The other night, I told my husband he should download the documentary The Business of Being Born, since I’d heard so much about it and I really wanted to see it. One thing that is really interesting to me is how my perspective has totally changed in the course of my pregnancy. Before I got pregnant, I thought I was totally pro epidural, I wanted a very medical birth experience, I didn’t want to feel anything, and I didn’t care how natural stuff was. Then I got pregnant. The first eight weeks, I thought I wanted that same thing I thought I wanted pre-pregnancy— and so I made my appointment with my OB and I started in on that journey, which I felt extremely comfortable with. At the time, I didn’t want anything remotely touchy feely or “crunchy.” All natural births and midwives and birthing centers scared me. I loved drugs. I loved the medical system. That’s what I wanted.
Then, I started to broaden my way of thinking. I think the first big change was when we decided to hire a Doula. At that point I’d done a lot of research on epidurals and i decided that I wanted to try to have my baby born without one– because I wanted to have mobility and I also didn’t want for the epidural to stall out labor. I wanted to not have a lot of pitocin, I had read a lot about that. I talked it through with my OB and she supported my doula. She told me she wanted to avoid C-sections and that she was there for me if I decided I wanted an epidural or not. We ended up meeting and hiring a wonderful doula that we both really liked at first meeting.
I was about 15 weeks then I think– which is still really early in the process. I swear, you don’t fully start to think about birth until your third trimester– which maybe is a unique experience for just me, but I didn’t think about it until then. I mean, that is to say I “thought” about it, but I didn’t really think about it– because for a time you’re just really adjusting to the idea that you are pregnant, and there’s this whole THING going on inside of your body which is amazing and beautiful and cool, and you’re just figuring out how you are going to deal with this on a personal level. A lot goes into that–a lot goes into processing those emotions and processing the experience and becoming ok and one with the changes your body is going through. i think that’s how it’s supposed to be.
But then, we took our birthing class and I started to really think about what I wanted for my birthing experience. And everything I learned and researched and experienced told me I didn’t want an epidural. I didn’t want to take any staydol or opiate based drug during labor. I wanted to try to maintain as natural of a birth as possible. I started to research Hypnobabies as a coping mechanism. I started to think about the possibilities– especially those involving a possible induction (I am due in July, on July 23 and my return to work date is August 23, and i don’t think I can deal with less than a month with my baby– so if she is not here by her due date, we are getting induced). I know that induction means pitocin, and that scares the crap out of me.
In the process of thinking all these things through– and especially after our hospital visit and scare– I really started contemplating birth and what we wanted. I wanted to come up with our birth plan. I scheduled a meeting with our Doula. I got those hypnobaby CDS (well, I get them tomorrow) and I watched The Business of Being Born with my husband. I found the movie to be very insightful and engaging, and it raised some really important questions for me and my husband– we came out of it more convinced that we wanted an all natural birth, or as much all natural as we can have– and that we definitely do not want an epidural if I can stand it. It became clear that interventions (like pitocin, epidurals, etc) lead to C-sections. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but I will highly recommend that you watch it.