"It was really psychedelic and holy."

"It was really psychedelic and holy."

I checked out a bunch of the birth books that I had looked up. And then I started reading them and was bored nearly to tears. It turns out that the best way to get through labor without drugs is to breathe deeply and relax. If you believe in hypnosis, you can read all about that and they’ll tell you to breathe deeply and relax. If you’re more of a meditation person, you can read all about that and they’ll tell you to breathe deeply and relax. Or maybe you want to go the yoga route. And then you can read all about that and learn that you should breathe deeply and relax. I don’t know what I was expecting from all this reading, but it turns out that I figured it out the first time. Of course, a refresher on what labor actually is and does is always appreciated, so it wasn’t a complete wash.

I will say that the one I enjoyed most was Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I didn’t finish, but I thoroughly enjoyed the birth stories. I’d love to get through the delivery and be able to describe my experience as “psychedelic” and “holy.” (Not that I don’t think giving birth is a holy experience, it just wasn’t very close to the top of my list of adjectives last time around.) Reading it also makes me grateful that we live in a time where you don’t have to move to a commune in Tennessee to have a natural childbirth. Because really, Tennessee? And if Micah had to grow a beard like the men in the book, whoa boy, we’d be in trouble.

( A beard on this face? I think not. Not even if I could.)

And I’m also really glad I’m reading Childbirth Without Fear by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read. I appreciate his passion for the subject and the insight into the history of the natural childbirth movement. I also appreciate that he made me feel so much better about how, um, vocal I was at the end of Simon’s labor. “You’re just like Maria Sharapova,” he said, “or maybe one of the great weightlifters of the world. It’s not pain. It’s just the hardest work you’ve ever done. No need to be embarrassed by a nice strong yelp every now and then.” Okay, so maybe he didn’t say it quite like that, but you get the idea.

Finally, I just saw this trailer on our friend Becca’s blog. I know many of you would be interested in it if you haven’t seen it already, so I thought I would share it as well:

I have had some people express concern that I am birthing with midwives this time around rather than with a doctor, and I hope this adequately expresses some of my concerns with the medical establishment. Maybe next time (assuming there is one) I’ll take it a step further and try for a home birth. Maybe.

11 thoughts on “"It was really psychedelic and holy."

  1. I really liked this. You know I did. :)

    And I too was quite, um, vocal with all my births. I believe it feels better that way. :)

    (…I thought your mom made you promise you'd never a home birth…?)

  2. Yes, it's true. I knew you would like it, Jodie. That is why I posted it. :)

    Also, I do not remember making any such promises. If I did, oops.

  3. Well, you have nothing but support coming from me. I've done a home birth and loved it, but for $$ reasons, I'm planning a birthing center birth this time around. I'm excited for the jetted tub. 😉

    Oh, and don't forget to breathe deeply and relax.

  4. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better it was to birth with a midwife versus a doctor, at least for me!!

  5. I really liked that video that you posted, and I think it's a great idea to use a midwife. They are there to actually help you and not just there to make sure nothing goes wrong. I'm not going to lie, I'm terrified of the idea of giving birth, so it's good to see the perspective of women who have done it before the natural way. If I do get pregnant someday, I'll have to read that book, Childbirth Without Fear.

  6. We checked out the Business of Being Born from the library right when I found out I was pregnant with #2. Of course, it's all stuff I already preach to those who are willing to purposefully shun the epidural 😉 I did appreciate how Rikki's friend ended the movie with a surprise c-section. As much as I am a supporter of natural birth, it is a wonderful thing to know that when special circumstances arrive and help is needed, it is available. (Can you imagine not having the choice for help? ie. pioneer women?)

    You'll do great! Just remember to fill up that big balloon and then blow it up to the moon! :)

  7. ps- maybe our hospitals here in Seattle are just more supportive and equipt for those who do want to do it naturally – but I stuck with my OB b/c I love her and have been her patient for a long time, and she supported me fully last time (I didn't even have to have an IV – in the HOSPITAL!) And yes, those jetted tubs are truly magical! I'm sure your birthing center will have one!

  8. Maybe it's just because I have a lot of friends who are married to doctors (OB/GYNs included), but I have a hard time believing that doctors really are that evil and think only of their own wallets throughout every birth. There are, of course, some like that, but I believe the majority really are trying to look out for the mom and baby.

    I also believe, however, that during something as important as childbirth, a mom should do whatever makes her the most comfortable and ready to give birth. It's nice to have so many options in this day and age as to how to go about that. :0)

  9. Sonia was born home with a midwife and that is what we are planning to do now again. I guess I don't know any different than that… but it was a great experience and quiet holy… if you think that that is how HF designed the whole thing then really no one else can do it for the baby.

  10. I'm interested in seeing the movie, but I really don't think the message behind the midwifery movement is that doctors are evil… the hospital in general is designed to be efficient, which tends to work in the doctor/nurse's favor rather than a birthing mother. It's often not a quick process.

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