Listening to my inner wisdom about childbirth, written in 2004
When most people heard I was pregnant, I was asked the predictable questions like: “When are you due?” (March 27th) “Do you know what you’re having?” (No, it’s a surprise.) And “How do you feel?” (Good, all things considered.) These questions I expected, but what I didn’t expect was that the next thing out of most people’s mouths was a story about how bad their sister, mother, friend, or even their own labor was. People I barely knew would launch into a story that would scare most women from becoming pregnant in the first place.
I tired of hearing these stories immediately. I decided early on that I didn’t want to know what could go wrong unless it was somehow preventable. I knew hearing these labor horror stories would in no way help me or prepare me for the delivery of my child.
I wanted something unheard of and definitely not talked about — I wanted an easy delivery. For the previous two years I had developed my own personal principle of allowing things to be easy, and if I allowed them to be easy, then they would be. Worrying about things — anything — made every circumstance and situation more difficult and even if the end result was positive, I was exhausted from the worry.
Once I decided for my pregnancy to be easy, I noticed I had no morning sickness and minimal physical issues that weren’t assuaged with a nap, a swim, or a good meal. As time progressed I believed my delivery would be as easy as possible and I would spend as little time as possible worrying about it.
Most people couldn’t understand that I made up my mind for it to be easy. Yoga and swimming made me flexible and I often visualized my baby whooshing out of me as if it was on a water slide. I expected pain, but thinking about the pain in advance would be paralyzing. I didn’t want to hear about what could go wrong unless I could do something about it. Unfortunately, everyone still wanted to tell me their horrible stories.
One woman told me that her doctor manually turned her breech baby a few days before its birth. The baby then turned itself back around to breech position so she had to have an emergency Caesarian section. Being cut open to deliver my baby was the last thing I wanted, so if my baby was breech I’d do a headstand or at least…