I'm not sure I should actually try to articulate these thoughts on what could be the eve of our baby's birthday, but I want to. What I want to think through and share is why a natural childbirth is important to me this time around. The danger in doing this publicly is that I could offend someone who doesn't find it important. Another danger is that I'll read this after choosing drugs and feel guilty. The benefit, though, is that perhaps when the going gets tough, as I know it will, I might feel compelled to fight a little bit harder.
It's funny though. I don't regret choosing an epidural with Cora for a few reasons. First, I don't think there were any negative effects to her or me. Second, I'm glad to have experienced birth both ways. And third, well, let's be honest: from 5:00 until 10:03 am the morning of her birth, Nate got to rest and I felt like I was floating on a super-comfy cloud.
So why do I feel stubborn about avoiding drugs this time? I guess I want to see/confirm what my body is capable of and to push back, very privately, against the notion that a laboring woman is sick and births must occur quickly and on schedule. I want to know if my body can birth this baby without pitocin, something I have yet to do. And to me, accepting pitocin causes my mental strength to diminish pretty darn quickly and is the point during my labor with Cora that I adamantly requested the epidural.
I haven't been thinking about all of this for very long. We do have a doula and we have been planning to use Hypnobirthing since September or October, but when I thought about epidurals and other common interventions, I sort of brushed if off, saying hopefully not, but we'll see.
But just today, I went to a prenatal yoga class that really brought "interventions" to the front of my mind. The class was half discussion/education and half yoga. I've purposely avoided this type of prenatal yoga class since my pregnancy with Louisa, feeling that I was too informed for something so first-time-pregnancy-related. I love how God humbles me while providing for me. My mom arrived last Wednesday night, so I wouldn't have been able to go to this particular class last week. And obviously I wouldn't have gone to the class if I had the baby on time or early. But he's comfy in there, I'm looking for things to fill my days, and my mom was here to watch the girls....so I went...and what an amazing blessing it was.
A literal blessing. In all the classes I've attended with Nanci, my awesome yoga instructor, I've never seen her give a blessing to someone who most likely won't be back for another class before she has her baby. She didn't mention it on Saturday, which I thought for sure would be my last class, nor did she do it for Charity the Saturday before, when she knew she'd be induced on Monday. So anyway, I just totally see it as a God thing...a way for him to give me patience and peace (two things I've been praying for a ton) as I prepare to meet this little Mister.
I wouldn't guess that Nanci is a Christian even, but her blessing felt so prayer-like that I was able to bask in the moment in the same way I did last week at my Bible study when they prayed for me, the delivery and the baby. And she prayed for all the things I'd choose in an ideal birth: patience, strength, courage when things get tough. She prayed that the baby would be born and be able to come right up on my chest and nurse right away, which is a very vivid, beautiful memory I have from Louisa's birth. I'm not often moved to tears by things like this, but I was so touched, surrounded by 10 or so pregnant ladies, being led in prayer by a pretty awesome yoga instructor that I only met five months ago.
This beautiful yoga experience, followed by a wonderfully relaxing pedicure, really helped get me through post-due-date-day-one.
With all this being said, I feel like I also need to acknowledge that while I want to remain a bit stubborn, I can't write off interventions altogether, because I don't know what turns the birth will take. If the baby is in danger, the birth plan goes out the window and I follow my midwife's recommendations, whether it be pitocin or a c-section.