Sunday, January 29, 2012

23 Weeks.

I miss blogging.  I do think that blogging started and sustained me through a very hungry place in life.  Many things have changed and I feel less drawn to this angst-ridden place, but I think writing down things can and will continue without that gritty purpose. 

Maybe a new purpose, this little gentle Tiger growing in my belly, is reason enough to chronicle. 

Perhaps, well, no, certainly, I will greet that gritty angst-y hungry place of motherhood soon enough, and will need the outlet.  So as with all other preparations for this world-changing ball of uncertainty kicking me from the insides, I dust off the blog and commit to writing again. 

Oh yes, and we got a new camera.  So there's that.

Here we go.  First set of thoughts.

To medicate or not to medicate?  Or, the first test of how to be a 'good mom' according to 'them'.

If you use medical interventions or pain relief during the birth of your child, there is a school of passionate-well meaning granola-bars (Dr. Granola Bars, actually) out-there that write books and blog blogs about how this disrupts the delicate instincts of mothers.  The beautiful and perfect balance of hormones and juices and happiness and instincts that have kept our species alive and bonding for as long as humans have walked on two legs.  People who claim we are doing great harm in medicating and intervening in the process of birth, making the most normal and low-risk occurance a medical emergency more often than it needs to be.

There are then a school of mothers that want to punch those people in the face as they grab for the epidural button.

And doctors who listen supportively to your desires to have a natural birth and then roll their eyes and go order the epidural that they know you will cave-in and ask for.

I wish I had enough faith and trust in my body to be completely in the Granola camp.  I do not mean that to be an offensive term. I merely mean it as a description of the holistic care movement in general, of which I am not against in the least.  I want to do the best for my kid.  Right out of the gate.  And everything they preach sounds amazing and right and good and YES, of COURSE I wanna do that.  Doesn't make me want to paint my unborn child's placenta, that's a little off the path for me..but whatever....I'm MADE for this childbirth thing.  My mom did this (and to an 11 lb. 7oz baby no less).  I will do this! Maybe not even in a hospital. Maybe in a forest.  Or a waterfall somewhere. 

On the other hand, I also hate pain.  Right now I have a dry nostril that is giving me fits.  My mom said she would have taken the drugs had they been available. Other moms have said the same to me.  One MIDWIFE is on tape begging for an epidural at her OWN HOME BIRTH.  Doesn't inspire much confidence in my 'beautifully attuned system'.  Yet others have said their natural births "weren't that bad" or "the baby just slipped out".

They say if you go into a natural birth unprepared in a hospital setting, you will at somepoint ask for an intervention.   They say if you go in with a "we'll try it, why not?" attitude, you will fail. 

The other camp says if you go in and dont' go through with the natural birth, you shouldn't feel as if you failed.

One camp says "visualize" your birth positively.

The mothers who have had babies say " that until 7cm...then get the drugs"

I'm certainly not discounting the births where medical interventions are most certainly necessary.  But it's become more and more unclear to me what 'certainly necessary' even means.   I think most, including the modern medical community are in the camp that inductions are undesirable.  Luke and I agree on this.  But epidurals?  One teeny-weeny one can't hurt can it?  I do find it odd that the same doctors who tell us not to even take cold medicine during pregnancy are suddenly ok with narcotics during labor.

It feels like a hot mess.  Like, once again, we are trying to control and put something into a neat little box, that by nature was never meant to be so controlled.  Giving birth to a human being was really never designed to be something for our convenience or comfort.  Blessing? Absolutely.  Fun?  I'm just not so sure.

Right now I'm living in a mental cycle that goes like this...

"YES, I will do it naturally, and I'm stark raving TERRIFIED about it.  Well, I shouldn't spend the next 17 weeks in terror.  No... just relax, plan to get the drugs, everyone else does it, and then I feel ashamed that I am agreeing to jack with my hormones and with my baby....maybe I should try it naturally..."

Seems like a healhy place to be right?  Maybe this is why I am having dreams where I shoot people.

My way-more-stable husband had a good mantra that is sustaining me for now "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby"  even though I dont really know what that means. It suggests that the end is more important than the means and that we will get through it somehow.

I welcome advice and thoughts and your personal views on this delicate subject.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

this is all so very familiar, as i had the same thoughts through 2 pregnancies! and i will have them a 3rd time as i clearly didn't figure it out well enough the first two times. yes, i'm a slow learner. no, i'm not pregnant. so how about this: you figure it out & then tell me what to do when i'm pregnant again. okay? okay.

i'm 98% sure the epidural screwed my labor, for what it's worth. everything was fine (painful & slow, but fine) until the pain meds. then suddenly all the alarms went off (both times) and i'm rushed in for emergency c. i don't know what will happen with baby 3, but i'm rooting against the epidural, that's for sure. and that's just for me. my body & my babies apparently don't like it, but thousands of women with pleasant deliveries & epidurals can't be completely wrong! : )

not helpful. i know. praying for real peace as you grow your baby!

Lindsey said...

Thankyou for sharing, Rachel. You had me thinking you were onto baby number three right now! I will let you know what I find out in my search for the perfect delivery ;). I have a few (a small few) friends who have sucessfully done natural labor, after I pick their brains, I'll let you know what I find out.

Joanna said...

You should be aware that sometimes women get epidurals and they don't take. Which means you think you are getting the medicated birth you want but you don't and then you are unprepared for a natural birth. Ask Nina.

I think Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby is an excellent mantra. I took Penny Simkins birth class and that was her mantra and she is the founder of the doula movement in america. Ultimately you need to do what is best for you and the baby. If you choose natural and in the midst it isn't going to be safe and healthy for both of you, be ok with that. If you choose medicated, know that there are lots of healthy moms and kids out there that had lots of interventions. It doesn't make you less of a mom. You can't fail in this decision. Love you!

angelamarie said...

I'm so glad you are 8 weeks ahead of me on this one. I'm just going to relax and let you figure it all out ;)
BTW, I am leaning toward natural, but have the same fears and conflicts you share.
It is very encouraging to me that your mom did it with an 11+lb. baby. Casey was somewhere in that range, which absolutely TERRIFIES me.