Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birth, Doulas and Hats

As stated in a previous post, I spend way too much time on facebook. I follow tons of pages, including birth pages. There is a certain birth page that I enjoy very much, but the discussions get heated at times. Yesterday and this morning, people have been trying to define "natural" birth. It's very difficult to do this without offending someone. It was very important to me to have a natural birth, and I did everything in my power to obtain this. Because this was my first experience with birth, and for my husband's sanity, I decided to give birth in a hospital. Now there would be some that would say that I lost my natural birth just for that. I don't. When I first got there I was taken to a triage room to have my contractions monitored. Did I lose my natural birth there? Perhaps. Once I was wheeled to my room (maybe being wheeled made me lose my natural birth) I labored in a warm tub in a dimly lit bathroom. Did I lose my natural birth there? After all there are no tubs with warm water in the middle of the woods. After a little while I was moved to the bed to push, where I was directed in how to push. Because I never felt the urge, even without an epidural, I am glad for a little help. Once I figured it out, I ignored the "counting" nurse and pushed for as long as I felt like it. I remember my midwife saying things like, "Push to here," and "Push like this." I appreciated the instructions. Was my birth unnatural because my baby didn't just fall out of me and I needed to push her out? Perhaps it was the numbing I received for the stitches or the Pitocin I received after Lily was born to help my uterus contract and to birth the placenta that made it unnatural. Maybe not, since Lily was born and nursing away at that point.

I think people like to define what is natural or not to try to minimize interventions and to help women know what exactly IS an intervention. I suppose anything that disrupts the natural progression of labor and birth is considered an intervention. Pitocin is not natural. My placenta wasn't born naturally, but who cares about the placenta? Some people might, but I didn't even want to look at it. They asked me. I said no.

An epidural is not natural. Last I checked, people aren't born with needles in their back. The body produces natural pain-killing hormones in labor, but these are disrupted when drugs are introduced. I don't condemn anyone from having an epidural. It's just not natural-it's medication. Kind of like when you take NyQuil for a cold as opposed to "natural" remedies. NyQuil/Epidural is not natural pain relief/comfort measures for a cold/birth, but Chicken Noodle Soup/Warm water or moving around are natural comfort measures.

My personal criteria for natural birth was having an unmedicated vaginal delivery. I did not want to be CUT in anyway and I did not want my baby vacuumed out of me. I never considered the location of my birth to be criteria for whether or not my birth was natural. I left my birth feeling empowered, giddy, on top of the world, energized, proud, ecstatic, in love, in awe of my body, appreciative, and I felt like I could do ANYTHING! Which leads me to my next point.

I left my birth wishing I could share this feeling with others. I wanted ALL WOMEN to feel like I did because I know they can. It made me wish I had decided to be a doula when I grew up. My husband thinks I should go for it now. By now my fiery excitement has become a warm cherished memory. Robbie accused me of being a "giver-upper" when I told him yesterday that I don't think I'm going to do it. He asked me if it was just because of a lack of confidence or because I really feel like it's not right for me. He knows me well! It's just a lack of confidence. I don't know if it's something at which I will or can succeed.

Now, what do hats have to do with anything? Nothing. I just felt like including my latest projects.

Purple hat

Pink hat

These hats have fulfilled my creativity hankerings for the past few days. I have a whole list of crochet projects started. However, the list grows faster than I can crochet! The more I do this, the more ideas I get.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you had such a wonderful experience with childbirth! Even though mine was completely different that yours, I'm thankful we both had wonderful experiences and very happy, beautiful babies!