So last night we met with our doula(s)* for (what appears to be) the last time before labor. I'm feeling much more calm about this experience. i explained to Emily (our main doula) that I was surprised that I hadn't actually typed up my birthplan as this time with Holden it was about six pages that I was trying to reduce to a single front sided sheet of paper (how's font 8 sound?)
She said that it could just be 2nd child syndrome; but also that I have more faith in my providers...which I think makes sense. So much of what I outlined in my birthplan last time, is just standard practice for the Nurse Midwives at the U (I plan on delivering at the University of Utah hospital if I don't 'accidentally' just give birth in my bathtub at home.)
And I certainly could go on and on about all the things I am thankful for when it comes to the quality of care I've received up there...but what I think I'm really thankful for, is that this time I feel like no matter what happens I will feel more validated in my birth experience.
After Holden was born (via cesarean), I had a lot of guilt, frustration and depression about my birth experience. To try and console me --or just help me snap out of my post-partum funk-- many loved ones would counter with the phrase "All that matters is that you have a healthy baby," (and some would add 'healthy mama.') But I have come to realize that isn't ALL that matters. A woman's birth experience does matter...how she brings her child into this world matters a lot -- and for some more than others.
Yes, of course I'm thrilled that Holden was ok, and I was ok... but that didn't stop me from feeling what I did...and then I had to add guilt to it, trying to figure out why I was so upset when I had a beautiful baby to celebrate.
This time, it will be different... and not necessarily because I'm going to have my fairy-tale natural birth. That may or may not happen.
I may or may not even have a vaginal birth... but I'll be better prepared for any scenario; and know that I've done everything I can to make the best possible scenario for me and my baby...and if a c-section really is in the cards: with health care providers letting me hang on that full 42 weeks, with two doulas and the like, if it comes to that I'll know that this time my birth wasn't high-jacked by the medical community... it just wasn't meant to be.
And that my friends, is called validation...and I imagine that birth experience comes with a lot more peace when you get 'healthy baby, healthy mama.'
*We've had two back up doulas on this journey because the original gal we wanted is in nursing school to be a Nurse Midwife, and was afraid her schedule wouldn't permit her attending our birth. But now it looks like we'll just have both gals for the big reveal! Huzzah.
Image from Ask Liza