Monday, September 14, 2009

Modern animals...

... for thousands of years babies have been born into this world through a very natural process... when did we turn that into a procedure? Why have we become so afraid of this process that we medicate ourselves to the point where we are no longer part of that process? We let others take control of something we should be entirely responsible for?
Now, perhaps one day I'll read back over this and laugh at my naivety.... I'm picking that some of you reading this will roll your eyes.... what would I know about any of this? And you're right... I know nothing about what giving birth will be like and it is unlikely that anyone will be able to adequately explain it to me.... in terms of what it will be like for me.
I've seen plenty of animal births ... lambs, calves, pigs.... in general the mothers involved made themselves as comfortable and safe as they could then settled in and got on with the job.
Quite early in the piece Tom suggested I have the baby on Great Barrier... an isolated island with no hospital and should intervention be required it would be a helicopter ride before it was available... I told him (in no uncertain terms) that it was most certainly not on the agenda... and then had nightmares , the kind where I woke myself up screaming and bawling ... woke Tom up too... and possibly the neighbours.... it has not come up in conversation again!
But I guess I have to admit I was really quite terrified at the prospect of labour. After all you hear all the horror stories of the pain and the agony... and high on the list of discussions is what pain relief you'll choose... "Go for the epidural - you won't feel a thing"
Won't feel a thing? What? I chose to have a baby... it took quite a while to get to this stage, a successful pregnancy... why on earth would I want to opt out on participating in the birth? How bad can it be.... really? I mean if it were really so bad then surely evolution (or common sense) would have dealt with this a long, long time ago by preventing women from having more than one child ever. There are plenty of people out there that have done it many, many times ... and many of those were well before the more modern "civilised" times and methods.
I have nothing against hospital birthing rooms ... I'll be having a hospital birth so that if I do need help it is available ... I guess what I'm trying to say is why has the emphasis become more focused on the agony and it's relief... why can't we accept that in our society and embrace the pain? Why are we so afraid of hurting?
What am I trying to say here? I'm not entirely sure... maybe I'm trying to understand why the birthing process isn't supported and honoured in our society as much as it is in other cultures. The focus seems to be only about the final outcome... the child... rather than the whole cycle.

I don't know that I'm expressing myself very well. Please understand I'm not knocking how anyone chooses to deal with giving birth... I'm just trying to sort out how I feel about it ... for me.

I can say though that I've been feeling much more reassured and confident about my ability to do this...
The yoga classes help a lot with the breathing techniques to re-focus attention and "active" relaxation, understanding where tension is held and seeking to actively release it.
Then on Saturday Tom and I went to a course together - Massage for Labour. To be honest I probably got more out of it than Tom did despite it being aimed more at the guys. I guess the discussions around the labour process and how if you're feeling comfortable and safe then your body deals with labour quite naturally... not without pain ... but, all going well, without intervention... and talking about the benefits of avoiding intervention, why it's important for both baby and Mum.
It seems a bit weird going to a course to learn how to do something that for since the beginning of time has been one of the most natural things in the world.
Still... It's helping me understand how I want the birth to go and how, for that to happen, I need to get my head around it...


Middle Child said...

A hint - I had ours when I was 20 and 23 - planned as well - I didn't think too much about what was coming up, didn't plan too much, just believed it'd be okay - and it was okay - it was painful but not too much and when its over its gone like a flash. The majority of us could have our babies out in the paddock - likely you will be one of those but still better to have help there in case...just in case there are problems for the baby and yourself.

Don't dwell and worry too much - there are billions of us human beings and we are comparatively better fed than most of the rest of the world...

enjoy being pregnant if its okay - and just know that the birth doesn't take that long - then you have a baby! Wow

Janene said...

Thanks :)
I'm getting over the frustration and making an effort to talk to more of the people around me ... I've realised that despite the emphasis in books and articles there are still plenty of women out there that just get on with it... it's really just not the sort of thing that tends to come up in day to day conversation so making the effort to probe a bit more has settled my ravings a lot... I've still had the odd person roll their eyes at the suggestion of going natural but they are now by far in the minority... and I'm feeling much more at ease!