We Are Goddesses!! | Preparing for Birth
*Contains some strong language*
As part of the process of getting ready for birthing, it is extremely beneficial to "heal" from previous labor and delivery experiences. That does require you, however, to mentally and emotionally relive some of these experiences...which can be a trigger for some strong emotions.
I have heard many women say that they had traumatic past birthing experiences. And many of their stories sounded like mine. I felt bad for them but never understood how it was "traumatic"...I mean, what other choice did you have, hon? Sometimes things happen beyond our control, things not neatly planned out in our Birth Plan or in our mind's eye, but that's how life works, right? Besides, you had a skilled and qualified doctor and complete medical staff right there with you (* in most cases), the same as I did....they have the experience that would help them to make the best decisions for you and your baby. Even if our labor turned out to be a bit scary or painful than we had planned...that's just how labor is.
Shortly after the birth of my fourth baby, Levi, I watched The Business of Being Born.
That documentary is a literal life changer. I sat on the bed, hearing them talk about what's really going on "behind the scenes" of our hospital births. Even hospital doctors contributed and what they said was horrifying. I was literally sobbing as I watched.
Most everything that I had thought about how my and my baby's best interest was in mind...was a total and complete lie!! Not saying that doctors aren't important...no, they definitely have a necessary and needed place in our lives...but they really should not be relied on as heavily for low-risk natural pregnancies and births. It's NOT what they are (usually) trained for.
And that set me down a rabbit hole of researching and studying...and realizing just how wrong I had been...and how naive I had been to not fully research my options back when I was pregnant with my first 4 babies! And, actually, at the time, I had NO clue that we would be having any more kids. I figured that ship of misinformation had sailed and I'd just have to live with the fact that I left all MY choices up to someone else. Boy, did God have a surprise up His sleeve...haha
I learned about more-than-likely why:
my little Austin's heart rate kept going all wonky, almost requiring an emergency c-section
I may have permanent nerve damage in my leg
each of my boys had meconium in the water and required NICU to check them out
I have had probably unnecessary and painful episiotomies
and a host of other issues
But right now I want to focus on my not going natural (no pain medication) for my labors...
I've had people make comments about how ridiculous it is that I am opting for a home birth with absolutely no pharmaceutical pain medication. How I am going to be in so much pain. How painful their labors were before they got their epidurals. As if I have no experience with labor and delivery myself. ::sigh::
When I was in labor with Mahri, my first baby, my body tried to do its thing. And I had done NO research or classes on natural laboring. So anything my body was trying to do was all instinctual. I had bad back labor with her. I distinctly remember myself having a contraction on the way back from the bathroom and, without even thinking about it, I dropped down to my hands and knees.
Now, look, I get it: the floor is nasty.
But then, NURSE, why didn't you suggest that I do that position in the bed once that contraction passed? No. You just sharply reprimanded me and yelled at me to get back into bed and lay ON MY BACK. You freaking nut job!!
Did you know that laboring on your hands and knees actually helps to move the baby and can alleviate the pain...if not actually stop the back labor completely?!!
They ended up thinking my labor was taking "too long" (we were well under 24 hrs), so the doctor came in and did all he could to beg me to get an epidural. I needed it. "You are too scared and tense...you need the epidural...otherwise the baby isn't going to come out."
Well, MAYBE if you let me labor the way my body was telling me to, the labor could have progressed more quickly.
I didn't get epidurals for the next 3 labors because I was in so much pain. Nope...I got them because I usually went in with the intention of either NOT getting an epidural at all...or waiting until I needed it.
I never felt like I "needed" it, but the doctor, hospital midwife or nurse would wait until I was having an intense rush/contraction and would start pressuring me to get the epidural done now. "what if you wait?? there's a chance it will be too late and you're going to regret not getting it done now while you have the chance."
You know what?
Fuck you for not having confidence in me.
But, hey, who knows...I had been induced for each of those labors and Pitocin makes it next to impossible to labor without pain medication. Chemically induced contractions are a whole different ball of wax compared to natural contractions. Maybe I would have needed the epidural. But...well, let's go back a bit then, shall we... Why were they so eager to start the Pitocin at all?? Why wasn't I ever encouraged just ONCE to let my body go into full blown active labor all by itself? Why didn't they explain verbally the dangers associated with chemically inducing labor?! The effect that adrenaline has on a laboring body? It sure as heck isn't the effect you're thinking of, I'm sure.
And my husband who has been there for my labors and seen how I handle it--and how I handle most everything in life--and he told me that he has no doubt about my abilities to do a home birth.
Look, I get that labor is painful. I don't doubt that.
But most home birth women say that it is only to the point where you are "begging for medication" at the very end. Like, the last hour. Some say it's really the last 20 minutes or so and you have transitioned and the rushes/contractions are hitting back-to-back, the baby is getting ready to crown and you are just exhausted and SO READY to be done.
Interesting note: did you know that eating and drinking during home birth labor is encouraged?? No measly freaking ice chips in sight! Oh, how I hated ice chips. I wanted to shove that little plastic dixie cup of ice right up someone's....well, you know. And do you know WHY you want to eat and drink?? Because your body is working it's butt off on the hardest thing it is ever going to do!! It NEEDS the sustenance!
A lot of home birth moms SLEEP through portions of the later stages of labor. Like, full on snoring and drooling on the pillow/floor. Because their body knows what's coming and is building up the strength to get through the next inevitable phase: transition and delivery.
Okay, I'm done. hahaha I just really needed to get this all "out there" and let other moms know that they really need to research their options fully. To understand that our bodies were perfectly designed to do this. Sure, you're going to have the occasional woman who has physical limitations and cannot birth naturally/vaginally. And that is nothing to be ashamed of! Birth is birth! BUT do not patronize and talk down to a woman who KNOWS that she can do this.
Photo courtesy of Finder6