Lamaze Revisted

by Nola

Well, CS and I completed our second 3-hour Lamaze class last night. During this past week, I have given the birthing process a lot of thought. In addition, I have started to read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth as recommended to me by Tammie over at Soul Gardening (thanks, Tammie!).

Last night’s topic was “intervention”–the use of medications during labor. If you would have asked me anytime up to about three days ago, I would have said, “Give me the epidural in the eighth month.” My position on meds was clear: give ’em to me–give ’em to me early and give ’em to me often. But now I have completely swung in the other direction. I am all “I want to go natural!”

There are a lot of reasons I feel this way now–partially my negative experience with anesthesia in the past, partially because I don’t want a needle anywhere near my spine, partially because I don’t want it to effect the baby or my ability to nurse, partially because it seems pain is inevitable in delivery and so why not do what I can to stave it off with other measures. There are other reasons, these are just the top that pop in my mind.

So here’s where I really am now: I am going to do all I can to avoid an epidural or a “spinal.” Or at least all I can do to bear the pain as long as possible so as not to prolong the delivery process. I am not ready to deliver Sun in the bathtub of my own home yet, but I have certainly moved from my feeling that I will need as much drugs as I can worm out my doctor to get through the “ordeal.”

I am going to try to think positive about Sun’s delivery. A lot of what is said in Lamaze is that if you think the delivery is going to be really bad, it probably will be. And I do know for me that my mind has a lot of power over this type of fear. The I-don’t-know-what-to-expect -so-I’ll-expect-the-worst type of fear. I talk myself into thinking that if I plan for worst case scenario, I’ll be pleasantly surprised when things go better than I planned. But I think for this big of a thing, I need to instead try to plan for what is MOST LIKELY to be my experience and be prepared for the options that will present themselves to me at the time. And since labor and delivery will be a stressful time, I need to do the best I can to be prepared. But that doesn’t mean I need to assume I can’t handle the pain. And if I can’t, I can live with myself knowing I went in thinking I could and would.

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