Monday, April 23, 2012

Does pregnancy turn everyone into a hippie?...

Or is it just me that this is happening to?

I don't know what's going on... I don't even like long skirts or anything remotely resembling "bo-ho". I might do some ethnic inspired looks from time to time, a la Naeem Khan, but flutter sleeves kind of make me want to die.

But here I am, thinking that homebirths are the way birth was MEANT to take place, and that going through labor in a bathtub sounds awesome... And duh, I am getting a doula.

Is this the new me?

While I am still shaving my armpits and having things monogrammed, my entire thought process on pregnancy, labor, and birth has made a decided shift towards an ideology that conjures up images of Woodstock and smells of patchouli. 

First of all, the all-natural birth. It seems that most of our moms (if you're around my age) had at least one natural birth. And we all turned out FINE. I do believe that medical advances make complicated or high-risk births much safer and save many lives. If I end up in this tiny percentage of people, I will be so grateful to be surrounded by the most advanced, high-tech medical care available. I believe in science and I trust doctors, but I also believe in the human body and the processes it has been going through for millions of years. But, it really is a tiny percentage of people who necessitate such care. This tiny percentage is why I am definitely giving birth in a hospital (yes, there are choices), but I am hoping my doctor and nurses are cool with letting things unfold naturally and at their own pace. AGAIN, as part of all this, I believe that every woman has the right to chose how/when/where to birth with no judgement from me or anyone else, and I operate under the assumption that all moms do what they truly believe is best for their baby. 

I didn't just arrive at these ideas from sitting on the couch and contemplating during real housewives commercial breaks, I have been reading a lot of books. Let me just admit, that I am HIGHLY influence-able. Like you should have seen me the first time I saw "Bowling For Columbine". I react pretty much the same way to all documentaries, and I realize that this is NOT GOOD. I can't even consider watching the documentary about Japanese dolphin hunting because I just don't have time to go on a Save the Dolphins crusade right now. 

I am currently reading Hypnobirthing by Marie F. Mongan. This book is basically about removing fear from the birth process and relaxation techniques that aide the body in releasing endorphins. Yes, there is self-hypnosis involved, but it's more like teaching yourself to day-dream through the discomfort and less like a swinging pendulum. I don't know if I will use all the techniques prescribed by Hypnobirthing, but I LOVE anything that reassures me that our bodies were meant to handle this and that I should not fear labor or birth. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is pregnant. It's not weird, it's comforting. Promise. 

Also, I have recently learned about an old book (written in the first half of the 20th century) called Childbirth without Fear. It's an examination of childbirth based on the observation that women with less access to medical care and education tend to have easier childbirths with much less pain. Like why is it that a tribal woman in Africa can just go lean up against a tree and give birth to her baby by herself, and then be on her way? I don't want to give birth under a tree, because like a true silver spoon child, I happen to be allergic to grass. But I am not allergic to hottubs, and I really hope our hospital has some sort of bath that I can relax in while I am in labor. No, I probably will not push the baby out in water, but resting in a jacuzzi when my uterus is trying to move a child sounds pretty nice.

So yeah, I plan to breastfeed as much as possible, give cloth diapers a whirl, and practice a lot of attachment parenting techniques. I will probably breastfeed in public at least once... just so I can embarrass my mom.

Feel free to judge me if all this sounds weird to you. It would have sounded weird to me before I got pregnant. And if it makes you feel better, I WILL NOT EAT MY OWN PLACENTA. Seriously, this is something I resolutely will not do. Not because I think it's all that gross (by the time you eat it, it's been dried and ground into an indistinguishable powder), but mostly I don't believe that there are any benefits to snacking on the placenta.


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