Thursday, August 04, 2005

Developing a Birthing Plan

Tons of people have told me I'm crazy and I'm sure tons more will tell me before I'm done, but I want a natural birth. And yes, that means no drugs. We've researched all our options, read all the books, toured all the hospitals and hired a doula (who is also teaching our birthing classes starting in Oct.). I don't know how I could be more prepared for it.

I've been having some pretty interesting anxiety dreams lately, but last nights was pretty telling. I had nightmares all night of long, miserable, endless flights. If you read my post about flying home a few weeks ago, you know that it was beyond awful - I had drama coming out both ends, a sinus issue and my feet and one hand got so swollen I was terrified. I stood through most of the flight.

I guess because I was a psych major, I like to pick apart my dreams. And as I was thinking about this one (I was on a plane and the only person on the plane who spoke english and I had awful seats and there was no room and it was supposed to be a 14 hour flight) it hit me - the plane is the hospital and the flight is the birth. I'm not delusional, and just because I want a natural birth doesn't mean that I'm planning on having very little pain and a short labor. I know it will be hard, I know it will be work, I know it will hurt, but I also know that my body will be doing something that it was made to do. But this dream gave me a new way to explain that to other people...

Say you have this 14 hour flight to some beautiful tropical island. You know it's going to be cramped and miserable and that you'll get sick and feel awful, but the tickets were expensive and are non refundable and you WANT to go. So you prepare yourself in any way you can. And then someone offers you some medication. It will make you sleep through much of the flight and although you'll still be plenty uncomfortable, you'll be able to relax better. Sounds great, right? Well, there's also a great chance that this miracle medication will make you sick once you land. So sick, in fact, that you'll miss the whole beginning of your vacation being in a fog. And you can have side effects too, although they're rare. You might have a horrific headache for days or temporary paralysis...and some other things we'll just not talk about. (Of course, this says nothing for how bad all this is for the baby).

So the way I see it, I'd rather have a miserable, long, uncomfortable, painful flight and know that at the end of it all, I'll be able to walk off the plane unassisted and enjoy a little bit of paradise as I get to know this new person in my life.

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