Tuesday, September 4, 2007

All natural

Today while driving home I felt a little flutter kick kick in my pregnant belly. It wasn't the first. In fact, my newly forming little girl has been busy exercising her precious little limbs for quite a few weeks. Each time I feel the little nudge nudge internally, I am reminded of the wonderful times I have ahead and get fidgety with anticipation. A new little person, like a new present to unwrap! Tyler and I are still unwrapping the first gift, it seems each day we remove yet another darling piece of Lily Lu's intricate and unique personality wrapping as she speaks more and showcases her adorable "Lilyness". The thought of being blessed with another gift come December will make for a merrier than Merry Christmas.

While I was pondering these pleasantries, I reminisced of my days in the hospital with Lily. I'm sure many mothers look upon their labor/delivery hours with nauseous post tramatic horror, but thanks to the wonderful use of a beautiful drug coined "an Epidural" I have rose colored lenses to look back with. The anesthesiologist is my Santa Claus this year, and I've been a very good girl.

Before Lily arrived, I spoke to two extremely admirable mothers who highly recommended Hypnobirthing. Intrigued and in awe of this all-natural approach, I passionately became converted. I ordered the CD's, read the book, and searched for Hypnobirthing classes. I completely agreed with the concept, and still do, that childbirth is not a disease, but rather a "natural" process for a woman's body. Freaking out, tensing up, and watching Hollywood versions of deliveries only prolongs and intensifies suffering...I agree. I agree. I agree.

And so my weeks of training began. Each morning I would drive to work, sipping a Keva Juice while performing the daily chants on CD. Out loud, in my car, I would repeat after the soft soothing voice of the woman on the CD, things like,

"I see my baby descending through tissue that is pink and healthy" and "I am calm, I am happy, I am relaxed."

My only mistake during these weeks was accidentally leaving the CD in my car when my 16 year-old sister and two little brothers borrowed the car. After a few therapy sessions, they thankfully recovered and now love to request the, "I see the baby descending through tissue that is pink and healthy" CD.

Tyler and I practiced the chants, the massages, the visualizations, and felt confident in my ability to master the control of childbirth. After all, this was my thank you to womankind for all of time, my attempt to join the "real woman" club. My kudos to the unspeakable toughness of women.

As instructed, I politely but firmly informed my doctor of my decision to Hypnobirth. While respectful... and possibly smirking, she only asked that her patients remain "open", and said she supported any decision I made. Ha, I'm sure she then proceeded to place bets with the other nurses in the office while laughing her way down the hall. It must have been my maternity eyelit skirt that gave the "I am a sucker wimp wimp wimp" away.

Once induced to have Lily (possible preclampsia)a week early, I geared up as Tyler helped tie the laces down the back of my hospital gown. This would also be the part of my labor story where hypnobirthing ceased to exist and labor began. Instead of chanting, "I am relaxed" during a contraction my brain starting releasing "You are going to die, you are going to die, you are going to die" chants like a broken record. After breaking my water I was forced to confront a few truths about myself in the 45 seconds I had in between earth shattering contractions:

#1. I hate nature. While I agree that childbirth is a natural process, what's so great about natural anyways? Afterall, nature is a lion hacking away at the limbs of beautiful, squealing zebra on the Discovery channel! It is the middle age woman with gray hair grown to her buttocks who smells of the all "natural" seaweed conditioner she purchases at Wild Oats! In fact, it is the organic and delicious wraps at Wild Oats that produce the all "natural" foul vapors that will plague you and humankind for the next 12 hours after consuming! To H-E- double hockey sticks with nature!

#2. I am bitter at being a woman. Yes, I said it. I have seething resentment towards the condition of our sex. Why do I have to throw up for four months? Why does my body have to change? Why do I have to worry about whether or not my husband will ever find me attractive again after seeing me in all my "crowning" womanhood glory (no pun intended)? Why did I have to gain 45 pounds? Why is my nose so swollen and huge? And why...after all of this do I have to endure searing pain while "progressing" from 1-9 dialation only to once again vomit, shake and possibly poooooop in transition!!? The horror! The blood sucking unbelievably not fair horror! Forget it womankind. Thanks for all you have done, but I'm going to have to deboard the "I am woman" train now and scream like little pansy for some drug assistance. Doctor, shoot me up, as I bend over and present my spine somewhere to be found in the midst my pitocin inflated back.

#3. I've endured the entire pregnancy like a measly little whiner, why not the delivery as well? I can redeem myself afterwards. In the meantime, if you ever happen to be in my presence during any of these nine months, you will find a most definitely unsexy and not-so-admirable example of ample and fortunate fertility. I won't ever tell you, "I looove being pregnant." If you stop by my house you won't see nude pregnancy photos of me confidently embracing my buxom breasts and protruding belly goddess-ness. I'm back in my bedroom, puking or eating unholy amounts of Reeses peanut butter cups, crying over wedding photos where my waist appeared to have the diameter of a tennis ball.

While I admire, and even envy, the mothers who stick it out and manage control I can't say that I regret my wonderful epidural. I'd like to think that the members of the womanhood club were actually giving me a little push, saying "We would have taken the epidural if we could have... we would have sold out too." Maybe, maybe not.

I'm actually not even afraid to go back...who knows, maybe I'll give hypnobirthing a shot next time.


Daniel said...

So I'm assuming you're planning another epidural?!

Fun, fun, fun!

Joan Koplin said...

I read Brandon the part about you crying over your tennis ball sized waist while eating inordinate amounts of Resees and he said, "Rachel speaks the language of women." Well said.
I enjoyed several hearty laughs while reading this post. Keep up the good work :)