That's been on my mind lately. Birth.
It is related to the extra dose of prepping for gummy's arrival in the last few weeks. We had our prenatal classes for the last two Saturday. That was interesting. The first 3/4 was prenatal stuff and I felt amply familiar with the material (and I did have to very annoyingly correct the lovely instructor when she put up a slide that said that brain development starts in the second trimester and goes on after birth. Major structural brain development occurs in T1, and if that doesn't count as brain development I'm not sure what does). But Mr. A found it useful. He hadn't been reading up on pregnancy and prenatal development so he soaked it all up. The second Saturday was again about birth, and about newborn care and breastfeeding.
The labor and delivery parts were interesting.
Having taken a page out of Misfit's book, my birth plan so far has been: Have baby.
I now gather there are many more details one needs to consider about birth, some of which I vaguely knew about and some of which are new. I don't feel wedded to too much at this point. We met our doula for a pre-birth meeting and when she asked what are our hopes for the birth, I said I was hoping gummy would be alive. Yeah, I still live there in the land of fear.
Well apparently fear is all wrong for wanting to birth a baby. I learned that in the hyp.nobir.thing class we started to take last week. It's a 6 week class, but we will not attend anymore than one. We are hyp.nobir.thing dropouts. Honestly, I thought some of the basic premises are right on and they fit with my understanding of human physiology and psychology (the part about the fear - tension - pain cycle, the part about enabling the parasympathetic nervous system to take over during birth). The techniques seem pretty useful.
- Beginning of rant -
Mr. A and I had some deep philosophical issues with some of the underlying premises and the wild claims made by our instructor*. Things like, having a relaxed birth = a relaxed baby. Things like, visualizing the right positioning of the baby is what makes the baby turn to the right birthing position. Things like, the birth process would determine the child's personality (the developmental psychologist found that one hard to swallow). When the instructor asked why we are afraid of birth in our society, Mr. A raised his hand to say that in distant history, a number of women died in childbirth. The instructor replied that yes, when women started using drugs during childbirth, many of them were dying.
Needless to say that we left there irritated. Mr. A got in the car and said "I'm surprised you didn't walk out of the class." Well, I wasn't that incensed, but certainly didn't feel welcomed or feel like I wanted to return. We talked about it and decided we would do some relaxation exercises at home to prepare for the birth, and forgo the dough we would have to fork to be fed some of that crap.
I think the thing that we both have the hardest time swallowing about it is the whole 'if you visualize it, it will be so' approach (discussed as the law of attraction, I believe). Akin to the 'maybe if you just relax' approach to infertility. You know, there is no amount of relaxing, visualizing, praying that would have helped me make a baby with my nonexistent eggs. And yes, I think that being in a calm state and learning to relax and manage the sensations/intensity of birth will be very helpful for the birth, I don't get to control exactly what happens on the day gummy makes her appearance. The extension of that sort of thinking is that if a woman needed intervention, then she didn't work hard enough at visualizing the perfect birth. That would be the same as saying that one is causing one's infertility by not wanting it badly enough. I've never met a more dedicated crowd of hopeful parents than I have here, in the IF community.
- End of rant -
All that to say that I am not anti hyp.nobi.rthing and I have been practicing some of the exercises. So please don't come down too hard on me in the comments. I know that I would have enjoyed the class in a different context, perhaps with a different instructor.
I have lots more to write about, if only we insert a few hours in each day. Work is intense these days, as I try to wrap everything up before mat leave. And of course the T3 insomnia and ensuing fatigue are in full effect. All very manageable, but it leaves less time for blogging. Oh, and we started painting the gummery. More to come on that topic.
*If you are a big proponent of hyp.nobirth.ing, this may boil your blood. Remember that this is just my opinion.