As you have most likely read already, we have been seeing a midwife throughout this pregnancy and when I was pregnant with Deidre. I made the choice to use the midwife program at the Olson Center for Women’s Health through UNMC at the beginning of my first pregnancy after doing a lot of research (including watching The Business of Being Born that was recommended by a good friend. Seriously, watch it – it is well worth it!) and couldn’t be happier with my decision. I can’t sing high enough praises for the program and the dedication they show to their patients, especially after experiencing what we did last year. I was looking for a more personalized experience…one that made you feel like a person instead of a number… that I have become so used to seeing while working around doctors for years. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing wrong with doctors. They obviously know their way around pregnancies, but it’s not quite the experience that I was looking for.
First, let me start off by saying that I am not a “crunchy” mama-to-be by any means. I did not choose to use a midwife because I want to feel at one with my labor while pushing out a kid into a blown up baby pool in the middle of my living room floor. I can’ t even tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question after someone hears that we aren’t seeing a “real doctor”. No, I am not crazy enough to have a baby at home. Frankly, that idea kind of that grosses me out. Yes, we are having this baby in a hospital that is fully equipped with the staff and resources need SHOULD anything go wrong but will not step in until that point. Do I plan on ingesting the placenta after the baby is born? HELL NO and excuse me while I go vomit. No, I do not plan to birth this baby in the water – in fact, I’m pretty sure that is illegal in this state – however, yes, I do plan to labor in the tub as much as I can and where ever else will give me the most comfort. Along with that, yes, I do plan to have a natural medication free labor.
Crazy? Maybe. But it is the decision that I feel is the best for both my baby and myself . The midwives rarely induce labor, very rarely perform episiotomies, do not force you to labor laying down in bed, encourage breast-feeding immediately after birth and various other things that make their philosophy a good fit for me. Quite a few times I’ve heard comments like “There’s no need to be a hero, just get the meds!” and I can’t decide to ignore them or get pissed so for now, I’ve been ignoring them. Do I expect it to be easy? Hell no. I expect it to be very long, very hard, very exhausting and I’m sure it will push me to the brink of insanity, but I will try as hard as I can to deal with that. Do I think I will be able to do it? My honest answer is I don’t know – but I will have my husband, the nurses and the wonderful midwives by my side encouraging me through the entire labor and I take comfort in knowing that they will be there to help me through when I don’t think I can take anymore.
I have a pretty high tolerance for pain (obviously, have you heard how much I swear?). I have a really good mindset about labor and expecting the unexpected. I have done a lot of research about natural childbirth and the different methods that are used to encourage relaxation and coping during labor. I have watched many different videos about natural childbirth and have seen the many different degrees of labors women can have. I have read books, including Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, and have begun practicing many different stretches and relaxation techniques that the book and Bradley Method recommends to help prepare myself as much as I can for a situation that could be completely foreign to me.
I have researched many different birthing class options – including the Bradley Method and Hypnobabies – and we have decided that while we understand the theories behind both of these teachings, it is just not something that either of us feel that strongly about to pay the hefty price tag and commit that much time to. We will take the classes offered at the hospital to become more acquainted with the way the hospital policies and how they encourage women to labor. In the meantime, I plan to continue reading as many books as I can to educate myself and my husband on various ways to assist in a unmedicated labor. I want my husband to be as involved as he can be so that we are working towards the final stages as a couple. Pregnancy is something that we worked together to achieve and I would love for both of us to experience until the end when we get to see our beautiful baby for the first time.