So, the internet keeps telling me that I need a birth plan or the doctor will remove my baby from my body using all kinds of horrible, unnecessary interventions. The horror.
Have you heard about this new concept of “birth rape“? I find the terminology heinously offensive, but it’s an interesting concept. The example cited in the linked article is horrible, but really, rape (and that’s the most extreme case I could find)? It feels demeaning to a rape victim to compare a doctor finishing a cervical check when a woman freaks out part way through. Which isn’t to say that a traumatic birth experience should be ignored, but I’m really struggling with how offensive I find the terminology.
As for me, I trust my doctor with my life and my baby’s life. If I didn’t then I would find a new doctor (which you may recall I did earlier in pregnancy). If she (or her partner, I intentionally chose a clinic with only two doctors so I would know who was delivering my child) says it’s time for a c-section, I’m going to do it. I realize she will suggest one earlier because of my bicornuate uterus, but I trust her to know better than me to make that call. No, I don’t want major abdominal surgery, but a healthy baby is more important than having some magical ideal birth experience. And I’m lucky to be having a baby at all.
Currently my plan on drugs (and well, everything) during labor is to wait and see. I have some serious apprehension about the whole needle in my spine thing (there are some major nerves back there!), but if it hurts enough I’m sure I’ll get over that fear pretty damn quick. If I’m lucky, I’ll be like my mother and grandmother and shoot this kid out too fast to really bother with an epidural (not that they had the option, but they did have their babies fast). I’m not going to assume I know anything about how much this will hurt because, well, I don’t. And I assume Kara and Mandy both know what they are talking about when they say I won’t be worried about a needle in the back at a certain point.
I would rather avoid pitocin, forceps, and the vacuum extractor because they can cause issues for the baby, but again, I’m not the obstetrician with years of experience and I won’t really have a great view to tell what is going on down there. Actually, I haven’t been able to see most of my lower body in quite a long time.
I think one of the really frustrating things about the internet/motherhood is the superiority some women have about their decisions when it comes to birth and child rearing. This whole process is terrifying enough without feeling constantly judged by other women. Sure, in my perfect world I have a drug-free, intervention-free labor and delivery, breastfeed for a year, and love being a stay at home mom, but life isn’t always what you hope for. Did you know there are support groups for women who need c-sections? I know I’ve felt like there’s something wrong with me that I might need a c-section, and that’s pretty effed up. I never had any guilt or felt like less of a person for needing my tonsils out (truthfully, I was ecstatic when they took those suckers out because I had permanently hypertrophied tonsils and they sucked).
And on the topic of breastfeeding, why are women so damn mean to each other about it? Sure, breastfeeding is general healthier, but frankly, formula feeding is not a public health concern, so I don’t see how that is any of my business. And no mother should ever feel like a failure or a bad person because breastfeeding doesn’t work out. It happens. A lot.
So yes, we are skipping the child birth class (at the advice of multiple people and my OB). I’ve expressed my preferences for certain situations, but that’s all they are. If things don’t go that way, then my world won’t end and I’ll still have my baby at the end. Of course, I am signing a medical power-of-attorney for my husband just in case he needs to use it. You never know when you might end up unable to make a medical decision for yourself.
Letting go of “the plan” is just about the hardest thing in the universe for my Type A self. Birth, like life, is messy and unpredictable.