Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jumping on the preparedness train

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.

10 comments:

Kathy said...

Sounds like your doing well! I agree with a lot of what you have said, though I have no actual experience of labour either. But from what I have read and from what I have heard from others (my SIL is a pharmisist and preggers with her thrid) I would much rather go natural. I definately don't want to get induced and go down that track, unless absolutely necessary. Keep enjoying your pregnancy! You are so very blessed :)

Nutsy Coco said...

I think that's a very good stance. I have my own opinions for myself too but know that I really have no clue what I'll be getting myself into.

The other important thing is not to beat yourself up if things don't go according to plan. Chris' cousin had a baby last spring and she's had a hard time dealing with how her delivery went. If you're interested, you can read about it here.

http://amygirl312.blogspot.com/2009/03/baby-milo-is-born.html

Nutsy Coco said...

I think that's a very good stance. I have my own opinions for myself too but know that I really have no clue what I'll be getting myself into.

The other important thing is not to beat yourself up if things don't go according to plan. Chris' cousin had a baby last spring and she's had a hard time dealing with how her delivery went. If you're interested, you can read about it here.

http://amygirl312.blogspot.com/2009/03/baby-milo-is-born.html

Nutsy Coco said...

Um yeah, didn't mean to post that comment twice!

Nutsy Coco said...

Um yeah, didn't mean to post that comment twice!

Jane said...

I think you have a really healthy attitude towards birth. I too wanted to try natural. It just felt like a cool challenge, part of being made a woman. Not to be a hero as you said, but just to try it. Then I had a myomectomy and that option is gone now. Something about delivering my uterus along with the baby and dying from hemorrhaging and I was suddenly on board with a c-section as the only thing for me. I have made my peace with it and look forward to the day when it becomes a reality. In the mean time, I read the blog Stand and Deliver http://rixarixa.blogspot.com/ which is written by a woman who got a PHD in American Studies with a focus on natural childbirth. Rixa is a wealth of info. I read now because she's just cool.

Oh and by the way, the myomectomy is much like a c section except you deliver fibroids and not babies. The knives and drugs are pretty much the same. I found it to be a *very* cool experience. I could actually feel my body healing and measure feeling better each day. Totally took my fear of surgery away. Good thing since I had five surgeries last year. Just saying if it comes down to it, you will be just fine. Just like the science of a woman's body and nature's course is cool. The science of medicine is pretty facinating also.

Red Fury said...

I had my first son in a hospital and my second son in a birthing center (midwives only - no drugs even on the premises!) and if I could have 100 more babies it would be with the midwives. It was by far the most painful experience of my life but the memories of the hospital is horrific (and it was pretty routine) and I cherish the memories of the birthing center.

My recovery was three days (vs. 10 weeks) with the midwives, but that could have been because it was my second child.

At any rate - it is your choice!

Good luck and congratulations!

Nanci

HollyLynne said...

Jane, that is really good to know, about the healing. That will help a lot if I find myself in that situation. I know I can plan to avoid things but at the end of the day, if Bean needs out I'm gonna get him out.

Nutsy, I'm trying to prepare myself for all possibilities. I know what I want but if things veer off course, I'll be happy just to come home with an intact Bean :)

Domesticrazy said...

I was induced the first time because I thought I had no choice, and augmented the second for medical reasons. I know a wonderful lady who had a natural home birth with no complications, and another who got gestational diabetes, went all the way through labor and 3 hours of pushing and ended up with a C-section. I know people all over in between.

You are doing such a great thing, getting educated and preparing in advance, and also preparing for things to go awry. The most important thing is definitely the healthy baby! Just remember, at the end, YOU CAN DO THIS. It's hard to remember, hardest right before that baby comes out. But then you get such a cool rush, seeing that little thing that has been sitting on your bladder for so long!

You rock.

Betty Crocker Experiment said...

Good for you! i would say you've got to get yourself with a doctor who respects your wishes. Do you know your doc's induction/c-section rates?

If you so desire, you're still early enough to consider a birthing center. I find those types of places are often more able to help with natural birthing than a hospital, which wants to treat it like a medical procedure.

Definitely check out the Mothering.com message boards-- they can give you tons of info!