(Warning this is a long post about giving birth and birth-options and it's not full of jokes and stuff so you know, like, I won't be offended if you don't read it.)
When I found out I was knocked up I imagined I'd give birth in a hospital and probably have an epidural just like everyone else on the planet (or so I thought) and that would be that. I didn't know about alternatives other than freaky home births in kiddie pools and these mysterious mid-wives I'd heard about now and again. I thought mid-wives were some strange breed of women that gave weird churchy people dangerous home births because they were all kooky and goofy and didn't trust in modern medicine and society - and stuff. Let me stop trying to explain myself and just pin on whatever stereotype you've heard of to my shirt and be done with it.
Then My New Friend Who Claims To be Granola-y <---- that's a link - loaned me a couple of hippie-dippie midwife-natural birth-away from the hospital books, and advised that I look them over if anything just for the positive birth stories inside that were written by other women. I love to read and was insanely curious about giving birth so I was happy to check them out and promised to do so with an open mind because I liked this lady.
She also shared with me her own what I thought at the time was her strange-hippie-dippie home birth in a kiddie pool story and offered to show me a video of the whole darn thing. She seemed so jazzed by the whole thing that all I could do was say the requisite ooo's and ahhh's and head-nods I thought were appropriate and do the whole I'm-being-polite-to-the-crazy-lady-thing. God forgive me because I know she'll read this but at least she knows I've changed now.
OH boy howdy have I changed my mind!
After reading these books written by a midwife - Ina May Gaskin - my whole little "normal" world has been picked up and shook around like a snow globe, only to have the pieces fall back from the sky in a whole new way of life. I'm still not much of a granola-y person I don't think - I'm just too lazy - but I will be having an alternative birth. LOL it's not alternative at ALL compared to the rest of the world - just the United States.
I'm now signed up to go and have my birth in a birthing community. It's run by midwives and nurses and is completely dedicated to letting birth be about the mother and not hospital procedure. When I go into labor I'll show up and go to my very own little birthing HOUSE complete with a couple of bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a big ole room dedicated to the gigantic jacuzzi located in the middle of it. Mama's bringing Daisy into the world in style damn it. Jacuzzi style!
There will be no hooking me up to an I.V. (unless it becomes for some reason medically necessary) because unlike hospitals they encourage women to eat and drink as long as they can during the labor, and I'll be free to roam around and labor however I wish.
There will be no continuous fetal-monitoring-belt or internal fetal monitor (unless the baby gets in trouble and then this stuff is always there in the closet just-in-case). They prefer the intermittent dopplar monitoring instead. I choose the atmosphere I want (and it's 100% respected) and though the staff is ready and available at every second to reassure and help me along - I also have the choice of them leaving me alone and just letting me labor how I want - in peace -in between check-ins.
After Daisy is out she'll come directly onto me - skin to skin - and we'll have time together to get acquainted and even start breast feeding immediately. There are no bottles, no formula and no pacifiers that will be jammed into her mouth by well meaning nurses (and I do mean well meaning, those nurses are doing what they can with what they have and I respect them - but it's not what I want). They won't whisk her away to a nursery and leave me all alone and baby-less, she'll be right there with me where I'll want her. Of course the staff will be right there to make sure she's doing fine and doesn't need any help - in which case if she does they have all the modern bells and whistle equipment just in case. They'll do the standard APGAR test and weighing and bath - they're not freaks like I thought - but it's all done in a different manner and on my schedule not a hospital schedule.
Did I mention there's no pain medication? I want a natural birth and I'm damn well getting one. I know that if I go to a hospital I'll go in with the best of intentions but that I'll surely come home having had an epidural. I don't think there's anything terribly wrong about epidurals (to each their own damn it! it's our choice!) but it's not what I WANT and if I don't labor in a place that supports that want I don't think I'll ever make it through.
My "normal" OBGYN laughed in my face two weeks ago when I told her I wanted to go all natural and told me that it's so rare that if I'd like to try and "prove her wrong" she'd love to see it. LAUGHED at me! She said they do epidurals and cesarian births and then asked me if I'd like to schedule an induction in my 39th week for the convenience of it.
Yes, of course there are women out there whom have a reason to schedule a non-medical-reason-induction and of course there are true reasons to have cesarian births and who the hell am I to judge anyway? I'm not! It's up to the woman these days and I'm not knocking that for even a second - but I would have thought my doctor would have been supportive of a ger-flaggin natural birth! All I was asking for was not to have pain medication and she LAUGHED at me! What the hell?
Luckily for me my granola friend heard about this birthing community and even checked into it for me. (She's really super crazy neato and nice and WOW like that) She told me that if my pre-natal stuff was normal and up-to-date that they would probably TAKE ME even though I was 37 weeks along. She even asked about my insurance and they take that too!
They've got everything the Hospital has for a normal and even not-so-normal birth but it's all hidden away in closets and chests of drawers until it's deemed necessary to bring out. (If ever)
ALSO if anything comes up that looks like too much for their facility to handle they won't hesitate to take me strait to the hospital. They might be granola-y but they don't support a LOWER than average infant/mother mortality rate for nothing. They trust in a womans body to do exactly what it was designed to do but they also know things go wrong sometimes and that modern medicine is THE SHIT when things go wrong.
I'm tired of typing and I've only left out 10,000 things I should have included but for this moment I just wanted to let a little bit out and share with you how excited I am.
I'm not scared to death - I'm EXCITED! How cool is that? (Don't ask me how I feel about actually bringing a baby HOME WITH ME and having to KEEP her - that still scares me to death - but at least I'll be able to get her out of me, and that's cool).