So, as I hinted yesterday, I want to try natural childbirth. It is something I've been thinking about, in the back of my mind, pretty much forever. I've just always felt a) that I must be capable if women have been delivering without drugs since the dawn of humanity and b) that doctors and scalpels are SCARY.
Let me make this clear from the get go: I am opting to try natural childbirth mostly from a position of wanting to avoid scary doctors and their scary knives. The concept of a C Section freaks me out FAR MORE than the concept of a painful 36 hour labor.
Having said that, let me also make it clear that I have a VERY healthy respect for the fact that I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. I've never been in labor, obviously, and by many accounts I've been told it is going to be a million times more painful than I can imagine.
I'm going into this with an open mind. I do have a birth plan and I do have definite opinions on how I want things to go. I also understand that at the end of the day, a large portion of the process is up to Bean and I have no way of predicting how he is going to handle labor and delivery. He could be breech. He could come early. He could be HUGE. I just don't know, and because of that I haven't imposed any rigid "rules" on myself.
If I find myself in an extraordinarily difficult or long labor, I will accept an epidural. If Bean is in distress, I will accept the possibility of a C Section. If I leave that hospital with a healthy baby then I DID IT RIGHT. Regardless of what my ideal may be and how the actual experience may differ from my ideal.
I'm not going into this blind. I've started to do my research, and I know I have much more to learn. I've read "Your Best Birth", "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth" and watched "The Business of Being Born". I've also got a copy of "Spiritual Midwifery" in my to-be-read que, and I'm open to suggestions for more reading and viewing (hint! hint!). I know that I've barely cracked the tip of the information iceberg. I have been doing prenatal yoga almost every night and have been paying special attention to my breathing, and to how my breathing affects my body. I've been feeling out the doctors at my OB practice to determine how open they are to the concept of natural childbirth, and how supportive I can expect them to be. I'm doing my best to prepare for this experience, and to be realistic about what I'm getting into.
I've made certain decisions already that I feel will help up my odds of delivering naturally, or at the very least avoiding a C Section. I will not be induced. I understand that if I am extraordinarily late I will be pressured to induce, and, if that happens, I am determined to try natural induction methods before chemical methods. I will avoid Pitocin at all costs. I will flat out refuse Misoprostol / Cytotec, whatever the circumstances. This is not to judge anyone who has taken the induction route, only to say that I've seen the evidence that induction leads to a higher incidence of epidurals and C Sections, and that evidence has convinced me to avoid it.
The hardest person to convince of all this? Boy. He started out saying "I just don't want to watch you in pain for 6 hours". Of course, I laughed at him and told him WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY to have a 6 hour labor. The next time he said it, he was up to 12 hours. Then 18. He is starting to see that I don't want to do this for egotistical reasons. No, I do NOT think that they'll send me home with a medal along with my baby if I pull this off. My main goal is to avoid unnecessary medication and intervention in order to have the safest experience and recovery for Bean and for myself.
And that, blogfriends, is where I stand.