other medical interventions required.

I’d like to avoid an epidural.  I’d like to learn more about some of the “tools” that I can use to get me through contractions.   Plus, I’m not sure how I feel about being numb below the waist.  I mean, talk about “weird things happening to my body.”  I just like to be in control of it.   And have you SEEN the size of that needle?  Oy vey.  For a person that nearly passed out during my blood draw a few weeks ago, I have even more reason to try to avoid this one.

I’d like to not have a cesarean.  Mostly because that scares the hell out of me.

But mostly, I guess I just want things to happen naturally…the way nature intended.

If they can.

I realize that I may need to be induced.  I may need an IV.  I may need to have a c-section.   And I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for those scenarios.  Afterall, isn’t the ultimate goal to do what’s best for me and my baby?  I would never decline medical treatment if that’s what we all determine is best.

Or I might just get into it and realize there ain’t no way in hell I’m doing it au la naturale.   

BUT.

It was ignorant of me to ignore it for so long.  Because like it or not, in a few weeks I’ll be going down that road.  And wouldn’t you rather be informed about what the possibilities are and have a general preference going into it?  To prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for each of the options?  Because sometimes I think people do get pushed a certain way (induction,etc.) for the wrong reasons.    As long as I understand what the benefits and risks of each option are, I can make better decisions.  

Am I still scared? 

Hell.  Yes.   You tell me who wouldn’t be a bit scared of this?   Remember….watermelon?  LEM…..ON?!?

At the same time though I’m just trying to remind myself that it’s just a means to an end.  I’m not the first woman to do this and I certainly won’t be the last.  My body was made for this.  And by teaching myself about the process and learning some techniques to cope…I can be an informed patient.  

And maybe with a little bit of luck, I just might have the type of birth experience that I’m envisioning.

Oh!  And no, I do NOT have to wear a hospital gown thankyouverymuch.   (unless there are epidurals or c-sections involved obvi).   So good news:  my bum exposure may be kept to a minimum, which I like to think is a good thing.  

Waaaaaaaait a minute.  On second thought, no…no it will definitely not be kept to a minimum.   No matter what I’m wearing.  Ha ha!   

Aye carumba.

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10 comments

  1. Healthy mama & healthy baby, that was and is my birth plan. I can tell you a few things about how you might feel IF you do have to have a c-section (if you want to hear – call or email me!). Otherwise, just keep in mind that there are a lot of things in this journey that you really don’t have control over (like if you are positive for Strep B, or if your body chooses not to dilate past 4cm) so focus on the things that are within your control but try to remain flexible! Also – no matter what – the outcome is totally worth it!

    1. Thanks Shannon! I agree…meeting our little girl is definitely a motivator. In fact, it will probably be one of the things that gets me through no matter what my story is. And yeah, there is very little I have control over so it’s probably not worth worrying too much about.

  2. It’s true that a birth plan is just a “road map” and they often don’t go the way planned. However they can be very can helpful in identifying options and decisions that you may not know about. If you want to talk more about it let me know.
    Ali
    PS I have lots of books with positive birth stories!

    1. Hey Ali! Thanks for your comment. Maybe I’m just struggling with the word “plan.” Being a planner (by nature and profession) it’s hard to get my head around “planning” for something so unknown. But I agree that it could help identify things I haven’t even thought about. There are probably lots of them…

      Oh, books you say? Do you have a copy of Ina May’s book? I’ve been wanting to read that one!

  3. Your blog today brought back many memories for me! I’m sure you will do great no matter how your story ends. It is a natural process and women have been doing it for years. That’s what I told myself. I didn’t have birthing plan and I wasn’t set on having or not having an epidural and everything turned out just fine. I will tell you I didn’t end up having an epidural with either child, I didn’t have to be induced, and both of my kids were both naturally with no complicattions. I think the more relaxed you are about having it happen as it shall the better things will turn out :). I will say however that my doctor did require an IV. That’s just something he does with all his patients. They used it to keep me hydrated. I was not opposed as it made sense to me. I wish you the best! I know you will do amazing!

  4. The best part about the delivery of your baby is, of course, meeting your baby! No matter how she gets here and however your birth story ends up, it will be YOUR story. And I have to tell you, that on that very special day, you will be a changed woman. Not only will you be a new mom with a beautiful bundle of baby girl in your arms, you will be a woman with a story to share. Each story is special and unique, just like each baby. The birth of your baby is going to be one of the most amazing days in your life, enjoy it and embrace it, even with all the unknown factors. I will look forward to hearing your story. xoxo

  5. I was the same way, no opinions one way or the other until I started doing some research. Watch “The Business of being Born”, it opened my eyes and made me realize that I do have a choice in some of the things that occur during my labor and it took away lots of the fears I had. I also highly recommend the Bradley Method book, prepares not only your body but also your mind and husband for the whole experience! Best of luck to you!!!

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