Wednesday, February 22, 2012

childbirth is scary...or so they tell me

i went to a childbirth basics class today and it was...interesting. the course went over what to expect during labor & delivery, along with the different stages of labor, average hours per stage, and other bits of information along those lines.

there was a video - but it wasn't as graphic as "the video" from a previous class. and by "the video", i mean the most traumatizing thing i've ever seen. have any of you seen a birth video? if you have, well, i'm sorry. if you haven't, then avoid it at all costs!! i guess part of the reason it freaked me out so much was due to the fact that i'm going to have to birth this baby at some point (he or she can't stay in there forever) and i really don't want my experience to be like the ones on "the video".

there is SO much focus on how painful and agonizing giving birth can & will be (according to most women) - it's like hearing women trying to "one up" each other. "well i was in labor for 30 hours..." "oh yeah?! i was in labor for 40 hours without drugs AND i had to get a c-section at the end anyway!! BEAT THAT!!"

why can't more of these classes focus on how our bodies are incredibly smart and know what to do, if we just don't overthink the whole thing? that women have been having babies forever so maybe all of those generations will have passed down some inherited ability to have a kid? and instead of telling pregnant women how painful this process WILL be, why aren't we told about the numerous stories of women who have had a pleasant, natural birth?

alright, i didn't mean for this post to be a rant. i understand that sometimes things happen and medical intervention is absolutely necessary. i'm thankful that we live in a time when we have the technology & medicine to save moms & babies. and i'm not saying that choosing an all natural birth or a c-section or any other kind of birth is right or wrong. i guess i'm just frustrated in how the information i'm receiving is so biased.

fortunately, one of my friends gave me this book before i moved - and considering there aren't any lamaze/breathing/natural birthing classes available here - it's been a very comforting read.
you know what's funny? i had no problem kicking butt through a multi hour martial arts black belt test, where i was tested physically & mentally for my endurance, knowledge & skill, broke numerous boards, sparred with a number of people (sometimes all at once) - yet having a baby is kind of freaking me out. time to put all of the mental strength training from years of martial arts to use - and focus on a positive birth experience for this baby and for me.


Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I am right there with you, my dear -- and I'm no where near having a baby yet. I think the key is to think positively about it. Our mental states affect so much.

Erin said...

Girl. You CAN do it. That's what I meant in my email when I have visions of having a natural birth surrounded by my husband and all my ladies. Because giving birth is AWESOME. And it's intense. And having other women around, esp. who have been through it, would be like the ultimate sisterhood of the traveling no-pants.

I realize that's not always a viable option, but know that you're part of this ancient and incredible and miraculous experience of life. There's nothing to fear.

(Also, I read the book "Having Faith," about a biologist's experience with pregnancy and birth. It's moving and interesting and calming. I highly recommend it.)