Monday, July 05, 2010

Meditating on Birth

Now that our ultrasound is mere hours away, I've started to read pregnancy books and think about birth. It's time, people---do you see that ticker? 18 weeks. That's almost half-way through. Oh wow!, as Theo would say.

I daresay we have a unique situation over here in babymaker town. On one hand, I have experienced birth in a first-hand way, but not in this first-hand way, and obviously vice-versa for S. What she likes and expects out of this pregnancy is a lot different from what she liked and expected from her own. And...vice-versa. So what may happen differently here? I am reading different books. I'm starting to investigate (and suggestions are wildly welcome here) more meditative-centering-hypnobirthing kind of methods of birth to help me attain it naturally. S. knew from the get-go she wanted a natural birth and, through her sheer tenacity (ahem, stubbornness), she would do it. I cave in much more easily and need a lot more resources and tools at my disposal to use to sustain myself through birth, and am in general not the kind of person who heavily depends on others, so I want to be able to withdraw into myself.

This sounds really weirdo, I know. But I know myself, and am trying to learn more and more about myself and what might work for me. I'm not a meditative person by nature, but I can sort of already anticipate me experiencing birth in this way. But, as I've also learned through Theo's birth and reading all of your wonderful birth stories, the unexpected needs to be, you know, expected.

Thus ends my pregnancy rant of the day.

How do you anticipate yourself birthing?


Tessa said...

Again, I don't know you but have been reading for a while (love it!). I guess I didn't pay enough attention to the fact that you have both carried a pregnancy. I think that is so awesome! How special! Both of my experiences were totally different. The first was all natural (and hard) but worth it. The second I was SO sick, both of us almost died, so I had an induction and epidural. My advice is just to be aware that things don't always end up exactly as we want and to be open to options ... but also to fight for what you want and need, if that makes sense? I'm so excited for you guys! Good luck!!

Schroedinger said...

This is such a good question. I don't think you sound "weirdo"-- I am definitely the same way when I am sick. I just want to be left alone to get through by sheer force of will.

I am also pretty doggedly committed to the idea of an unmedicated, vaginal birth. Because of NY's unfriendly midwifery policies, home birth is not an option for me (as a hospital transfer would mean that I would be dumped at the nearest ER, essentially) and the only birthing center in the city that seemed* to be an option for me is no longer because of my insurance (G/D Aetna, don't get me started).

This means I have no choice but to go to a hospital, and while I have not written about this, I have something of a phobia (in the hatred sense more than in the fear sense) of hospitals.

With c-section rates approaching 40% in the city, I thought my best bet for a natural birth in a hospital was a midwife. There is ONE midwife who is both covered by my insurance and practices at a hospital covered by my insurance.
She does a lot of work with 'hypnobirthing" which I find intriguing in some ways, although I am also a little too cynical to fully embrace the idea. But if this is my one option, I am going for it!

I understand the need to expect the unexpected, but I am terrified of the all-too-typical scenario (a little pitocin to kick things along, and oops, you're in too much pain-- here have an epi...and whoa! labor slowed, how about some more pit...but oh nos! the baby's heartrate is dropping with thise strong contractions, so we have to do surgery...)

This is all to say I share your desire AND fears about natural birth, and that if you come across any mind tricks that can increase the odds of that happening, please share!

*I say "seemeed" because there is another one, but they have not returned any of my numerous calls, and are assoicated with a hospital that is not anywhere near my first pick.

oneofhismoms said...

I didn't take any classes. But I spoke to a friend who did hypno-birthing while I was pregnant. She said to "Ride the wave." It helped me alot. As you know, unlike cramps, each contraction eventually ends. So every time one started, I would think of it as temporary. It comes like a wave, then it washes away. It also helped me to make really loud noises, at first, and then I started to "ohm." And that was extremely helpful. (Corny, maybe, but awesome.)

Lo said...

You do not want to talk to me until you have birthed that baby...but I will say, it's pretty cool, having the two birth experiences. You (and I) are lucky!!

jessie said...

I wanted a natural birth and was lucky to have one. It was important to me to be with midwives. Can you get a doula? I loved Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

lyn said...

I haven't been by in a while so I missed this, but just wanted to pipe up to agree it's a little funny heading into a birth that is both a first and a second. The experience of supporting my wife through birth had a similar effect on me as you, I think. I was all about collecting as many tools as I could (and we did hypnobirthing, and it did help). Previous experience with the unexpected came in handy, too. Good luck!