Game on! In two days, I will be safe to deliver the Billy Blanks wanna-be currently residing in my uterus. Not that it means anything to her, but it means a lot to me. We learned all sorts of interesting facts in childbirth class about naturally inducing labor – all of which I plan to utilize. My mindset has changed as well which is a very good thing. When I first found out I was pregnant, I honestly thought I might die out of sheer panic. I’m not saying that as a figure of speech either; I literally thought my heart was going to accelerate so fast that I’d just have a heart attack and it would be all over. But now, I’m more in the mentality of an athlete. Hold off your laughter and hear me out. Labor is going to be intense and will probably hurt like hell. You hear all these terms like “back labor,” “pressure,” “ring of fire,” etc. Mentally, I am ready for those. I know they’ll end eventually so the challenge is not whether or not I can handle them but how long can I endure. And I am going to endure them come hell or high water. Seeing as I’ve never actually been in labor, the only thing I know to compare it to is when I ran cross country in high school. To be honest, it sucked. It was hard, my body hurt, my lungs burned, I had shin splints so bad they turned to stress fractures, but I still was able to push through it because I didn’t want anyone to think I was a wuss. As vain as that sounds, it can be a very motivating thought for me.
We were asked to write up a birth plan but since we’ll be at a birthing center, it’s pretty basic. They’re all about letting you do what you need to do in order to get through labor so my plan pretty much asks them to encourage me. The Sarge knows how important a natural birth is to me so if he sees me faltering or getting discouraged, I gave him permission to tell me to suck it up. Probably not a good way for all husbands to go, but sometimes I need a kick in the pants. They say labor is unpredictable so you need to be flexible and open to all the possibilities. Sure, I can do that. Okay, no I can’t do that. And therein lies my only worry about delivering this baby. My entire life I’ve been told how stubborn I can be and it’s not always said as a compliment. And this natural birth issue is no exception – in fact, I would say it ranks in the top 3 things most important to me…. ever. I am praying and praying and praying that this will go off without any complications. And I am trusting that it will because I have such a strong desire in my heart for it to be that way. But if I am going to be brutally honest, I am not open to this going any other way but natural. I can’t fully explain the intensity of that desire but it is so strong that I’m willing to be in agonizing pain for a looooong time in order to achieve it.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection as to why it’s so important for me to achieve natural childbirth and I think it’s a combination of cultural and religious influences/beliefs. I was raised in a chiropractic family – my dad, aunt and grandpa all practiced together in a family clinic. My very first visit to a doctor other than one of them was when I was 16 and I had to get a physical to play fast pitch. The appointment did not go well – the doctor took me into an exam room by myself and tried to convince me that I needed all sorts of shots and medications since I had never received any. Needless to say, I got extremely angry (I don’t react well if I feel pressured about things) and my mom was not please either. My first pill of any sort was at 24 because I couldn’t get in to my chiropractor. I finally broke down and took a Tylenol because I had been suffering from a splitting headache for 3 days straight. For me, allopathic medicine is always going to be a last resort. I’ve survived almost 30 years without it and haven’t had any major illnesses so my confidence in homeopathic methods is very high. Additionally, I believe in a God who is the ultimate designer. The more I’ve learned about the human body and specifically pregnancy, the more in awe I become of all that I’m capable of. We are made with so many amazing capabilities for health and healing and when we allow our bodies to do their jobs, it’s miraculous what can happen. For example, once a baby is born and placed on the mother’s chest, her body releases a hormone which begins to stop the bleeding and shrink her uterus. It basically flips a switch to go from pregnant to breastfeeding. All we have to do is love on that newborn which is what our emotional inclination would be anyways. I don’t think God needs as much help as we offer in order for his “machines” to function properly. Sure, people get cancer and other terrible illnesses and in that case, allopathic medicine can be lifesaving. But in the absence of those types of issues, I believe that we are perfectly equipped to survive and flourish.
Combine my upbringing and religious views with a VERY strong will and you’ve got one dedicated mama. I’m actually excited to do this and so thankful that my fear has been replaced by eager anticipation. Now it’s time to start working this little lady out!