Last week, I met with my doula for the first time. She was recommended to me by the friend whom I originally wanted to act as my doula, but who happens to be due two weeks after me, so that obviously wouldn’t work (although it does sound like the makings of a great comedy sketch)…Anyway, my doula is wonderful – we clicked right away and mostly gabbed about birth-related this n’ that over tea at a local coffeehouse. We’re planning another meeting over the summer, so she can meet Butch before I’m stirrups-up in the hospital and has assured me that she’s available whenever I need to call with a question. My insurance won’t cover the expense, of course, but her fee is extremely reasonable and her presence a necessity, in my opinion. Butch will also be in the room, but I want his role to be one of comfort and assurance, while the doula takes care of layin’ down the law of my birth plan!
I’m still hesitant to swear off an epidural completely. I mean, while I don’t consider myself a TOTAL wuss (I do have 7 tattoos, some of which are rather large) I’ve never experienced anything like this before. The only broken bone I’ve had happened when I was a toddler. I am hoping to invoke the zen-like state I use when at the dentist – but that’s a result of enduring 2 root canals, multiple baby teeth being pulled to make way for the installation of braces, 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed and 1 permanent tooth removed that ended up being fused the bone of my jaw…and more fillings than I could possibly count (side note to unborn child: please inherit your father’s teeth…and eyesight, while we’re at it). I’ll probably try to maintain as natural a birth as possible, if for no other reason as they are reputedly faster than medicated births, but I’m not going to feel like I “failed” if I decide that I need something to ease the pain. And I appreciated that my doula made it clear that she is behind me 100%, no matter what I decide.
Having the birth in the hospital is really the best option for me, since no one around here will do a home birth. At least not in YOUR home. A good friend did a water-birth at a local hippie-turned-Mennonite/qualified midwife’s house, but that set-up just did not sound appealing to me. The hospital I’ll be using is not even the closest one, but it is the one I’ve heard the best things about. Plus, I’m comfortable with my new doctors/midwife at A Woman’s Perspective, so I’m sure the experience will be just fine. I have been collecting birth plan’s from friends and reading about others’ experiences online. Even if they don’t match my expectations exactly, there’s usually something I can glean from it, as I did with this “Five Ways to Prepare for Natural Birth” article from the Natural Parent’s Network, or with the comments from The Green Parent’s facebook page.
Overall, I’m not letting myself get too stressed out about it – it’s going to happen the way it’s meant to and the baby will come out one way or another! Now excuse me while I practice my meditation by getting some more dental work done…
Video still from a very hilarious scene in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life via YouTube
You’ll do great! I had a natural birth with my daughter (I didnt intend to but this was before they knew redheads needed more painkillers, so it just didnt work). It was not nearly as bad as I’d dreaded for that whole 9 months. Truthfully, if I were having another i’d chose natural again. On purpose this time!
Thanks for the reassurance! I think I’m subconsciously not thinking about labor too much so I don’t get myself too freaked out!
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You are so right to have a goal and yet be flexible! I think it’s important to know what we want as new mothers-to-be, but we have to be realistic and accept that life can throw us curveballs. We should not feel guilty if we use pain killers or have a labor experience completely different from what we envisioned. We have to have a sort of wabi-sabi perspective and find the beauty in the imperfect. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as I gear up! LOL!
And yay for doulas! The nurse teaching the childbirth course at Samaritan was very positive about them which made me feel great!