Every week at prenatal yoga class, my teacher asks a question and we all go around and share. The question last week was, “What are you looking forward to in regards to your birth?” (besides the obvious of having the baby in your arms and it being over)
My answer fell more into the category of what am I curious about… and it turns out a lot. I am getting very curious what this horrendous PAIN everyone talks about is actually like. I’m curious how my body and mind will respond to it and who and what I will need. I’m curious what part of me will rise up: Will I be a fierce warrior? Will I be relaxed and focused and quiet? Will I cry a lot? Will all those years of yoga come in handy? Will I be afraid and anxious? Will I be all of these things in a matter of 5 minutes? Will I want drugs? Will I take them? Is the wee lad going to make his way right out? Is he in the optimal position for that?
The beauty of this question was that it had me realize that I have come full circle. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I had no idea how I wanted the birth to go. I wasn’t particularly afraid, was undecided about pain meds and everything else and just wanted a healthy baby. I had waited so long for this and learned in so many ways how little control I had over the process. Who was I to decide how the birth was going to go? Birth plan? Ha!
As I learned more and more at my birth prep class, I got more and more afraid. I decided I didn’t want any pain meds, we hired a doula and I read more and more. I panicked and felt irresponsible that we hadn’t thought about the birth plan. I became suspicious of the doctors, the hospital, etc.
And then, somehow over these last months, I loosened my grip.
We have a fabulous doula (possibly more than one doula if one of my sweet friends who is visiting makes it for the birth) We have an incredible team of nurse midwives at one of the best hospitals in the world. I have an amazing partner who will support any choices I make (and will be there to rub my back) and I have faith that my wee boy and I will collaborate well together and will celebrate no matter how it goes down.
When I think about it now, fear creates a desire to control. As I became more and more afraid, the more I wanted to control my experience.
I feel good about where I’ve found myself. Open, curious, no big agenda. This is not an act of heroism for me. This is not where I pound my chest and show how powerful I am for doing it without meds. I’m really only attached to both of us being healthy. All the rest is a grand adventure. I’ll keep you posted.
*The above photo is by the fabulous and talented Anna Kuperberg. You can see a few more pics from our session on her blog!