~ You're Doing What?
I may be planning far in advance, but that's me, the planner! I'm great at making "To-Do" lists, reading, watching videos, discussing, and researching big decisions. Well, taking that into consideration, it's not surprising that I've already started to think about how I want to give birth and what my "plan" will be. I have had several friends in the last year that have given birth and before all of this, I would have really thought there was only one way - go into the hospital, do what the doctor recommends, and have my baby! My friends have taught me otherwise. The experiences my friends have shared with me include horrific pain and birthing horror stories, happy quick and exciting stories, and usual run of the mill births. What really makes the difference between all of their stories, in my opinion, is how they prepared for the birth and what kind of plan, if any, they were trying to follow. My friends range from having no real plan to using the Bradley Method and Hypnobirthing. I don't even know where to start, so I've just started reading and researching!
So far I have read "Your Best Birth" by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, Ina May Gaskin's "Guide To Childbirth", and am now reading "Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method" by Marie F. Mongan. I've also watched two movies about childbirth and our healthcare system in the U.S., "The Business of Being Born" and "Pregnant in America". I've just started on my list of "must reads" before the baby is born, so maybe I'm not so crazy in thinking about my birth plan this early.
From my list above, you've probably noticed a trend. I have already decided that I want to try and have my baby naturally, but in the hospital. Since Mike and I have military insurance, we don't have any other options besides having our baby at the Navy Hospital. We did have the option of choosing our doctor and decided to choose a midwife in hopes of a lesser chance of unnecessary medical intervention during the birthing process. Our midwife has been great and I think she will be open to all the ins and outs of my birth plan - once I figure it out!
I've started to tell my friends, family, and co-workers about my plan of natural childbirth and most of their reactions are summed up in one word - shock! Then they go on to tell me their horrific story about the pain of childbirth and how they wanted to do it naturally but couldn't. Or they even start talking of the wonders of the epidural and how I really should go for it. Sorry, not what I want to do ladies. My big question to them is always, "What did you do to plan for a natural childbirth? What classes did you take? What did you read? What did you bring with you to the hospital? What did your husband do?" Surprisingly enough, most people wanted to do it naturally but never took any classes or had a plan! No wonder it didn't work out! Now don't get me wrong, I know childbirth hurts and I haven't ever gone through it so who knows what I'm in for, but I still think a plan is good! Of course, if for some reason it is imperative that I have an epidural, pitocin, or other medical intervention, then I'll be open to discussing the benefits and drawbacks with my doctor and will probably opt for it if absolutely necessary, but I want to educate myself on it all! In the meantime, I am so thankful to my friends and family that are supportive. Now let's just get everyone else on board! And, goodness gracious, please give me more positive and healthy labor and delivery stories! Fingers crossed, this baby is coming a-la-natural!