A few weeks ago John and I attended our birth classes. Until this point, I had had a very positive (if not a bit naive) mindset about giving birth - thanks to Kourtney Kardashian and her calm attitude during her labor process. Sure, it was on tv and the girl has hips while my bottom half is shaped like a little boy, but still, it was nice to see how fearless she was. I was going to birth my little girl to the sound of the carefully constructed labor mix on my ipod, get an epidural if I wanted one or go natural if that’s what the moment told me to do.
At my classes we watched video after video of different types of birth. We touched forceps, vacuums, and wires they can attach to your baby’s head while she’s still inside you. So much for being positive - now I was in a state of terror and panic. I didn’t want to give birth naturally - those girls were so exhausted by the time they had to push, that they’d end up pushing for hours. And suddenly I didn’t want an epidural because then I’d have wires and tubes coming out of me in every direction and would end up needing Pitocin to speed things along.
There was only one option. I was going to lock myself in the bathroom and deliver her in the bathtub by myself - no doctor, no midwife, even John was not going to be present.
(side note: perhaps I have some issues with showing weakness, which is my reasoning behind disallowing any other humans to be at Beatrice’s delivery than myself).
Since then I’ve been talked off my edge by someone who compared delivery to going to the bathroom, and my precious doctor who said that he likes to keep the number of nurses present to a minimum, and that he tries to make the day seem as little like a medical procedure as possible. After all, he says, we want this to be the best day of your life.
I’m still not completely back to my pre-class mindset but hopefully between talking to my doctor and watching videos like Kourtney’s and the one below, I’ll get there.
Warning: I watched this last night bawled through all 7 minutes and 29 seconds. Hide in a closet or something before playing it.
*I’d like to add that the classes were really good and helpful, and everyone should take them. I really liked how even though the instructor was a nurse in a hospital, she definitely appreciated natural childbirth and had 3 of her 5 kids naturally.
My plan to stock my maternity wardrobe with basic white t-shirts and tanks has backfired now that my belly has become a giant landing pad for everything that misses my mouth.
When I was living alone in my little apartment in Indianapolis, I was working way too many jobs and would spend my small amount of free time walking to the library to find an old movie (preferably starring Audrey Hepburn), and then to the grocery store to make myself a salad. Then I would then open the windows, hunker down on my bed, and be blissfully happy as I watched my little movie and ate my little salad. I tend to get a bit bent out of shape when I hit my human interaction limit, and these me times were just what I would need to escape from reality and recenter.
The fact that this little girl is going to need me for everything is scary, but I’m really looking forward to my break from work and school (and people), to focus on my little family. I read a blog about post-partum visitors and it made me feel a relieved for once, about the fact that we won’t have the problem of never-ending guests wanting to be entertained, since we live so far away from everyone we know. Besides, my sisters camped out in the backyard ready to cook, grocery shop and do my laundry will be all the help I need!
My favorite part of the day is when I’m lying in bed in the morning and feel you wake up. First you change positions so forcefully that it takes my breath away. You stretch out your little hands and feet so that you are bumping into my ribs on the right side and pelvis on the left. Then you develop the inevitable hiccups. Sometimes I’ll put your sleeping father’s hand on my stomach so that he can feel you, but more often I just keep these moments between you and I.
Tomorrow begins our weekend of child-birthing classes. I don’t know whether to be excited or terrified. More importantly, I don’t know if I’ll walk away from it excited or terrified. Wish me luck!