Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby I Week 25: I'm Gonna Give Birth Like a Cow in a Barn and That's That.

Week 25, Milo moves a lot more. That's about it on him. I, however, feel that this last weekend of intense study with Eric has completely changed the mood and atmosphere of my pregnancy. Together, we decided we are going to strive for a completely natural childbirth. Before we just wanted it, but honestly, neither of us thought we could do it. But we think we can, we just needed the tools.

Once again I'm tagging a buncha you moms because I'm very interested in your input, especially if you have had a natural childbirth, OR considered it and decided against it. Also mommies-to-be, I want to know what you are thinking of doing! No matter what, I'm interested to hear comments.

From the beginning I knew we'd use the Bradley Method, but the way I envisioned my birth story was that we would use his techniques until it was too hard, then get an epidural. Because I don't really believe an epidural poses much risk to the baby, this was an easy, guilt free decision. I hadn't read any Bradley books, just researched the basic principles online. I shied from judgemental sounding sources and mainly read the relaxation techniques, which made way more sense than Lamaze's. I didn't know much about Bradley philosophy.

I don't know if many people have had those intense moments of conviction and clarity, where they know something is the absolute, undeniable truth and they have to wonder how it took so long to come by it. I don't know, but I totally have. It was after many frustrating years of scrambling from church to church trying to extract some rational explanations from pastors, who failed miserably again and again. It was pathetic, and I lost faith, and rightly so! But when Eric introduced me to our current belief system, it answered every question and it was so clear, I couldn't believe my ears. THAT'S exactly how reading Dr. Bradley's book is... EXACTLY!

What made me want a natural childbirth in the first place was my belief that our bodies were designed to have children, so why did babies need to be cut or pulled from our bodies? This REALLY bothered me. I have watched cows calve and bitches whelp and mares foal, so why do humans require so much assistance? Imagine the chills I got when I read Dr. Bradley, who grew up on a farm, express the SAME confusion! One by one, as they arose in my mind, my questions were beautifully answered. It made so much sense! No guilt trips, no "you'll be a bad mother if you..." None of that, just information.

The main thing that has made me completely dedicate myself to having Milo naturally really had nothing to do with being safer for him, that may make me sound selfish, but I don't care. The reason was that any medical intervention will most likely prolong labor, which will most likely lead to more intervention and a tougher recovery for me. I still don't believe that epidurals are that dangerous for babies, but here's where the problem lies.

Starting with the IV. The IV can (and usually will) slow labor, because it dilutes the hormones in your blood that tells your uterus to contract. Contractions are less efficient in opening the cervix, making labor longer. The longer the labor, the high chance that the Dr. will need to give you drugs to help your labor progress, or order a C-section. Both of these interventions would have not been needed without the IV. My mom had an IV against her will for my birth, and her labor was a grueling 26 hours. For her later births she refused the IV, and they were "normal."

If I did want an epidural, of course I would need an IV. The epidural is ALSO going to make my contractions less efficient. It will keep my body from doing what it was meant to do and THAT'S why babies need to be pulled from their moms, not delivered by them. Yes I may be more comfortable at the time, but I will be trading that for more tearing, or needing to be cut, or a C-section, and a longer labor and a longer hospital stay. I want to go home as soon as possible, but I will most certainly have a longer stay and a more painful recovery if I get an epidural, I had never considered this trade off before.

I know that a natural birth will be A LOT of work, but have you met ANY mother who had medication during her birth or labor that said theirs was no work at all? I've heard moms say they didn't know how they could cope with more pain than what the endured, even with getting the drugs. The awesome thing about Bradley is that he tells you HOW to cope in a way that I just know has to work. It's what I've seen animals do time and time again. It's also what I've done when I'm in a lot of pain, like with my tattoos. Most of you tattooed moms I know will object, saying the pain is nowhere near the same and I get that! But my first tattoos I literally sobbed and freaked out the entire time, it was horrible. The first artist said he would never tattoo me again. In later ones I forced my body to relax only because I didn't want to be kicked out, and I felt more in control... in undeniable pain that was horrible every moment, but in control. I imagine labor would be similar. We will see. Either way, this is what makes sense to me. This is how I think God truly designed us to bring children into the world, and if you want to debate about Genesis 3:16 please bring it up, I do have an answer, but I have a feeling most of you don't care :)

I'll update you on what I learn as Eric and I read through our books. I do have some really funny stuff to say about one of these books, which is from 80's, but I'll save it for next time.

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