On Friday, I shared as openly as I can about my thoughts on this birth process and how Jason and I have been trying to prepare ourselves mentally for the day that Baby K arrives. I didn’t expound on the particulars, but I wanted to be honest about my bent on focusing positively towards such a life-changing event, and also on a few of the challenges I’ve faced in doing so. When we talk about experiences that many other people have had, ie. getting wisdom teeth pulled, being in a car accident, giving birth, we occasionally encounter stories about the miraculous and the remarkable. But more often than not, we first fixate on the tragic and dramatic episodes we’ve heard or personally known.
It seems to me that this is human nature, and as a force, it is relatively unstoppable. But what I’m learning in this season of preparation is that I hold the remote to my own social television, so-to-speak. In the same way that I’m inclined to avert my eyes when a preview for a horror film crosses the screen, or in the way that one might choose to cancel cable when the programming no longer aligns with their values or belief system, I am changing the channel on what I expose myself to about birth. I could read every babycenter.com feed about complications and labor and delivery gone awry, or I could watch videos around the clock about the terrifying aspects of having a baby (medical or otherwise). But by the mere fact that I’m female, I’ve already been programmed for a long time to believe that it HAS to be a painful, uncomfortable, medicated and hyper-managed experience.
Before going further, I’ll say this. I completely value the role that medicine has to play in necessary intervention where labor and delivery are concerned. The advances in medicine over the past several hundred years have saved life upon life for moms and their babies, and I am entirely grateful to have direct access to excellent medical care for myself and for our little one. I also fully respect a woman’s decision to apply the medical technology and access afforded to her at the level she feels comfortable. I won’t judge any mother’s decision to do what she believes is best for herself, her baby or her family when it comes time to deliver her own child. If I didn’t feel this way, I really wouldn’t make a very compassionate or supportive doula.
By the same token, I very much respect a woman’s decision to equip herself as best as possible to have a non-medicated delivery with zero intervention, and this is the scenario that Jason and I are praying for in our own circumstance as the day draws nearer. A few months ago, I met another doula from the area who spurred me on and empowered me to begin making more careful choices about our own birth experience. I am so grateful to her for her encouragement, and I’m also grateful that our paths crossed with plenty of time for Jason and I to take steps towards reprogramming some of our assumptions about labor and delivery. Our eyes are open to new possibilities and a better experience for our family, and we’re delighted!
We have since hired our doula as a result of the ways that she supported and informed us from the beginning. We have also begun a series of natural childbirth classes, had further conversations with our doctor and grown more and more confident that we can prepare well for the memorable day we know will be here very soon. Not only has this become a more joyful, more anticipatory process for each of us, but it has drawn us closer together as a couple and made us more aware of how we can impact the very first moments of our child’s life. It is a blessing to be walking through the last month and a half of pregnancy in this way. I can’t wait to share more as the journey continues!
remote in hand,