What I've Learned So Far

As most of you know, Rob and I were unable to get into a prenatal class for this baby.  The majority of people that I’ve talked to have told me that it’s a giant waste of time, and that I really don’t need the class – which is fine.  I’m the type that needs to be prepared, so I’ve decided to read about birth until I die from it.  I started a couple of days ago, and frankly?  I’m almost ready to give up.

I have a few different books, four in fact, to read from.  Almost all of them give me a different view of birth and a different philosophy on how it should happen.  I am presently skimming two of them, and will read the other two next.

The one that I’ve read the most of is one that my sister lent me.  It was used in her prenatal class (the one I was trying to get into), and is really quite comprehensive.  Sadly, I can’t remember what the name of it is, but it’s open on my kitchen table for me to sit down with several times a day for small chunks.  So far, I’ve skimmed through various birthing positions, complications during birth, different tests that may be done, and now I’ve started back closer to what is actually going on right now – including nutrition needs in the third trimester.  Did you know that the baby increases it’s need for calcium by 60% during the last 8 weeks?  Someone pass me the ice cream – this baby needs to grow some bones and teeth!  Also, the baby increases it’s need for iron, because it has to store it in her body, as breast milk/formula don’t give the baby all the iron she needs!   So, I suppose that I should be on a supplement for that as well.  ::sigh::  I’m glad that I’m reading this book – so far, nothing scary has been said and nothing too weird or uncomfortable has been said as well (oh, and it has a list of “safe” and “possible” labour triggers!  yay!).  I’ll definitely continue reading this book, all the way through I think.

I also picked up The Birth Book by Dr. Sears.  I should have known from his section on birth in The Baby Book that I might not like his book on birth, but seeing as how I got it from the library… well, it doesn’t hurt to get another opinion, does it?  Well, maybe so in this case.  I started reading the book, and like a regular person, I started at the introduction which is written by his wife about her (eight!) birth stories.  I really wish that I wouldn’t have, now.

See, Dr. Sears is all about the Unmedicated Birth.  Which is fine, if that’s what you chose.  And maybe this is my fault for picking the book up, I don’t know.   All I know is that by reading one chapter, I got told that I didn’t trust my body, that medicated births are Horrible and Bad, and that I was going to hate it and feel like I wasn’t in control of what was going on.  And possibly, there were undertones of “You don’t want a spinal” and “You might be a bad mother”.  Ok, probably not so much of the last one, but reading that portion of the book certainly made me feel that way!

I am having some problems sorting out the feelings in this first chapter.  See, Mrs. Sears’ first birth was done in the hospital, with a doctor who had no respect for her desires.  She said that she didn’t want an epidural, but was given one anyway.   She didn’t get to see the baby, and her husband was in the waiting room.  It’s how it was done in the 60’s, no doubt.  So when she talks about how horrible the birth was and how much she hated every second of it because she couldn’t feel her body, I wonder if she really hates it because no one listened to her, and she was all alone during the experience.  I suspect that some of the dislike she carries for medicated births is actually misplaced dislike for the doctor and for her first birth experience.  Remember, she didn’t want the epidural, but ended up with a needle in her back anyway.

I know that they preach the Unmedicated Birth, and that this is a family who birthed the majority of their children at home and actually recommend it to people.  While I have nothing against home births, it is NOT the way for me, at least not with this one.  I know when I started this, I said that I wanted to have an unmedicated birth, but I feel too unprepared.  I have no coping skills, I have nothing to help me along, so I am choosing the epidural and the assistance so I can actually enjoy th experience and possibly relax a bit.

I haven’t started the Bradley book yet, which is the other one I got from the library.  I am pretty sure that I might just skim it, or read certain chapters, as he’s also an Unmedicated Birth kind of guy.  He might have some interesting things to say about the birth process and possibly might have some good pointers for Rob.

I did buy the Big Book of Birth (which came highly recommended, but I probably would have bought it anyway because of the baby on the front!), but I haven’t started it yet.  I figure that because I own it, I don’t need to power through it, like the two library books, so it’s not AS important to fly into that one.  We’ll see how it goes.

You what I’d really like?  A book completely about a normal, medicated birth.  One with an epidural, a book that tells you different positions you can be in when your legs are asleep, and what to do to help labour along.  One that affirms my choice to stick a giant needle in my back instead of using scare tactics to make me nervous about it.  I want a book that tells me that I’m a great mom for opting to enjoy my birth, instead of hardly being able to see through the pain.

I’m tired of reading about different labour positions and “things to do” that I won’t be able to do because I won’t have my legs!  I’m tired of feeling like I’m taking the cheaters way out by opting for the epi.  I’m tired of feeling a thread of judgment on women who decide to medicate their births.  I’m tired of being told that epi’s slow down and complicate the labour in a “matter of fact for all women” type of way, when I know that’s not entirely true (one of my good friends just had a baby a little over a month ago – she was so nervous and in so much pain that she couldn’t dilate until AFTER the epidural.  After it didn’t hurt, the birth progressed quickly and easily for her).

So, does anyone know of any books like that?  ::sigh::  Maybe I should just stop reading in general…

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