Mike and I have been taking Bradley classes. This was 100% my decision and something that I really really wanted to do. He, admittedly, went along for the ride even if he really didn’t know what I was thinking.
And I appreciate that. A lot. Because sometimes it’s nice to know your husband will go along with what you want even if he doesn’t “get” it.
He is generally pretty open during our class discussions and our discussions at home in that he listens and sometimes shares his opinion on things. We are at the point now where we need to be actually thinking about what our plan is going to be – what are we/am I comfortable with before, during and after this girl is born.
And here is where I am struggling and we are failing to communicate effectively with each other. I am a planner, because I know this is shocking news. I want to feel a little bit in control at all times, and while I know that is pretty much nonsense when it comes to childbirth – having at least an outline of what I want to happen and how I want to handle situations that may or may not come up will just make me feel better. I don’t even want to call it a birth plan, I like to think of it as just an outline – a place to start and a place to reference throughout the process.
Our birth experience with Gianna was more of what I would call a party experience – there were a lot of family and friends around both in the room with me while I labored and in the waiting room. and that is exactly what I wanted at that time. I would not change that part of her labor/delivery story for anything. There are some aspects though, looking back on it, that I didn’t like and that I do not want to repeat. (hence choosing the Bradley method this time, for one!). But I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t take any classes or read any books. I didn’t want to – I knew that I would figure it all out when I needed to. And I did, and it was fine, and a little girl with lots of hair came out in the end and she was showered with love from the very minute she came to the outside world. But what I missed, and recognized missing from the very beginning, is a chance to just BE with her right after she was born. Because they literally laid her on me when she came out, and minutes later took her away to be weighed etc. Daddy saw her, I fed her eventually and then the aunts, grandmas and everyone else who was waiting passed her around and I got her back just in time to go to our room. It all felt very rushed at the time, but I didn’t know any different, but I know that looking back on it, even later that day, I didn’t really like how it all played out. but it was over, and you know – moving on!
I want this birth experience to be more of what I would call an intimate gathering. Primarily because I just don’t know what to expect with a natural birth and I really don’t want to be distracted from the whole experience. I want to really be “in the moment” if you will – something that last time, I purposely was distracting myself from because I was scared! And in my mind, this experience includes after the baby comes out. I want to experience those first minutes/hours with her & her daddy – without interruption, without passing her around to 15 other people and worrying if so and so is still in the waiting room or if somebody didn’t get to see her yet. Or if someone's feelings are going to be hurt because they haven’t seen her yet. I want to let the masses in to see our girl when we are ready (or, I am ready, because this is the part that Mike and I are not agreeing on right now) but absolutely not until her big sister gets to meet her first. I want her to be showered with that same love that Gianna had – I just want to wait for the showering to begin until I am ready for it, so I can enjoy it too and not be frustrated with the process. This is a part of our birth outline that I would like to be written in permanent marker – because the more I think about it, the more strongly I feel. Mike feels very strongly in the opposite direction. Which, obviously, is a hurdle we are going to need to work through.
Ideally, I would also like to have someone in the room with us to photograph the labor/birth process and when G meets the baby for the first time. I don’t even know if anyone in my area DOES birth photography or how this would work, so you know, that part of the outline might be written in pencil. I could name off a bunch of other “ideally I would like” situations too, but I am realistic and also not opposed to medical interventions when I understand why and when they are necessary. Because while I love a good outline, I appreciate the need to change what happens as things progress. Because in the end, all I care about is seeing a healthy little girl on the outside world. See, I haven’t become a total tree hugging hippie. Just half a one.
If you went through a similar process, what were your “we must do this” or “we must not do that” items and what questions did you ask of yourselves individually and as a couple to navigate this process of creating your birth outline? How did you maneuver the roadblocks? I am especially interested in anyone who has experienced both medicated and planned natural births.