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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...

Labour's no problem, I've got tattoos...

Thursday, February 25, 2010
No not REALLY? Are you insane? Clearly I don't believe this for one moment, but the thought did cross my mind this week.

We had our doula come for a visit last week, and it was absolutely amazing. We talked about our birth plan, our hopes and fears, our hesitations, and we ended with a relaxation technique that had us both ready to go to bed before she even left. It was really awesome. And as it turns out, I am more of a control freak than once assumed (which is a bit of a scary revelation, because I already KNEW I was a freak in many ways).

When talking about our individual fears, mine all stemmed from losing control. Am I afraid my vag is going to tear from butt hole to clitoris? Sure am I, but that didn't come up once.  What did come up is how I'm afraid to pee on my floor, poop in front of the hubs and be totally naked in front of a room full of people, while trying to push a watermelon out a lemon hole (as an aside, when I compare my baby to a watermelon, all I can picture is Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, with that HUGE melon "uh uh I carried a watermelon". Now, I don't want my baby to be the size of that melon....but I'd take if it Patrick Swayze would come back to life as dear Johnny and teach me how to dance like that...just saying). I'm afraid of being able to let go and make the noises I need to effectively ease this babe from my loins, and I'm afraid that someone will judge me for any of it. I'm not a prude, or uptight in general, but there are a few things I'm less than comfortable with, and naked, sweating, grunting primal activities are tops on that list. I mean, obviously I am 36 weeks pregnant, so things like that have happened before, but this is different. I've said it before, getting this baby in there was a lot more fun than I anticipate getting her out will be.

I am also afraid of being able to ask for help, or relying on other people. Not afraid TO ask for help, afraid of not ALLOWING myself to ask for help. And I'm afraid I won't be able to turn off my mind long enough to realize certain things, like that the beard hairs around the bathroom sink just do not matter. Or that the baby won't notice if I haven't quite figured out which drawer I want her tiny baby socks to go in.

Mostly in labour, I envision myself trying to put the dirty dishes away or getting the doula a drink of water, while having a contraction. I anticipate stressing over the dust bunnies on the floor that the midwife might see, instead of reaching deep down inside and finding the strength to stay focused and breathe my way through the contractions. I suspect I will be seriously needing something, but be too afraid to ask for it, and will try to get it myself. I also suspect that my need to control will lead me right down the path to peeing on my living room floor as I try to make my way to bathroom without asking for help. And then? And then I will have to helplessly watch as some person I met only 8 short months ago wipes my urine from my 100 year old hardwood. And that's how control is going to make me her bitch, and slap me silly.

The good news about all these fears and worries is that the doula assures me, I won't have them. She gave me a lot of insight into the labour process, and how it works. She told me about the chemical changes in your brain that happen, which make you ditch your over thinking parts and access your more primal instincts. And I hope she is right. I will believe she is right, because I can't possibly control everything (I am coming to terms with this, I swear) and if there is one thing I should probably realize, it's that controlling control can only lead to bad things. That's like trying to microwave a microwave, it just won't work.

So what does this all have to do with my tattoos and labour? Absolutely nothing at all. However, all this talking with the doula led to something else, which was her asking me 2 questions:
  1. Have you ever experienced what you would consider a long period of pain or discomfort?
  2. What has been your greatest emotional challenge in life, and how did you deal with it?
Tough. 

The first one is pretty simple, and relates to the tattoo comparison. I've never broken a bone or had major surgery (knock on wood) so the ONLY thing I could come up with here, was the tattoo. The doula said this is good, since labour is nothing like a breaking a femur (which by the way, rates right up there with my top fears, after zombie apocalypse and biological warfare). It's not like getting a tattoo either, however, at least with a tattoo it's what you can consider "positive pain" in that, you put yourself in the situation and are looking forward to the end results. Much like labour. Only, last time I checked I didn't get to orgasm before my tattoos so making a baby scores one there.

Of course, with my tattoos (ok let's clarify, I have 1 on my upper back/neck that took about 15 minutes to do, so this does not count. I have one on my lower back, which I got when I was 19 and which took probably 2 hours, so almost counts. And I have 1 in the centre of my back, which took 2 sessions at 3 hours each, so this is the ONLY one I think is relevant in the pain department...and even that's questionable) I knew exactly what I was getting into, how long it would take and what I could expect. And this, I have NO idea. At least with this, the only man involved will be the hubs, and he won't be trying to shave any parts of my back, so that's a bonus.

The second question, well, I'm still trying to answer that one. Funny how it's taken my birth planning to have me realize exactly how great life has been. Not that I've ever taken that for granted. I've always know I was lucky to grow up in a beautiful place, with a wonderful supportive family and only a handful of douchebag "friends" over the years. However, until someone asked me to point out my biggest emotional challenge, I've never considered that I don't really have one. I mean sure, I've had my heartbroken by a parade of fuktards over the years, I've lost grandparents and felt the sadness that comes from watching my parents deal with the loss of their parent. But what's happened to ME that I would consider my greatest emotional challenge is hard to pinpoint. I know that she is asking me this so I can draw strength for it, because the next part of this question was, how did you deal with that. Unfortunately the short answer is drugs (no not cocaine or something, just wine, vodka and marijuana), and that is NOT how I want to deal with this challenge.

So I need to do some more thinking. Uncover something from my past that I believe challenged me, and think about how it was dealt with. Something more substantial then a couple of tattoos. Maybe that time when my pregnancy craving took me to the store for the Vanilla Carmel Latter Hagen Daz, and the store didn't have any....because that my friends, was VERY challenging ;)

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Would you BELIEVE they reset our counters on Top Baby Blogs and that it actually HELPED me get onto page 1? I never thought I'd see the top 10 pages, let alone page 1. I've been there all week, and I know I can't hold on forever. But if you like me, even a little bit, or even if you just want to pretend to, or if you realize I've clicked the hell out of all those in the top 1-12 spots and want to thank me, then click below. I don't normally do this sort of shameless plug business, but everyone's doing it, and I would so jump off a bridge if they told me to (again, no not really). Anyway, just click this, that's how you vote. It would be swell. You can even do it twice, if you're that nice! 

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

15 comments to Labour's no problem, I've got tattoos...:

KarmaPearl said...

I voted for ya!

Labor... I'm not going to tell you it's no big deal, because it is. It's an intense, insane, overwhelming and tough experience.

But all of those things you mentioned worrying about will not cross your mind... Not once. I worried about pooping and about various strangers seeing my vag in all it's birthing glory. Once I was pushing my baby girl out, though it never crossed my mind. What crossed my mind was taking my breaths, pushing when told, and pushing hard enough. Resting between contractions. Everything else went away and I was completely in the moment.

I know you worry about it now and you will probably worry about it 'till the moment comes... But I promise you, you will be so wrapped up in the birthing process all that will go away! You'll do great!

Shell said...

I was so worried about the birth of my first. But, your instincts really do take over and all the things you thought you'd care about, you won't.

My ob was the dh of the president of the PTA at the school where I taught. She would sub in my class while I was at my ob appointments. I actually sat down and cried a few days before giving birth, thinking that there was no way I could have him right THERE. Yeah, right, like I cared when I was giving birth.

Jayde said...

You'll be fine! I had 2 children and I am a very modest person. Those pics you have of your growing belly up on the sidebar are far more than I'd EVER do because I'm that modest and I got through 2 births just fine. If you have a DR/Midwife that knows what they're doing then you will do exactly what you are supposed to do because your body knows. Stopping by from SITS!

Jenny said...

HAHA I loved your post :D Just stopping by from SITS :D

Lauren said...

I didn't really have labor. I felt two contractions and then was given an epidural. I remember that the two contractions were painful, like someone kicked me in the stomach. But we are designed to give birth. Yes, it will hurt, but it's temporary. And your vagina won't get all fucked up. I promise.

Kelly said...

Seriously interesting post. You made me laugh, while giving me a slight panic attack at the same time. I have not given birth yet either, so like you...I am completely in the dark and can only imagine the worst. I love the comments you got...especially Lauren, I love her reassurance that your vagina won't get all F'd up...hilarious (I think that's my biggest fear).
I am sooo curious about the whole doula thing. So, how come you chose to give birth at home as opposed to a hospital? Are you going all natural? If you are, what made you decide that? I'm thinking of doing something similar...very curious about a water birth.
Loved your honest post. And I say thing with complete ignorance and naivete...you will do just fine!

http://thepursuitofmommyness.com/

Babe_chilla said...

Karma - thanks! I just need to keep it ALL in perspective ;)

Shell - oh geeze, that's a little close for comfort hey? HA!

Jayde and Jenny - thanks so much for stopping by!!

Lauren - best comment ever ha!

Kelly - Well I am not that fearful of the labour part, or at least I am TRYING not to be, because I don't want that to get in my way.

We aren't actually going to give birth at home. We are going to labour at home as long as possible (apparently until about 6-7 cms) and then transfer to the hospital with our m/w's and doula to deliver. I think for me, that's the best of both worlds. I want the ability to be home and relaxed as long as possible, with the safety of a hospital delivery should anything go wrong.

After quite a bit of reading and research, I decided that natural is the way for me to TRY. I am not going to say "I will never take any drugs" because I don't know what will happen and I don't want to set myself up to be or feel like I failed. I am open minded. The reasons for this are multifaceted. I truly believe we're built to birth, so I don't think it needs to be treated as a "medical procedure". I am not entering the hospital because I am sick, I am doing it because I am about to have a child. It's natural. Also, I've been on this 9 month cleanse, and ending it pumped full of drugs seems anti-climactic. Also, epidurals scare the bejeezes out of me. Also, I watched The Business of Being born, and learned about the vicious cycle of pain meds lead to labour slowing down which lead to pitocin which causes violent painful contractions which leads to more epidural which leads to more pitocin which can, a lot of time, least to a c-section.

After scouring the internet for natural birth stories, talking to lots of people on twitter, reading Ina May's book and talking with the doula, I just think I can do it, and that it will be empowering. I hope I am right!

I will labour in water, and if i so choose, I can birth in there too :D Water is apparently the midwive's epidural :D

Kelly said...

Got it. Thanks so much for your helpful and honest perspective...i have to say, i tend to agree with most of your thoughts on the matter. I think I will go about things similarly. I want to avoid an episiotomy as much as possible...and definitely think a doula will be best for me. So weird b/c I'm not a typical "doula having" kinda person, but lately I've had this natural change of heart...so weird. Thanks so much again! Your insights are great! And I just know that you'll do great! Can't wait to hear all about it! I will keep you, baby and your birth in my thoughts and prayers! (hugs)
http://thepursuitofmommyness.com/

LiLu said...

Just voted!

And yeah, that breaking a femur thing? I shuddered JUST FROM READING THAT. Horrifying. (I, too, have never broken a bone... *KNOCKS ON WOOD*)

LiLu said...

Okay, I lie. I am trying to figure out HOW to vote... and can't do it for the life of me. Am I special? Don't answer that...

LiLu said...

God, I AM special. But I clicked through like 9 times trying to figure it out, and then it turns out you just CLICK THROUGH. So, hopefully they count all 9. ;-)

Jennifer Mercurio said...

I had all those fears (to some extent) and I think what your feeling is quite normal. Even now with this baby I'm afraid I'm going to poo all over the place. Thankfully I didn't with my 1st but I still have a feeling it might happen this time and that well, scares the shit outta me.

Like the doula said you pretty much forget about all craziness and just let it be when you're actually in that moment. So I think you'll do great!

And I did see you were on page 1 of TBB today, which led me here and I had to vote again!
Their resetting mistake is your gain! Always a plus!

The Mommyologist said...

Don't worry! You will be fine! And trust me, you won't care who sees your cha-cha after the 10th person has looked down there like they're searching for buried treasure.

Jill said...

Hey there,

I like your blog, and I read your tweets.
I'm thinking head down thoughts for you today. Those babies can turn right until the end. My sister was still turning around at 40 weeks, and in the end, settled on head down when my mom went into labour. It's all good.

ps, I could leave these messages on twitter if you follow "midwifesupply".

Jill said...

errr midwiferysupply. I just deleted my old account due to hacking issue and forget.

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