Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Word

I realize the birth of a child is a major event.  However, it amazes me how much planning and preparation goes into an event that typically lasts less than a day (I’m having wedding planning flashbacks here).  I appreciate the amount of information that is provided, but it often seems to overshadow the event that follows- actually caring for a small human!  Our hospital classes consist of five classes, two hours each.  The first four are related to labor and delivery and the final class teaches new born care.  Two whole hours for new born care?  I will spend the rest of my life caring for this child and this topic get two hours? 
So focusing on this one day, let’s review some of the labor and delivery techniques I’ve heard about over the past 33 weeks (and these definitions are my interpretations): 
Hypnobirthing – you focus on repeating phrases and using calming techniques so you feel no pain and basically push the baby out by visualizing him/ her coming out.  Supposedly by eliminating fear and tension, the mother experiences no pain (yeah, right!).  Sounds easy, but I don’t think my mind is equipped like this.
The Bradley Method – “Husband coached childbirth” teaches woman to focus on and manage pain during labor.  I have a lot of faith in my husband, but he is struggling to get through five weeks of class, so the 12 weeks that go with this are a definite no-go!
Lamaze – This is now considered old school.  Honestly- breathing can only relieve so much pain for me!
Orgasmic Birth – No, I’m not kidding.  Thanks to my girl, Becky, I just learned about this one!  Her neighbor highly recommends it (you gotta love those Lawrence hippies!).  According to Becky- well her neighbor- you make out with your husband while you have contractions as pleasure overrides pain.  I’m not exactly sure how the orgasmic part works in the end, but quite frankly, I don’t need to know.  1.  I don’t anticipate that I’ll be much in the mood to make out at this point – especially for hours and hours while awaiting the final bang! 2. Even if I thought this was the best method ever invented I am too kind to put the doctors and nurses through this!
Home Birth – Sounds simple.  The plan is everything goes smoothly and you give birth in the convenience of your home.  So here are my questions: What if everything doesn’t go smoothly?  I prefer to have a doctor within reach.  2.  Who cleans up all the mess, cause it sure ain’t gonna be me!
Water birth – This one is self explanatory.  And if you think I’m going to be in a tub full of blood and whatever else comes out of my body in addition to my baby, you have clearly lost your mind.

Obviously, these are all intended for those who are gung-ho to have a natural birth.  I’ve seen birth plans that include yoga positions to ease pain (in fact my instructor teaches a class so couples can learn the best positions – I’ve thought about signing us up for this, just because I think it would be entertaining to see Jeff try these poses), spending time in baths or on birthing balls, and about anything else you can dream up to ease the pain.  Many woman use midwives or doulas to assist with the birth, as well.  I’ve seen birth plans that include instructions for music in the room, proper lighting, and directions on words that must be eliminated from the birthing suite.  Many of these plans are pages and pages long.  And I am fully supportive of anyone who wants to try any of these methods as it is your experience and it should go as you want it to (although I feel like many mothers are setting themselves up for failure should something not go exactly as planned- just sayin’). 
Having said that, my plan consists of one word:
Yep, that’s it.  Get me the epidural as early as possible and let me enjoy this amazing moment in my life with as little pain as possible.  My theory is that this should be a happy joyful time, and to me, pain does not equal happiness or joy.  So if I don’t have to have pain, then I’ll pass on it.  Fortunately, Jeff is so on board with this pain free plan, that he thinks he, too, should get an epidural! 
From that point, my plan is pretty open.  If I can do a vaginal birth, great.  If I need to have a c-section, so be it.  Just get the baby out so that he and I are both healthy.  Simple as that.

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