For the past few weeks, Jimmy and I have been attending our Labor and Delivery classes at the Birthing Center where Baby Girl will be born! This has been pretty exciting... joining other first time parents to learn about timing contractions, natural childbirth pain management techniques, and in general what to expect from the experience. Everyone seems a little excited, a little nervous, maybe even a little scared, but most of all, eager to learn and feel (somewhat) prepared for the "big day".
I feel as prepared as I possibly can be without actually having gone through the experience. I have been reading about natural (undisturbed) childbirth for years and always knew that I wanted that kind of experience. I've watched just about every waterbirth or natural birth video on the internet and am convinced that this is the best way for me and my baby. No artificial hormones, no inductions, no scary tools or impatient doctors... just my body doing what it was created to do and the rest of us getting out of the way to allow that to happen! Often times when people hear that I am not delivering at a hospital or that I'm planning to deliver my baby in a big bathtub (!!!) their first reaction is "You are crazy!!!" and then, of course, "What if something goes wrong?" Many people fail to realize, however, that midwives are not just a bunch of hairy-legged hippy, anti-doctor, tree huggin', herbal tea drinking, yoga practicing, Birkenstock wearing, gray headed women who think modern medicine is the anti-christ. (Although, I'm sure there are a few out there). These are medically trained individuals who have more training and experience in natural childbirth than any obstetrician you can find! Should a true emergency arise, (going 5 days past your due date or having a labor that is inconveniently long does not necessarily constitute a true emergency) the hospital is only a few blocks away and has a seamless transfer agreement with the birthing center. Now all of you worry warts can breath a sigh of relief!
Believe it or not, I am really looking forward to this experience of birthing my child. Though I know it won't be easy and may not go exactly as I have imagined, it will truly be a labor of love, during which I will be coherent and involved in the decisions regarding my own body and baby. Here is a link to an educational video on waterbirth for those of you who may still be wondering, "What in the world?..."