It's easy to control the date the shower will be on. It's easy to control what I put on my registry, in my mouth or on my body. I can control whether my house is clean, the laundry is done and whether or not I answer the phone when you call.
What I cannot control at the moment is how this baby is going to come into this world. Yeah, yeah...I know I won't be able to control it much when the time comes, either. But, I do have ideas on how I want it to be done. My husband is on board...now, we have to get everyone else on the wagon too.
I'm reading several books right now. And they're all along the lines of the type of birth that I want to have. I have, for nearly a decade, been a natural birth advocate. Even when I wasn't anywhere near being married and pregnant, I have had an idea of how I want my delivery(ies) to go. I have observed a trend in childbirth that leans more toward monetary gain than natural process. The natural way has been set aside to make room for scheduled deliveries, induced births and a 25% increase in Cesarean deliveries since 1970. All of this is scary to me. Childbirth is now handled like a disease that needs to be treated rather than the wonderful miracle it truly is.
There are numerous studies on the benefits of differing child birthing methods - and yet, our obstetricians rely on the same methods that were developed at the turn of the 20th century. While things have changed some for the better since 1890, there are things that haven't. I'm glad that my arms won't be strapped down to a bed, that I won't be given an enema before delivery, and I'm surly glad that I won't be unconscious. Other than those details, delivery hasn't changed much. Mothers are still confined to a bed, told that labor is a process that they will "suffer" through, encouraged to get long needles shoved into their spinal cords and generally made to fear the process and trust no one but the doctor.
I disagree. While female mortality rates have declined since the advent of modern medicine, most of the deaths were prevented in modern times because of the discovery that bacterial infections killed people. Before the discovery of those tiny little critters and the medicine to treat them, women had a large chance of dying after birth from sepsis. Women are surviving child birth because of the scientific understanding of bacteria and the advocation of hand-washing and antibiotics, not because obstetrics has changed in leaps and bounds. Give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Alexander Fleming.
So, my frustration arises when I find myself fighting at all angles to defend my choice. I'm fighting now to find a doctor that "gets it." I still don't know if he will. After this coming Tuesday, I may be making more phone calls and asking for more referrals to see someone else. We'll see. I'm fighting some of my family members so that they can get an understanding, and even without acceptance, support. In this area of the world, Professional Labor Assistants are few and far between. After nearly a half a day of research, I have found 3. Two of which may not serve me in my "area." So, I'm fighting to find professional labor support. I'm swimming upstream in a current of "no, you cant," "you're nuts," "whys," and general looks of disgust. Like I'm doing something that will harm me or my child by not allowing people to poke, prod and monitor me to death.
Nearly everyone that I have voiced my choices to have the same response. And that is "Why?" All I have to say, is "Why not?"
Luckily, Mike is 100% on board with me. And, not because I gave him no choice. He has always been a supportive, loving and caring partner through my entire pregnancy (and before.) I know if I told him to put on his swim suit, hop in a birthing tub with me, he'd do it - no questions asked. So, I'm putting this here, for everyone to see:
Thank you, Mike, for 'getting it' and allowing me to have my passions, understand them and accept them. For understanding that we go through this together, and that I need your support. Thank you for never doubting me, my ability to delivery this baby any way I set my mind to, and keeping me - and us - open to all other possibilities. I couldn't do it without you. I wouldn't even want to.
So, the journey continues. And, I know compromises may have to be made along the way. Just remember that because someone chooses to do something that you think is different - or just plain crazy- doesn't give you the right to judge, denounce or disregard it. I have made up my mind, and need support. I need help. I need advice. You're not going to scare me or change my mind. If anything, I've only been made more determined by your doubt. Wish us well and send us love and in the words of everyone's wise old ______________ "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."