Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Natural Child Birth: Fanning the Flames

I've never before participated in the book clubs offered by the SV Moms group, but when they announced August's book would be Birth Day by Mark Sloan I decided to throw my hat into the ring. This purpose isn't to review the book per se, but instead to write about your thoughts on the book, kind of like how you'd discuss the book in an actual book club.

I mentioned last week how the book Birth Day was the jumping off point for my decision to try for a natural child birth this third time around. When I first found out I was pregnant in January, I assumed that my labor would end up being about the same as my first two. That is, highly managed with lots of interventions. By the time I finished the first chapter, I was already thinking, 'Why not let my body do what it's been trained to do for thousands of years?'

As a biologist by education, I am constantly amazed by what the human body is capable of. On a cellular level, thinking about how microscopic ions inside of cell organelles are keeping us alive blows my mind. On a bigger scale, watching my kids grow over the past three and a half years has given me a new appreciation for the strength and power our bodies possess. It's also given me confidence that my own body can handle the process of birthing this baby largely on it's own.

Married to an anesthesiologist, many people have questioned whether he'll be able to separate his life and job when I'm in labor. He thumbed through the book as well, especially the chapter on the epidural monoculture. There were some ruffled feathers, I'll admit, but he's a rational person. We had several lengthy discussions about his opinions on other forms of pain relief and what non-epidural pain management methods he would support. Because he's been so agreeable, I've followed up with other books on natural child birth. With his help, I'm optimistic that an intervention-free child birth is something we can accomplish.

I just wish that the other doctors I've been dealing with during this pregnancy were as supportive. So far, I've only gotten positive responses from one of three obstetricians in the practice where I'm a patient. The other two have been negative and downright condescending. In fact, just this morning one of the obstetricians asked, 'What does your anesthesiologist husband think about that?' when I spoke with him about my intentions. I'm half tempted to take a few copies of this book along with me to the office the next time I go and hand them out to the less-than-supportive members of the staff.

Either that or have this baby at home!

To read what others had to say about Birth Day, visit the Philly Moms Blog tomorrow for a round-up!

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Lora said...

I'm so sorry that these doctors are giving you the run around.

When I was pregnant with Jake, the team of docs I saw at Pennsy were so supportive of my natural birth plan that I just new I would be fine. The one woman doc I saw had both of her children naturally.

And when things got really painful, I took Benedryl. I slept like a baby thru the worst of it.

melanie said...

i hope it goes well for you. i really loved my first two epidurals. if i knew that everything would happen as quickly as it did the third time around, maybe i could go for a natural birth. then again, i also worry that the feel of the first real contraction will bring the horror back and fill me with debilitating fear!

keep us posted on how it goes!

Arizaphale said...

These doctors are just making me burn >:-(
May I remind you that it is in their interests for you to have a managed delivery? It kind of justifies their existence. And the additional revenue might be to their advantage as well.
In the UK I was blessed to be gathered up in the later stages of my pregnancy (I'd come from Aus) by a midwifery led care scheme. This has to be the BEST arrangement. You deliver in a public hospital with your own midwife present and if things go pear shaped there are doctors on hand. More than anything I appreciated being in control of the whole process. More or less :-D
Now come on, work up that quick tongue of yours and have snappy response ready for the next asshole who thinks women 'need help' in labour.

WkSocMom said...

Hey there, Good luck to you. I tell you the key is the nurses...if your nurse does not support no drugs ask for another. I wish I had the first time, but the second time my nurses said they would have tried to talk me out of drugs :) The last was incredible at working me through the breathing/pain.

Erica C. said...

Good luck with natural childbirth. I tried it (and blogged about it for the SVMoms book club too) and although it didn't work for me, I feel like it could have. My friend took the same Hypno-Birthing class I did and managed to do the whole labor and delivery in a very relaxed, calm state without drugs. I really hope you can do it, and I bet you can!

Linda said...

Amy once again I say "GO GIRL" plan ahead and go for it!!! Get a mid-wife....I mean at this point she would be the expert on what you wish to accomplish, Doctors, not so much..you could try Bryn Mawr birthing center its right across the street from Bryn Mawr hospital. I can't wait to see how it goes for you....and who know maybe I'll be inspired for my next one!