No. That’s not what I whisper to my husband every time I lean in to kiss him. I practically gag at any song on Top 4o that makes reference to someone being someone’s “Boo”. That is, however, the “code line” that I must say if I am absolutely 100% positive and dying for an epidural.
So…yeah….we’re trying this whole natural birth thing. I wasn’t all that into it when I first started thinking about labor and delivery, I’ll be honest. However, after taking into consideration that fact that I had a TERRIBLE reaction to a spinal tap years ago and have no desire to ever have a needle near my spine again, and that my mom, who had me at 18, was able to deliver me and my two younger siblings naturally, I started to really consider it. By 20 weeks I was convinced it was the right choice for me, and my husband, who is a complete freak when it comes to medication and drugs anyway, was 100% supportive of it.
So at our 20 week appointment we were all fired up to talk to the doctor about it, find out what books and classes he recommended, what we should start doing to prepare. However, we left that appointment not with encouragement and resources, but with disgust and a mission to FIND A NEW DOCTOR! I believe his exact words when I told him we had decided to go med-free were, “Well, it’s going to be the worst pain of your life. I don’t think you realize how bad it’s going to hurt (to which I couldn’t help but think, and do YOU know how bad it will hurt… SIR?).” His response to my inquiry about the Bradley Method, a popular method used for natural childbirth, was something along the lines of, “NO. Take Lamaze. Bradley was created on a farm for animals.” Well…last time I checked, none of the horses or cows were begging for epidurals or ending up with unnecessary c-sections, but….okay. He also ended the conversation by saying, “You know 99% of women in this county end up with an epidural anyway.” Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, asshole.
On our way home we talked about how we couldn’t believe that he would just interject such a negative opinion. I mean, this was MY choice and MY body. If I’m going to be in pain, so be it. I’m a smart enough girl to figure out that no pain meds = pain. I don’t need him to REMIND me of that. Sadly, as we have witnessed since then, that’s just the way it is with a lot of people. Even people who have never/will never give birth!
We visited my husband’s family for Christmas shortly after that appointment and encountered so many of the same exact reactions that I had to ask Scott to stop telling people about our plans when they asked. I just couldn’t see one more jaw hit the floor or hear one more “You are absolutely crazy…you can’t do it…you will end up with an epidural anyway…just wait till you see the childbirth videos…you only THINK you can do it…it’s so different when you are actually there”. Then a few months ago a woman at work asked me what I was planning to do, and I simply said, “I hope to make it through without any medication,” learning by this point to not get into detail because it just gives people more fuel for the fire. A customer who overheard this went out of her way to come across the store and tell me, “You know…you should really, REALLY think about that because if you get too far along, they won’t be able to give you an epidural. Even if you really beg for it. It’s probably better to just go ahead and get it as soon as possible.” The look on my face must have screamed, “I think I may launch this baby bathtub at your face,” because she shut up and quickly left the store.
Now, true as some of that may be, what gives you the right to say that? Let’s switch roles for a second. If I were to ever tell a pregnant woman that she’s crazy for wanting an epidural, that she’s hurting her baby, etc. (which, let me just clarify, is NOT at all how I feel.. just using as an example) I would be a “pusher” of my beliefs on her. So what the hell makes it okay for someone who had or plans to have an epi, or has never or will never give birth the right to tell ME that I’m crazy, especially after they asked ME what my plans were?! And to feel so passionately that I will fail and then to feel the right to express that to me?! Listen, you can laugh at me all you want. You don’t have to believe I can do it, but please spare me the “Oh, just wait and see” lecture. And for the record, all your disbelief does is fire me up even more to do it. Yes, I LOVE doing things people tell me I can’t do. I think it’s that whole problem with authority thing in me.
Since that 20 week appointment, a lot has changed…mainly the medical professionals responsible for delivering my son. We switched to a Certified Nurse Midwife practice, which I have to say, I always considered way too “crunchy” before this whole experience. Ahhh…but that’s what pregnancy does to you, I guess. Just another thing I ended up doing that I thought I never would. We are VERY happy with them. We will be delivering at a Birthing Center, but also have the convenience and reassurance of a hospital which is attached, complete with all the necessary doctors and equipment needed in case of an emergency. We were lucky to end up with such a great compromise, and I don’t think my paranoid husband would be so supportive of the “crunchy” route if we hadn’t.
We completed a 12 week Bradley Method class, and are currently trying to keep up with our relaxation exercises. I’ve got the bag packed with tennis balls for massage and battery operated candles to help me relax in the tub. The Ipod is stocked with relaxing spa-like music and the birthing ball is by the door, ready to go. I feel we are about as prepared and supported as we can be for a natural birth. But a couple weeks ago my husband expressed his first signs of anxiety about the whole coaching/laboring process. See…he knows me well. He knows that I may ask for medication, that I may looking into his eyes and beg him to get me an epidural, and that if he gives in and runs to get the anesthesiologist, I may very well end up kicking him in the balls after the baby is born for giving in to me too easy. He talked to our CNM about this recently. How would he know if I was really, really, REALLY serious? She had a good suggestion.
See, I may very well end up with medication. As much as I’m not even allowing myself the option of thinking about it right now, it’s still an option if I so choose it. Just know that if I come back here after the baby is born and tell you all I had an epidural, I would have had to look my husband in the eyes and utter our “code line” (the CNM’s suggestion), which we have decided will be….”Baby, you’re my Boo,” because we both now how incredibly out of character and hard that will be for me to say.
38 weeks 4 days