Giving birth in our country has really became a medical event, one in which doctors and nurses are constantly monitoring, judging,and making decisions based on their protocols or time tables rather than allowing the natural process that God created to take place (uh oh - I'm standing on my soapbox - watch out!). In my heart, I truly believe that giving birth is most typically a very natural phenomenom, and if we just let things happen on their own timelines, things tend to go well for most women. Are there situations where medical intervention is required? Absolutely! I am thankful for the training that doctors and nurses receive that help deal with that small percentage of women who need medical treatment in order to safely give birth. For the large majority of women, I wish hospitals, doctors, and nurses would just allow things to progress on their own. If women want an epidural, so be it. Let that be their choice, but please explain ahead of time (prior to going into labor) both the benefits and risks of having one. Typically, one medical intervention leads to another and then another and so on. Before you know it, the medical staff is completely managing the birth process rather than just letting nature take its course. Ok, I'm stepping off my soapbox. I truly don't want to offend anyone, but I wish that we women would be more invested in learning about the birth process from both natural and medical aspects. Then, once we are completely educated on what truly is one of the most important events of our lives, then we can make whatever decision we feel like is right for us. If we're going to spend hours planning a vacation - researching things to do, places to stay, etc. - or buying a new item for our homes, we should give birth the same if not more time and effort. To give you an idea of what our birth preference letter looks like, see below:
Our goal is to give birth to a healthy child while having as natural a birth as possible. Our definition of natural includes the following:
- Allowing labor to progress naturally without the use of inducing agents such as Pitocin.
- Natural rupture of the amniotic sack
- Intermittent fetal monitoring and freedom of movement
- Allowing the use of snacks/drinks rather than IV fluids for nourishment
- Labor and delivery without the use of anesthesia. Please do not offer any pain reducing agents.
- For pain management, Amy and Ryan may use the following: aromatherapy, birth ball, breathing, focal point/visualization, hot/cold compresses, counter-pressure/massage, prayer, shower, and the birthing tub.
- Allowing the perineum to tear naturally if necessary rather than undergoing an episiotomy. If massage of the perineum can help prevent tearing, this is encouraged.
- Amy may want to utilize the birthing tub during delivery.
- Waiting until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsing before cutting it and placing the baby on Amy after birth. Please ask Ryan if he would like to cut the cord.
- Allowing Ryan to be present during any checks and treatment done to the baby. Explaining any procedures you do is very much appreciated.
We would like all procedures explained to us, including the benefits and risks. Please consider the following medical interventions as a last resort:
- Using labor inducing agents
- The use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Caesarian section
To be honest, I think I would be 100% fine having a home birth and avoiding the hospital setting altogether, especially after having been through this process once before. I know Ryan is more comfortable being at the hospital, and I do respect his feelings, so we compromise! :) Of course not knowing when my labor will begin or how things will progress can make me feel anxious, but I do...
TRUST that my body was perfectly created to give birth to this baby
BELIEVE that my labor will begin in God's perfect timing
FEEL that I will be in safe hands with Ryan, our doula (Julie Pichon), and my OB (Dr. Soper)
KNOW that I've chosen to deliver at a hospital that respects and encourages natural birth and breastfeeding
When I remember those things, the anxiety melts away, and I feel very excited about what lies ahead!!! We're 35 weeks tomorrow, and I am so happy to be one week closer to the arrival of Baby #2.