Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Little History

In hindsight, it's easy to detect those life-changing moments. One of mine happened almost a year ago, and I'm amazed that my journey as a momma could have been so much different.

When I first became pregnant, I immediately started asking around for a great doctor. I wanted to know which hospital was the best to deliver at. I started taking my prenatal vitamins and bought a pregnancy journal, and looked forward to my first doctor's visit. Three or four months went by, and I had several good visits with the nurse practitioner. (That's right, not the doctor. Even when I told the receptionist I wanted my next visit with him, she scheduled me with the nurse.) Before I knew it, I was five months into my pregnancy, and still I hadn't met the guy who would be delivering my baby. This raised a red flag for my husband and me.

Around this time my mom reminded me to explore all my options. It was because she heard questionable things about the hospital I had decided to deliver at. It got me thinking...what else was I over-looking? I had been so laid back, going with the flow before realizing I wasn't even thinking of what I really wanted. I was letting other people, the "professionals," tell me what I needed. (When we finally met the OB, he won us over by telling me I probably would want drugs - since this was my first birth. Oh, and because it was my first birth, there was a 50/50 chance of an episiotomy. "I mean, if the baby's about to blow out of you, we'll have to help it along and cut a little.")

Alrighty, mister. Let's take a knife to your privates and see how much you like the "50/50 chance" of getting sliced.

That's when I had started my own reading, my own research, and actually, my own thinking. I looked into natural childbirth, midwives, and finally, the possibility of a home birth. But most importantly, I started reading about birth itself - and how the female body is designed to birth: perfectly. That was the changing point for's when I started taking control over my options. I did a complete 180.

It wasn't the easiest search, but we looked until we found exactly what we wanted: a wonderful midwife, who would come to our home, and let us have a water birth. I felt completely at peace about our decision, and even though some friends and family voiced their concern about it, I knew we were making the right call. And looking back, I can't blame them. They were filled with the same emotion that seems to be the driving force behind "labor and delivery" in our country: fear.

But the more I educated myself, the more I learned there is nothing to fear. And I hope that everyone will soon learn the same.

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