Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Birth Plan: Going Natural

Teresha: With 100 days to go, we had our first appointment at our birthing center today. You read that right! We decided a long time ago to commit to a natural birth. We just needed a health care professional and a facility that would facilitate our wishes. Dr. Foxworth is a great obstetrician, but the hospital where she has privileges did not provide the options we were seeking. So we switched. After watching the Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born, we both agreed that a hospital is the last place to go if you are adamant about having a natural birth (go ahead and watch the movie). Damon went online and found the Birth and Women's Center. During the tour, we were both so impressed with the level of care, the cozy labor and delivery room, and the feeling that we were going to be treated as partners (not patients) in the birth of our child. We signed up on the spot! I could not wait to tell people about our plan and was not prepared for the negative comments and backlash, which ranged from skeptical curiosity to outright questioning our sanity. Apparently, planning a natural birth is just foolhardy! I was told in various ways that I would never be able to stand the pain, that drugs are they only way to go, that I would never want to have another kid, that so many things could go wrong, etc... You'd think I was telling people that we were going to deliver our baby ourselves in a cornfield with only some towels and a pot of boiling water for supplies. I actually found myself on the defensive, explaining our decision to do this naturally! We didn't make this decision lightly. We educated ourselves and made a choice based on all the facts we gathered. This whole thing has left me wondering, when did having babies naturally become counterculture? All that medical establishment propaganda has really done a number on our society. For the unenlightened, birthing centers are typically staffed with nurse-midwives and have the same equipment as hospital maternity wards. In case complications develop, they transfer you to a hospital. Our birthing center is three blocks from Baylor University Hospital, so our bases are covered. If something does go wrong, get me to a doctor stat! But I personally believe this is a last resort. I also believe in doing what's right for you. I know women who have opted for epidurals and scheduled C-sections. I have never judged the way anyone else decided have her baby. So, it has been hard for me not to receive the same support in our decision to go the natural route. But I got over the hurt quickly once I realized that no one else's opinion matters. I am all about bringing my baby into the world au natural! I have been eating all the right foods, doing prenatal yoga, kegels, and signed up with a birthing coach who teaches a combination of the Bradley method and Birthing From Within. I can't wait to post pictures and video from our delivery at the birthing center!

Damon: So Teresha REALLY needs to stop making her post soooooo long. This is way to much pressure for me. Let's see...where to start. I would, like Teresha, recommend that anyone who is having kids or thinking about it watch The Business of Being Born. And I will not get off of my soap box. Since I am not having the baby, I will let Teresha lead the blogging on taking pain killers and other medications involved in the birthing process. I will say that having children is a natural process and pregnant women are not sick - so why is there so much fuss being make about not birthing in a sterile hospital full of sick people? Seems like that would be the last place you would want to bring a child into the world. Although - you should be in a hospital if you are having a high-risk birth. Anywhooo...I am going to briefly talk about how our little one coming in the world is slowly re-shaping the way I think/act.

Point #1: I am gradually coming to the realization that I will now have someone who it will be my responsibility to care for - this is a very scary proposition for me! While I think I am a fairly nice guy - I am not the most caring person in the world. And yeah - as a husband you take care of your wife. But - Teresha was taking care of herself before me and if anything happens she will happily (well, eventually after grieving for like 15 years) move on with her life. I also did not have any say in the process of my wife being brought into this world. That being said, I feel a greater responsibility to make sure that my child has everything she needs to lead a happy and healthy life. Scariness......

Point#2: While I have always begrudgingly understood that my actions affect (did I use the right one??) others, the personality and value system of this little person will be shaped by me and Teresha. Does the world really need another little me running around? And what if I screw her up? Teresha and I will be responsible for shaping this little being. Scariness....

Point #3: On a more practical note, I (we) am responsible for providing for our little bun in da oven. Historically, we have always had pretty low overheard so that we could quit a job at a moments notice if we felt like saying "screw the man". Now with a relatively large mortgage and Miss M on the way - I don't think that will be happening anytime soon. And we also need to think about our health and how our child will be taken care of if anything happens to us. Scariness....

Okay...that is about enough of the serious side for me. The immediate threat is that I may be asked to catch Miss M as she escapes from the womb. They have pictures of the fathers doing this on the wall at the birthing center - none of them have a look of joy/bliss! It must be something similar to catching a hot, wet, muddy football - except your wife will kick your butt if you drop it. So, I don't know if I am up for this task - and it looks like it's pretty messy. We have a box of ShamWows at the house. I am thinking of using one of them as a "net" to catch Miss M. It is pretty soft and it "holds 12 times its weight in liquid". Sounds like a winning idea to me.

3 comments:

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Congratulations on your impending arrival! Thanks for signing up for my blog giveaway. I hope you win!

Execumama said...

A fine decision to go natural! I SO wished we could have done that with ours, but I had a previous surgery and some medical conditions that caused the 3 (yes 3!) different doctors I saw to not approve me for a natural birth. I'm very excited for you, hubby, and Miss M to get acquainted! It's so fabulous when your life transitions into parenthood, and you get to share all your love with another life.

Mommy of Many said...

Congrats. As a mother of 6 naturally birthed babies, including a set of twins,(well drugs were required for the twins, b/c twin B was all upside down in there) but I will be very interested in reading Damon post after he sees, smells, experiences childbirth up close and personal. I still remember my husbands expression during the birth of our twins and they were babies 5 and 6. And to Teresha, ignore the ignorance of others, do you!