Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Overcoming My Fear

This birth will be different. 
This birth will be different. 
This birth will be different. 

After Norah's birth, I immersed myself even more deeply into self-education on the subject of childbirth. So much so, that my husband told me that I should become a doula. Really? Should I do that? Ryan told me that my passion would help other parents experience birth as it SHOULD BE, not as we experienced it. He is so wise and encouraging. ❤ It felt like a pipe dream, but I knew that it would happen someday, so I kept learning everything I could. I read everything I could get my hands on (still do!) and excitedly told Ryan about what I was discovering. Poor man, he gets so bored listening to me prattle on, but he listens anyway. Have I mentioned yet how wonderful he is? ❤ We didn't plan on having any other children ourselves, but I knew that I would do things a specific way if we ever changed our minds. 

Then came January 2013.
Whoa. We did NOT see that one coming! I actually took this test in the maternity ward of the local hospital. *snort* My cycle had been off by eleven days the month before, so I wasn't concerned that I was late again. I figured my body was just trying to find its balance again. Kirsten and Norah had recently had a 24/hr flu bug, so I assumed that I caught it as well...until Ryan asked me how many days late I was the morning that I threw up while brushing my teeth. Oh sh**. Sixteen days late. That was a lot. Well, being upset about two lines wasn't going to make us feel better, so we decided to be happy about it on purpose! It was a new life, right? We kept our news a secret for several weeks, despite me being the sickest I've ever been and actually losing weight this time around. That's never happened to me before. 
Right away, we knew what our plan was:
1. Hire a midwife and birth at home
2. Purchase a pool to birth in
3. Follow our instincts, trust God, and do it *our way*

Our midwife (whom we will call 'M' in respect for her privacy) is an amazing woman who didn't just set us at ease in the interview, she made us feel like we were family members. She plays with our girls and is enthusiastic about our birth. She and I also love to talk birthy research, etc. together. She wholeheartedly supports our decision to deny any sort of testing or interventions beyond the 20 week anatomy scan. We had that done just to ensure that baby's health was as it should be and we would not be putting baby at risk by home birthing, should baby have any sort of deformities/special conditions. We knew in our hearts that baby was fine, but we felt that it was an important decision for us to double check. (Disclaimer: there are times when the ultrasound does not correctly diagnose problems, so each set of parents must make their own decision and accept full responsibility.)

At this point of my pregnancy, I would normally be going for the glucose tolerance test with an OB's office. I can't express to you how relieved I am that I won't be doing that this time! I didn't realize with my first two pregnancies that I had the option to deny testing. I'm not at risk, so tests are not pertinent. As far as gestational diabetes goes, there are MUCH more reliable ways to confirm if a woman has GD than the GTT. 

At our most recent visit, M asked about our previous birth experiences. We shared important points and answered her questions in detail. She confirmed what we felt all along: that there was no reason for our babies to be held for "observation", that skin to skin and being cared for solely by Ryan and myself would have avoided the hospitalizations they experienced. I even read a study about three years ago that focused on newborns who were taken away from their mothers in the first hour without being permitted to Breastfeed or have skin to skin time. Most of these newborns went into some form of physical shock, most screaming inconsolably and a large number experiencing respiratory arrest! SOUND FAMILIAR?! I wish I could remember where I read this study. *grump* But I digress...

We often get people who try to scare us into going to a hospital, playing the dead baby/dead mother card. At this point, very little could scare us into going to a hospital. M is a very capable and educated midwife whom we trust with my life and our baby's life. My education tells me that there are few things that can't or shouldn't be handled at home and that those are very typically detected before they become an emergency. In the event of an emergency, M and her attendant, along with my amazing husband will take quick action. I do not foresee an emergency whatsoever, but I trust them in the event that one arises. 

Ways that this birth will be different:
1. We will be in the comfort of our own home. No rush. No pressure. Things happen at their own pace. 
2. Our kids can do whatever they want, should they prefer to remain with us. 
3. No sneaking of food and drink--we can both eat and drink what we want, when we want from our kitchen!
4. At the end of the day, we can sleep together in our own bed! This is something I am so excited about! I hated watching Ryan sleep in that awful fold-out chair while I was trapped in the hospital bed. 

These are just a few of the ways that this birth will be different. Natural. As God intended. Not in a cold, germ-ridden hospital where we are treated as if we don't matter. Care. Real care. Surrounded by love and trust. 

As our birth gets nearer and nearer, I feel trepidation, as I mentioned in my first post in this series. I am processing all of my feelings surrounding my first two births and seeking the Lord's comfort and reassurance for this upcoming birth. He is faithful and I find my trepidation passing slowly like a ship in the night. I envision myself standing on a rock as I watch it sail away. The water is as smooth as glass in its wake and I am strong. I will get birth as it should be and my journey will be peaceful. My journey will encourage and empower others as I become a doula and I will be able to help other families have beautiful births, as well. I eagerly anticipate attending births and my husband is excited for me, as well. 

This birth will be different. I will birth without fear. 


  1. Awe! This is a great post :) I'm sure you will do fine. And I'm praying for you guys!!

    1. Thank you! Confronting my emotions surrounding Kirsten and Norah's births have been so cleansing. God has given me such peace and I know that our decision to home birth has made that peace easier to find. ❤