32 weeks: the business of our birth plan
eight weeks...no matter how much i think it to myself, i can't begin to fathom that in just eight short weeks, we will likely have a little girl in our arms; a little girl that is growing stronger and healthier and a little chunkier every day. thoughts of the nursery and clothes are beginning to subside a bit, and the biggest focus in my life is how i can prepare to bring this little one into the world in the most positive way possible.
from the beginning of my pregnancy, i've known i want a natural childbirth; i'm chalking this one up to God's leading, as the majority of those i know that have given birth have had an epidural, pitocin, or both. i didn't even know that my mom did things completely naturally with one of my brothers and me until recently. i can see it on others' faces when i tell them, the majority of people think i'm nuts for choosing not to use what modern medicine has given us as women, and i've even felt judgement on occasion. to me, this decision is a completely personal one that should be made by each woman, given what she feels is right for herself and her child. i reserve no judgement for those who choose to do things differently, and i hope that as mothers, we can support each other and lift each other up no matter the circumstances.
for me, the decision to have a natural birth comes down to wanting to be completely present in every way possible for this process. I'm choosing to trust my body's ability to do what women's bodies were created to be able to do, and i don't want to risk impeding that process at all. the risk of c-section is much much lower in natural childbirth, labor tends to be shorter, contractions tend to be less painful without the use of pitocin, and oxytocin (aka "the love hormone") has full room to work, creating that instant bond and protective instinct in a mother, which may otherwise be inhibited or limited by an epidural.
knowing the way that i want to do things, i chose to seek out a midwife that would be an advocate for me, and through an answer to diligent prayer, i found one; even better, she is covered by our insurance! i will deliver in the security of a hospital, with all of the benefits of being able to call the shots. the only thing off-limits to me will be actually birthing in the tub, although i will be able to use it during labor. i will be able to walk the grounds of the hospital, eat or drink if i feel so inclined, labor and deliver in whatever position i feel my body is calling me to be in, and i will have the opportunity to immediately nurse afterward.
i am beginning to think about the smaller details now - what breathing techniques i want to use, what music i want to take with me to try to relax, and what role i want my husband and mom to play. eric and i have not taken any birthing classes yet, and i am beginning to regret it, as the more and more i research, the more interested i become in the 12-week bradley method classes (hiiii...we don't have that long). i love the idea of a husband-coached birth and this video makes me want the kind of birth this couple experienced. if anyone has any suggestions for good options and materials that i can seek out, i would love to hear them. i am looking more and more into hypnobirth as well - anything that helps me to get rid of this notion that childbirth has to be the most excruciating thing i've ever experienced will work for me.
basically, what it boils down to is that i want to be able to experience the full beauty of childbirth, and to me, this just feels right. i am completely confident and at peace with this process. now bring it on.