Remember the picture from my last post? It had beautiful baby bumps of various sizes all chilling on a mandala after a beautiful two hour yoga workshop designed specifically for expecting mothers. Since that picture was taken, I have been thinking about the upcoming arrival of Jefferson more. Part of that workshop involved us meditating and visualizing what our ideal labor and delivery looked like.
Despite my over-planning tendency, I have previously considered my L&D process with little thought. My mantra was “I want to go with the flow and give myself grace to use whatever interventions I need.” For anyone that loves a good goal…this is about as broad and vague as you get. I think it always felt too far away to be something that I need to actively think about because there are 234,652,209 other things that need to be dealt with right now. So when we were asked to spend several quiet minutes thinking about what we wanted L&D to look like, I kind of drew a blank. I’m not sure I ever actually saw anything…I mainly had words come to mind.
And from those words, I was able to piece together how they might look in reality. (Disclosure: I understand that this may change once I enter L&D or if I am induced – don’t rain on my meditative parade just yet.) I envision being able to labor in my home for as long as possible because my home is where I feel safe and comfortable. My home is also free from the poking and sticking that happens in the hospital. I just want to be able to blast music, walk around naked, snuggle pups, eat a hot dog…whatever I want to do to help with the transition into labor.
I want to know that I am supported and it is hard to really know that when you are surrounded by strangers. You hope that your wishes will be dignified, but I will likely not have my doctor in the room when I deliver Jefferson (one of the downsides of going to a large practice with multiple physicians). None of those people will know me or my concerns. I’ll be another lady in labor. And – for as long as possible – I want to be Britney.
I want to have confidence in my body to do this thing that it was designed and perfected to do. Throughout my pregnancy, I have felt a pull from the medical community…a pull that sometimes conflicts with my natural instincts and gut feelings. I keep thinking back to when Reece had her puppies. No one told her what to do or how to do it. Her body and her instincts led her through the entire process. And while I know it was uncomfortable for her, she never whimpered or cried. Above the fear, she had trust that her body could handle the process. She beautifully birthed 6 of her 7 puppies without any help, and we consulted the vet to help deliver the last pup once it became clear that medical help was needed. I have reflected on that experience frequently…how she paced and panted until it was time to lie down and start pushing…how she knew exactly how to clean them off and how to rub their bellies to help them digest their milk…how she instinctively kept the pen clean for her newborn babies. She didn’t read a book or consult Google. She didn’t even need us in the room with her. She was able to tune in to her body and it guided her through the majority of the L&D process.
I think about that, and I want that. I want to be able to listen to my body. I want to trust it. I don’t want the distraction of a hospital until it is needed. I want to prepare myself for the discomfort without fearing it. I’m not opposed to an epidural or other interventions. I think I am just more interested in what I will do when I’m not being pressured/influenced by other people.