Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Doing Things Differently This Time:

There were things about my last pregnancy and birth that fell short of what I wanted. To be fair, I didn't have such a clear IDEA of what I wanted back then, but this time I do. I have decided that this time things will be different, and I will really not settle for much less than what I believe I deserve as a mother, and a woman.

There are aspects of my personality that I shelved last time, because I didn't feel that they were understood, or shared by others around me, and I allowed myself to be swayed by a way thinking about prenatal care that is way more clinical than I like to be. I loved my midwife, but the hospital system stinks. This time that midwife is no longer easily available to me, and my new provider is VERY obstetrical, which makes me really uncomfortable. In my region it is not typically possible for a woman to give birth in the setting of her choice, but I am working very hard to arrange something for myself. In the mean time I am enduring lots of very clinical care. Yuck. I am telling myself that I am lucky to have access to it at all, and that the rest is up to me. I'll just have to learn how to dwell within that system in my own way. What's helping me along is that I've hired a WONDERFUL doula. She is fast becoming a good friend, and making me believe that I can have the birth that I want.

With Rayona I avoided all herbs -on the advice of medical personnel -which is fairly typical. This time I am educating myself in the wisdom of generations hebalists and midwives, and taking some of the nourishing herbs that provide things like calcium and vitamin K. I will also be doing some essential oils, and aromatherapy in preparation for the birth -wherever that may take place. It is really good to feel like I deserve these small things, and that I'm not strictly governed by the opinions of the medical community here.

I've also decided to have a blessingway, which is something I wanted last time, but was afraid that my friends would not understand it. Now I've just learned to give them more credit over the years. I'm really excited about this, and I'm using my restless time before falling asleep at night to dream up all the things I want for that -as well as my ideal birthing environment. My mind's eye has been very busy lately.

I would love to hear any experiences that any of you have had with any of these things as well. I just really want to do things differently this time, and honor the process properly.


EatPlayLove said...

congrats, my one big recommendation is to follow your heart, it seems to be telling you what you want.

I too handed over so many things all too easily with my pregnancies, but it's the past.

Paula said...

I know what you mean.

jill said...

great news, so glad you found a doula who sounds just fantastic. i look forward to hearing more about your blessingway and imagining your birth experience. thats just great!

Angela said...

I wish I had had a doula....I had never even heard of it until after my children were born.....whats a blessingway?

Kat said...

Paula, I went through much of what you are going through with my pregnancy. I moved here from an area where I had a wonderful spiritual counselor/mentor, access to midwives and doulas working within the more traditional midwifery practice (meaning more herbal woman and baby centered less obstetrical). Moving to the Adk's was a horrible shock to me. It took my entire pregnancy to come to terms with the loss of my previous life and all of the amazing resources in that I was blessed to be surrounded by. Finally in my last month of pregnancy I had to decide that I was in the right place to give birth or I wouldn't be here. This was simultaneously frightening and liberating. The very idea of giving birth in a hospital was so horrifying to me. I'd always thought that it should be at home with strong women and my love there to both witness and support this process. And when it came time to birth Clementine, with the exception of being in my home (which wasn't even close to habitable yet)I found exactly that. I was so proud, humbled and grateful for what my body was able to do, the nurses (all strong, wise women) and my love brought our daughter into this world. The midwife I'd worked with was unable to attend my birth, so the OB who refused to allow me to have a water birth in the hospital attended. He sat back and let me do what I needed. Clementine came into the world with completely natural and nursed immediately.

The blessingway is a wonderful way to mark the birth of a child or even other life passages. I have incorporated this work into my life previously and will do so in the future.

One amazing and vexing thing about life is that we are always given another opportunity to work through those things that we haven't quite resolved yet. Sounds like you are doing this for yourself.

Look forward to seeing you when we are back in the mountains again.

Be well,

Paula said...

Thanks, Kat! It's so nice to know that someone else around here dealt with that too. I sometimes feel like it's expected that I throw away those feelings and go along with what is available regardless of what I might be sacrificing.

PĂ©itseoga said...

oh, i would have liked a blessingway, too, but i'm about 99 percent sure that none of my friends would have understood!!