Monday, February 11, 2008

I guess I never thought about THAT before

E and I are taking birthing classes through our birth center. We've been twice so far, and I think the most shocking thing is that I never really considered the fact that I'm going to actually go through labor and then - get this- birth a BABY!!!

Yes, I recognize that this is strange as getting pregnant and choosing natural childbirth usually leads to that which is mentioned above. However, for some reason, in all of our years of trying, and in the past six months of actually being pregnant, it never really connected that I would- with my own body- birth a BABY!

Week 1, I was so in shock that on our way home (in a snow storm) all I could say was "I'm really freaked out". E must have thought I was an alien or something. We had watched several videos and although we were learning about what not to do and how to take control of our own birthing situation, we did not see anything traumatic. Our dear midwives did not show us anything overly graphic or horrendous. In spite of that, I was absolutely overcome with emotion... shock, maybe? I still don't have the words for how that evening left me feeling. One woman in the videos, who had such a natural birth that she caught her own baby, danced with her husband through most of the labor. She was particularly nervewracking to me because her eyes kept rolling back into her skull. I know it was supposed to be a beautiful video of how peaceful birth can be, but it reminded me of an exorcism that I hadn't signed up for.

Week 2, we watched three videos. By the third one, I think I was finally breathing regularly- at least for the most part. We drove home that night and I was less freaked out about birthing, but still perplexed at my reaction, or was it a lack of cognition before those two classes? I am just unsure.

I'm not really afraid of labor and delivery. Fear definitely isn't my dominant feeling. It must be a previous lack of acknowledgment in terms of how pregnancy ends, specifically how this pregnancy will end. It's overwhelming to imagine getting there. Getting to The End. L&D signifies the end, afterall. Maybe it's the mental block after years of IF, after years of wondering whether or not we would finally have our own child. Maybe it's just healthy to not overthink an experience that can go on for hours and cause a significant amount of pain. Maybe I'm not as grounded in reality as I tend to think of myself. Maybe I'm crazy...

11 comments:

e. said...

this was me at 6 mos preg. i had decided i wanted to try med free and i knew i needed to educate myself just enough - and then i had to put it out of my mind. every so often i'd think, how the hell and i going to do this. i'd waver between totally freaked out and confident that my body was built to do this.

as long and hard as my birth experience was, it was so special and honestly one of the highlights of my life. i am so proud that i did it natural and more than that, it was amazing to actually feel my baby being born.

*G* said...

I think I had that same feeling when I walked out the Dr. Office the day she told me we needed to be induced. I called J and was like, "um...I think we're going to have a baby tonight!" It was so bizarre to think about, after being together all these years, and then watching the belly grow and grow, we would have a brand new beginning to celebrate in a matter of hours!

vee said...

Hee! This entry reminded me of an episode of Northern Exposure, where one of the characters has a similarly profound, yet 'D'oh' revalation - "Wow. Animals live outside. All the time!"

tbean said...

Nah...you sound pretty sane to me. I think labor has got to be an overwhelming and sublime thing to wrap your mind around. I feel that way about pregnancy right now. I mean, for all our squirting sperm up into me, I still feel like pregnancy seems so foreign, so other, that I cannot really actually imagine BEING pregnant, except in an abstract and sort of fanciful way. So, I get that labor would be the same kind of mindf*ck, for lack of better term. But, the baby will EXIT your body and you will be exhilerated and proud and exhausted and thrilled and full of love.

SaraS-P said...

I hear this quite a bit. I hear some women still can't believe they birthed a baby even after the fact, as in, "When did I GIVE BIRTH???"

E, M, and the Little Man said...

You're totally normal. Every pregnant woman gets freaked out by it. For me it was the unknown. Going into labour with a second will be so different, I think, because I at least know what the contractions will feel like.

E, M, and the Little Man said...

You're totally normal. Every pregnant woman gets freaked out by it. For me it was the unknown. Going into labour with a second will be so different, I think, because I at least know what the contractions will feel like.

mrsbluemont said...

i hear you hun. i'm not even pregnant but i've watched enough birthing/exorcism videos to know what you're talking about. i know you'll feel more confident as the due date draws nearer. i have no doubt that you are going to be incredible. oxox

ohchicken said...

*raises hand*

right there with you, friend. i think it's starting to compute a bit more, now that i know sparky is big and growing and kicking all the time. a bazillion times a day, i think, "there is no easy way to get this child out of me. there's no going back. it's really real." and then i go back into a pregnant stupor and watch my belly move.

indigoscot said...

don't worry!! the best thing to do is stay calm and focussed when you get to the l&d point. i'd watched enough baby stories et al to know what was likely to happen. i really wanted a natural birth but my plan went out the window after 8+ hours of contractions and only 2cm dilation. i then asked for an epidural, got some rest and by some miracle managed to get to 10cm just before they were ready to prep me for a c-section. i just continued to stay calm...by pushing time my epidural had worn off so i felt every contraction but that really helped with timing. during the whole delivery experience, our son's heartbeat never dipped or was elevated, so i believe that my calmness helped him too. :) again, don't worry. your body knows what to do. it was the most amazing experience.

Susanica said...

Ohhh...paradigm shift. Labor and delivery is not the end! It's the the beginning of a wonderful new phase of life.

We were chatting with some of the couples in our birthing class after we'd all had our babies and in retrospect thought it was kind of funny that we'd focused so much time on birthing, and basically so little time on what comes after--the parenting. (On the last night of class our instructor recommended we get Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block Book and it turned out to be invaluable info for all of us!)

Labor and delivery is an amazing time and it sounds like you're doing all the right things learning and processing what you can prior to giving birth.

Then again my partner gave birth not me, so perhaps I should be quiet ;-) Just my two cents! -Monica


P.S. Thanks for your comment on our blog this morning!