We are coming down to the final weeks of my pregnancy. Soon, God willing, I will have a baby boy to hold and love, and we look forward to welcoming him into our family, giving him a name, and raising him up in the way he should go. But we all know what has to happen first, and it’s often a subject that our society treats with either humor or horror. And it’s what I’d like to write about now.
Sometime over the next month or so, I will be giving birth. I have not written about the choices I have made surrounding planning our birth because I didn’t want to open myself up to condemnation. Giving birth is such a strange thing in that no matter what you decide, you tend to bring condemnation upon yourself from the two extremes – the “granola crunching hippies” who think you should stop weeding your garden long enough to squat in the melon patch and catch your own baby, AND the “anyone who even thinks about doing this without an epidural is crazy” crowd who think elective c-sections are a gift straight from Heaven. Both sides will think you either have gone too far or haven’t gone far enough. So all you can do is make the best decision for yourself and not worry about what others think. Easier said than done! Of course these are the two extremes, which not everyone falls into, but they do tend to be the most vocal.
Anyhoo, if you know me even a little bit, you know that I don’t decide on anything in my life without giving it a lot of thought. Some might even call me an Overthinker, and they would be right. You may also know that we waited and prayed a long time for this baby, so I had a lot of time in which to do research and think about what I wanted from my pregnancy and birth experience. And I decided that when my time comes, I would most like to give birth in the presence of midwives and my husband, with a hospital nearby in case of an emergency. If you ever want to know more about how I came to this decision, I will be glad to meet you for a cup of tea (even if it’s over Skype) and talk with you about it. According to the ob/gyn who treated the endometriosis that resulted in a long wait to have this baby, I am a perfect candidate for such a situation – low risk, healthy, and young. She released me to a group of very well-known midwives confident that I would be getting the best of care. I am very confident that I have made the best decision for my own safety and that of my child, and I don’t feel the need to defend it to anyone who feels otherwise.
I have sat down to record my thoughts on this subject many, many times and every time I have given up out of frustration. I wasn’t sure how to write about my own decision without condemning those who choose to give birth differently than me. But what finally spurned me to write this was that I need something from you. I have found that many people want to talk about birth, but they either want to joke about it or tell you how hard it is. I personally have not found either of those approaches helpful. I understand that birth makes a great episode for a TV sitcom, and I also realize that it WILL be hard, but when I find myself staring at something as daunting (yet rewarding) as natural childbirth in the face, I find myself in need of a lot of encouragement, prayer, and NOTHING ELSE. This is happening. It’s not a joke to me, it’s real life. So I am asking youthis:, if you want to support me, let encouragement and prayer be your first two options, and leave the jokes and negativity at home. And if you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes a hug, and smile, or a hand squeeze can speak much louder than words. And I hope that (sooner rather than later) I will be able to share my baby boy with you and thank you for your support.
Jacki Wolfe, mamma to be