I am humbled at the opportunity to write for this blog! These seasoned moms can tame a teething toddler with one hand behind their backs, and leap loads of laundry in a single bound! Their thoughts and advice have helped me navigate the every more confusing world of the new mom.
I don’t love the distinction “crunchy”, but I plan on providing my daughter with a very natural environment in which to grow. I want to breastfeed for at least a year, I have a baby bullet and I’m not afraid to use it, and Iam planning on a non-medicated birth. For our family, natural is almost always better. We make our own bread and avoid processed foods because as they say, you are what you eat, and I want to build my body (and this baby!) with the best building blocks possible.
Natural birth is something that is fairly new to my “mommy plan”, however. I have never even broken a bone, and I’m what many people would call a wuss when it comes to pain. I was always in the “drug me until I feel nothing” camp of thinking until it came time to actually plan a birth for this baby. I have gone more natural in the past few years with my food and personal care, but the idea of a natural birth was still really, really scary to me. They say this is the worst pain on earth, right? People used to die doing this all the time, right? How can anyone do it without medicine!?
So, like any first-born female with a business degree, I did what I do best… I took control! I did hoards of research; I watched “The Business of Being Born”, read up on The Bradley Method, looked up real natural birth videos and consumed every other form of media I could on the topic of natural birth.
One common theme in all of these pieces struck me… the women were calm, collected, in-control and dare I say peaceful. Sure, they still seemed to be in pain, but these birth experiences were nothing like “A Baby Story” or “Knocked Up” where the women scream, demand pain meds, and break their partners’ fingers from gripping so hard. These moms seemed prepared, if that is even possible, even if it was their first baby. Their partners, too, seemed more collected than the pacing, panicked fathers I had seen portrayed in countless “traditional birth” scenarios. My mind was made up, that is what I want!
I know that once we get into the delivery room, all bets are off, but I love the idea of being fully educated and prepared for what my body and baby will most likely go through. Instead of fearing birth, I am actually excited for the experience now! It is thrilling to imagine going through something so powerful and life-changing with my husband as an ally every step of the way. I don’t want to miss a single facet of that experience, and that includes the pain.
I have faith that my body was perfectly designed for this process. Our bodies are amazing! Women are warriors, with the power of life built into our beings. With the right training and passion, I really think that I can do this! Not only that I can do it- that I was made to do exactly this.
My husband, of course, is a key supporter in this process. I’ve been told that the right partner in birth is paramount to your success. My wonderful husband is so many things that I am not. He is cool-headed, patient, and flexible. He also loves to read, research and prepare. Best of all, he actually is a coach! Not a labor coach, but he is familiar with the idea of a “game plan” with different strategies to be used in scenarios that might come our way during the course of “the game”, or in our case, labor! He is just as excited about this birth as I am, and that is so important. I have no doubt that he will read my “Bradley” book cover to cover, and master the partner skills needed to assist me in this huge undertaking. Between his calming influence and support, and my determination and strength… we’ve got this!
I also trust my doctor completely to advise me in the event that things do not go as planned. Without her supportive guidance, I doubt I would have the confidence I do in completing a drug-free birth. My doctor is open, down-to-earth and not condescending at all, and I really do see her as an ally. She patiently takes the time to explain options, and the pros and cons to every facet of a decision. Unlike the pushy image painted of doctors today, she has actually been key in building my confidence. Put simply… she doesn’t treat me like an idiot! My doctor has empowered me throughout pregnancy so far, and I have no doubt she will continue to do so through the birth process.
I am truly surrounded with the most amazing team of supportive people. They have helped transform me from a scared first-time-mommy who flinches at the word “labor” to a woman who cannot wait to experience birth for the first time. Yeah, it is going to hurt… a lot! But I am ready. I think every woman deserves to feel like this! Whatever your birth plan might be, I hope that your team supports and empowers me the way my husband and doctor have. Do your research- find out what you really want out of the birth process. Natural birth is not for everyone, but I know it is for me, and I can’t wait!