Over the weekend Javier and I were lucky enough to attend a lecture by Ina May Gaskin (according to Wikipedia - Ina May Gaskin is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), who has been described as "the mother of authentic midwifery.") She is well-known throughout the world and is author to two well-known books: "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" and "Spiritual Midwifery". She's kind of the ultimate hippie. In 1971 she and her husband founded a famous international community know as "The Farm" in Summertown, Tennessee. There, she and the midwives of the Farm created one of the first out-of-hospital birth centers in the United States. The Farm is still birthing babies and their statistics for successful and beautiful births are incredible (http://www.inamay.com/statistics.php).
I'm currently reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbrith" and the entire first half of the book is birth story after birth story told by various mothers who went to the Farm to have their babies. I believe the purpose of reading these stories is to hear the emotions and the feelings of all these women and to read/see that all births are different. Some are fast, some are slow and there is everything in between. It's also fascinating to read about how different women handle the "rushes" and all the techniques used to get the labor going. I've learned a lot just from reading the various stories and I also feel empowered. I know I can do this too!
Hearing Ina May in person was great for many reasons, one of which is that she had the best analogies! She asked how many women in the room had had a baby before and several raised their hands. Then she asked them how it feels when the babies head is about to come down, and there was a collective murmur in the room, "it feels like you're pooping." So then she asked all the men in the room, "Men, if you were about to poop the biggest turd of your life (approx 7 - 10 pounds) and you had to do it in a brightly lit room with a bunch of strange men looking at your crotch, do you think you could be successful?" I thought it was hilarious, but the point is that women are not set up for success at the hospital. She talked a lot about how other mammals give birth and most all mammals go away into privacy to have their little ones, and that women need this same type of privacy and security to have the optimal chance of success. It makes a lot of sense to me, but I find myself still battling with people who dont understand my point of view. Birthing is a NORMAL process and women are designed for it and most of us can do it! But drugging us up and using one intervention technique after another generally makes things worse not better.
I came into work on Monday to hear a close coworker friend of mine tell me about her daughter's delivery of her grandson that occurred over the weekend. Her daughter has had a beautiful pregnancy, no problems at all. She is a young 22 year old and she went into labor early Saturday morning and they headed straight to the hospital. There she walked all around the hospital to help speed up the labor. Okay, this is where she wanted to be, but not me! I want to be walking around by the beach or on nearby preservation land. I dont think walking around a hospital is going to make me feel good or positive in any way. Once she got herself dialated to about 9 centimeters they gave her the epidural and put her feet in stirrups. Well, after hours of labor she was unable to get the baby down .... But what could one expect since she was numb, in stirrups and unable to move the lower half of her body. Many times with big babies women need to be able to move all around into various positions to widen the pelvic area. After 22 hours of labor she ended up with a Cesarean Section and feeling like a failure. The story was heartbreaking for me. This was the last type of story I wanted to hear as I'd been closely following the girl's pregnancy. It was right after hearing this story on Monday and coming from the Ina May Gaskin lecture over the weekend that I have made a final decision to have a home birth if possible. I do not want to be in that situation. I hope to receive support from my family because this is a decision that I have made with a TON of research, FACTs and statistics. It's also important for everyone to know that the midwives are wise and not in a position to set themselves up for an emergency. They do not let you give birth at home if you are in some sort of danger. I'm hoping for a water birth so that me and the baby will be cozy and comfortable!
Tomorrow we find out the sex. I'm ecstatic and although I really should not say this, I have strong feelings there is a little boy living in my belly so if they tell me it is a girl I will be shocked. I'm so happy to be having a baby that it truly doesnt matter if it is a boy or a girl, but I need to document that I have strong feelings that it is a baby boy.