This week we attended our first Bradley Method birthing class. I have very strong feelings about giving birth without medical intervention. For awhile I was considering having a home birth. In the end, though, I decided I felt more comfortable in a hospital with a midwife than either home birth or a hospital birth with a doctor. I've been reading the book, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and really learning a lot about how many medical interventions can be avoided. All along I have maintained that birth is a natural process that your body is adequately prepared for. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be here today because no one would have been able to have babies in the past. So, the class focuses a lot on how to do things as naturally as possible without intervention, which I like.
I was just saying to my husband that I'm getting impatient. I feel the baby moving and I saw her on the 3D ultrasound. I see pictures of my friends' babies and I find myself seeking out pictures of babies and newborns and looking at the 3D ultrasound pictures over and over again because I really want to meet my baby! I'm really excited to have her and hold her. And I really don't want to wait any more!
Well, all of this was before we watched the video in the birthing class. Honestly, I've never seen a birth before and I didn't want to watch one yesterday. I sort of feel like ignorance is bliss in that aspect. But, sure enough we saw women laboring and two or three women push the baby out and I found it very gross. Not disturbing, well maybe a little disturbing. The voice over on the video talked all about how a women's body can handle labor and how she builds up endorphins so that she doesn't feel the pain as much as it progresses and how she gets very inwardly focused. Aaron said it should have made me feel even more confident about birth. But instead, I found it a little bit scary. The women in labor looked very intensely focused. That does not scare me. What scares me is walking around in a hospital in an ugly hospital gown bending over waiting for the pain to pass--having people around me possibly getting on my nerves and seeing me look like crap and me being unable to articulate to them that I don't want them to see me that way.
And, I'm a little freaked out about the post-birth. During the whole video I was bawling. I couldn't handle it. I am 100% positive that after I push the baby out it's going to be such a raw emotional moment that I'm going to bawl my eyes out and I'm concerned it's going to overwhelm me with emotion beyond my ability to function. I'm worried I won't be able to see my baby through my tears. That I won't be able to feel anything but pure emotion manifested by crying--not sadness, not happiness, just a combination of all the stress and focus and intensity coming to a head and being over with. And, most of all, I don't think I'm going to be able to look at anyone around me in the eye because it's going to feel so personal. And, frankly, I'm not that comfortable with sharing moments like this with anyone--maybe my husband, but not my mother and friends and the hospital staff. I really hate sappy sentimental stuff and I'm worried this is going to be too sentimental. But, if I tried to make it not sentimental, I might be disappointed that I didn't experience the sappiness of that moment.
As a writer, I find it scary when I can't accurately describe an emotion or feeling. It's very important to me that the things I feel and experience that others might not be something I am able to convey to them so they can have a way to experience it too without having to go through it themselves. I really dislike it when I can't find words to describe my feelings--either on paper or in person.
And, the video only fed my impatience. It made me want to hurry up and get labor over with so I can meet my baby girl!