Don't worry, I'm not pregnant again... yet. We want another baby, but we're not trying to conceive at this time. I'm always thinking and planning for the future.
My childbirth experiences have been a journey. I feel I've been on this road, and I keep growing and learning as I go. My journey from fully medicated birth to unmedicated birth in the hospital, then to birth at home, has been a progression for me. I'm always wanting to find something better and more fulfilling, and possibly more challenging as I go.
I like challenging. It stretches me, helps me grow.
"When you're through changing, you're through." -Bruce Barton
What's the next step? Is it freebirth?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to put myself or my baby at risk just because I enjoy a good challenge. I don't make any big decisions without doing my homework and knowing all the ins and outs, exactly what I'm getting myself into.
I also believe in divine personal inspiration, and I'll pray about my options and move forward with what I feel is right and best for my family. I prayed about home birth with my last baby and felt such overwhelming peace that I knew that's what I should do.
Right now I'm researching and considering my options, and I'll pray about them when a decision is needed.
I'm all about labor support. I'm a doula. I DO labor support. I feel it's important to have the right support for birth. But what is the right support? I think it can be different for each birth.
When it comes to unmedicated, natural, spontaneous birth without unnecessary interventions, I've always felt that with the right support and care I can do anything. I love my doula and midwife who each worked with my husband to provide encouragement, comfort measures, and a level head to help me through what's always been for me a somewhat long process of labor and birth.
At one point during active labor with my planned home birth I found myself alone. My midwife was in the other room. She had left my husband and I alone because I was coping well with his support and she was respecting our private space. My husband had to go to the bathroom, and just as he was gone a strong contraction hit.
I had been depending on my husband's support, and it suddenly occurred to me that I was alone! Panic hit, fear set in, and I experienced the worst pain of the entire birth experience. It's the only part of Liam's birth that I consider to have been actually, truly painful. Even transition was nothing compared to the pain I felt at that moment.
I learned two things from that experience:
- The Fear-Tension-Pain syndrome is REAL. When we experience fear our muscles invariably get tense, which causes pain. This is definitely true in labor and birth, and I experienced it first-hand in stark contrast to the rest of my otherwise relaxed and peaceful labor.
- I have had the belief that I can only handle natural labor if I have support from others. Whether my belief was true or not, it was real and it affected me completely in that moment.
I've reflected on that experience a lot since then. What about women who experience spontaneous precipitous labor and have no support, but still have an amazing and beautiful birth? What about those who plan unassisted birth and handle it just fine without any outside support (other than that of their partner)? Why would I only be able to handle labor well with support, if others could handle it just as well on their own?
If I plan an unassisted birth I would still have my husband's support so I wouldn't be completely alone. Do I actually need the support of a doula and/or midwife or others in order to have a beautiful birth experience?