doula, birth coach, and birth wishlists
Maybe I am crazy but I want to have a natural childbirth. Yes, I know I have yet to feel a contraction so my confidence is probably naive but something deep down inside me wants this. When it comes to pain, I am not afraid to grab the Tylenol for a headache and I cry out when I stub my toe on the pesky coffee table, but somehow I keep putting the pain of childbirth into its own separate category from these daily aches and pains. Whenever anyone asks about our birth plan or birth wishes, I am usually greeted with skepticism as I say, "I am going to try for a natural delivery." I am reminded that in the end, the baby and my body will decide how the birth goes. And, yes I know this. I know that all I can hope for on the other side of this birth process is a healthy outcome for both baby and me. In this I am not delusional. My ultimate goal is for a healthy and safe delivery of this little boy. Yet, I can have a wish list, no? I promise not to remain married to this wish list. I promise to have the wishlist be realistic. I promise not to stand in the way of the medical professionals who might need to intervene in the process. But, I also promise to focus my attention on my natural childbirth goals for as long as both my body and baby allow. To help me reach these goals David has committed himself to being a superb birth coach. Reading a variety of resources, he is now well versed in alternative forms of relaxation, support, and massage. Some nights we pretend I am in the midst of earth-shattering contractions and he "practices," as best he can, ways to support me, calm me down, and stay tuned in with me. This might sound ridiculous, but it is actually quite sweet and romantic. He is the leader of my team and even though I am a little afraid of this path I have to take, I know that I have someone beside me who really gets what I am trying to do and who will help get me there. Even more important though he has relentlessly reminded me that no matter what happens on the actual day(s) that he is already so proud of the work, decisions, and path we have taken with this pregnancy and impending birth. This has not only assured me of his love and support but also taken off any and all pressure to have the perfect delivery. We are both going in there for the ride and hope we can encourage that ride to be one way but are prepared to be there for each other for the twists and turns that are probably going to present themselves.
To further support the two of us, the baby, and our birth wishes, we have also invited a doula into the room with us. Catherine is so sweet. We have sat down with her on a number of occasions and she is a realistic, positive, and super informed woman. She is able to answer our questions, reassure our doubts, and remind us of the beauty of the childbirth process. If you know the show Game of Thrones then you know that there is a character named Brienne of Tarth. She is described as this massive woman who is able to fight with the very best of men. When I imagine my doula, I conjure up this character. Someone who is able to swing me up into their arms and carry me through the pains of delivery with ease. While our doula is in no way, shape, or form the stature of Brienne (our doula is actually quite diminutive in size), I feel like her spirit is that of Brienne's. She will help us get to our goals as long as she can. She will be in the room to support David as he supports me and she will be there to support me as well. A fountain of knowledge and experience will be standing with us as we get ready to meet this little guy and her presence truly dissipates the fears that have been bottled up inside of me.
I am so thankful to have such an amazing team of support people heading into the impending birth of this little one. Am I still a little afraid? Yes, absolutely. But that is normal and it is no longer a crushing, suffocating fear. Rather it is a fear that is imbued with an incredible amount of excitement. Fingers crossed that this little guy joins us soon. I just cannot wait to meet him. And fingers crossed that we get the outcome we desire - most of all a healthy baby, a healthy mommy, and as natural a process as we can hope for.