It turns out this baby has to come out of my body...likely through a very small opening once reserved solely for those private moments with my husband, and a yearly not so private moment with my doctor. She has to come out of my body, through a hole which is, at best, 1/16th her size, and I'm supposed to just deal with that.
This has occurred to me many times throughout my pregnancy, and long before that. In fact, when I was younger and the biological clock still seemed like a myth, I often anticipated this being the reason I opted out of procreation. The idea of all that pain was simply overwhelming. And at the tender age of somewhere less than 25, I didn't know if it was worth it. But somewhere along the way I lost site of that, and the desire to get the baby in there took over the fears of trying to get it out.
As the clock ticks down (and we've still got a long way to go) this point becomes more and more apparent. And things have changed a little. Every time I leave the midwife, the doula or my prenatal yoga class (as an aside, if I've gone 4 times and then not again for weeks and weeks, due to the ragingly inconvenient time it's at, can I still say I DO prenatal yoga?), I am convinced I can do this without meds. I say things like "how bad an it be?" and "how much pain can one really feel", I think to myself "my sister did it med free" and neglect to remember that my niece was 6 weeks early, 5 lbs. and out in less than 2 hours. And also that my sister didn't have a choice.
And I want to believe myself and try to do that. I want to be that strong powerful type, who flawlessly pushes out a baby, barely sweating, and is up making eggs 4 hours later with a baby on my breast. I want to do this with grace, with love in my heart and without a lot of F bombs. I want a lot of things, but the reality is, I am who I am and I don't know if that kind of labour is in the cards for me.
And people will tell you, if you believe it's going to be hard, it will be.And I believe them. And I don't want this to be hard, and I don't want to lack faith in myself. And this is where I am stuck.
It's funny, I started this post about a week ago, but haven't had time to finish it. But I just spent the weekend away with my hubs at an amazing spot, and spent a lot of quiet time thinking about this, only to come home to read a blog which, after The Heir to Blair, is fast and furious becoming my favourite - Dear Baby. One of her most recent posts - Why I'm choosing a natural child birth, talks specifically about why she's decided to go au naturale, and what it has taken her to get there. And it's once again inspired me to think this through a little harder.
I have a lot of friends who have had babies recently, and who did not have good experiences. Still somewhat cynical about the process, or at the very least, afraid of that experience again, they will tell me not to bother trying. I've heard a lot about how it's not possible from various sources, how you get too tired, how it's just too hard. And I've been asked by people (my dear husband foremost) why I would want to put myself through that unnecessary pain. And the answer to that is, I'm not sure it has to BE unnecessary pain.
First of all, I am a strong believer that the reason labour is so dramatic is simply because it should be. Bringing a child into this world is nothing less than a miracle, and I am not someone who believes in miracles in the traditional sense. But every single part of making this child is so unfathomable. I know the science behind it, and I "get" it. But when I REALLY stop to think that one night of drunken joy, last Canada Day, when the hubs and I created this little girl, could actually result in a human being springing forth from my body, my mind is blown. Our DNA combined, and cell after cell divided, and now, 25 weeks later, we're over half way to meeting our daughter. We're created a human being, a life, an entire person with fingers and toes and complex thought processes and, well, that's pretty insane to think about.
Love, sex and the transfer of some fluids (graphic but true, face it) had led to the creation of another human being. And that is no small feat. Procreation is an amazing journey, and I think it should culminate dramatically, in an unforgettable experience. And this is why birthing a child has never been considered easy, or a small task.
As usual I digress....
My point is, millions upon millions of babies have been born to mothers, without the use of drugs. And only in Western Culture do we put so much emphasis on the fear and pain of child birth that we lose trust and faith in our bodies. Without fear, anxiety and preconceived notions, women all over the world deliver babies, with minimal pain and without fear, and I would venture to guess they have better experiences than those of us who are medicated beyond the point of spousal recognition.
So on my high horse I'm sitting. Thinking, I can do this. I can bring this child into the world, with a clear mind and even clearer veins, and we, as a family can experience the joy and drama of creating and delivering a life.
(I suppose this is the point where, I have to put the caveat about not thinking women who choose medicated births, or those who, for medically pertinent reasons end up or choose to have a c-section are anything but amazing. I just, I'd like to try, for as long as I can, to go without meds. And if I wind up screaming for the epidural or begging my darling to knock me unconscious, then I'll know I was wrong about this whole thing. I just don't think I am. Not this once.)
I have a lot more research to do on the matter, as I am FAR from prepared for any sort of childbirth - be it natural or not.
And with 15 weeks to go, I suppose I should get on it. I think I've started, with the choosing of a great team of midwives, and a great doula with experience in childbirth accupressure and massage. I plan to labour at home for as long as I can, using my bathtub, my stairs, gravity, breathing, jumping and whatever else to get through as much of the labour as I can, without heading to the hospital to be "treated" as though something is wrong with me.
And I've started thinking, and planning and believing that this could be done. So for now, I'm happy with that, and with myself.
Now if I can only get the hubs to believe in me too, we'll be good to go :D
It's like this, and like that....
I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!
This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...