Thursday, May 31, 2018

In Defense of Me

Disclaimer: This is not meant to sound angry. These are simply ramblings of a tired, hormonal, incredibly pregnant mama.

I understand that I am a bit scatterbrained. I have many ideas and not much follow through. I get that people see me as a generally happy person whose words don’t work right. I didn’t finish college, which many people think is just stupid of me. I’m a dreamer, forgetful, and absolutely terrible at time management.

But for once, could you just trust me? There is one area in my life that I actually know a thing or two about; my body and how it gives birth. I’m so incredibly tired of having to defend every decision we’ve made with this baby simply because none of it is mainstream. I’m going to go over a few specifics and explain to you why I’m choosing each of them.

#1. Having a 6th child in the first place. Many people think we’re being irresponsible or ask questions like, “You know how that happens, right?” People raise questions about finances and fitting them all in our house. But here’s the thing. We like our kids. We enjoy their company. We are fascinated as they learn about life and how to treat people and how to become good citizens. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, I yell. Yeah, I complain. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We have CHOSEN to have each of these kids and we are grateful they are part of our family. They help us become who we are. And one other thing- we’re good parents.

#2. Having the baby at home. I’ve had five children. That’s an entire handful. During each of these births, there has been a very specific pattern. While I’m not stupid enough not to realize that every kid is different and this one could very well break every pattern piece that I’ve dealt with, I’m confident that most of this birth will be much like the other five. I’ve had good experiences and bad in giving birth. I’ve been treated like an idiot by some doctors and nurses and been respected by others. Of the five births, three of them were without pain medication. Three of them (I found out rather quickly) there was no point for me to be in a hospital. My Dr only delivered one of those three. Being without pain meds meant I knew what my body was doing and I was in control of it. I know my body’s timeline, it’s signals, and it’s strengths. I’m so grateful to have a body that functions the way that it should and that I have instincts that help me along. For those of you who don’t trust me anyway, I also have the most incredible support system including a husband who has done enough research on childbirth to write a college thesis and a doula who has attended over 1,000 births. I’m also not stupid enough to deny that if something feels wrong or off or if I feel there is any danger to me or the baby, I will not hesitate to go to a hospital.

#3. Having the midwife break my water on a day that I choose. Again, I’ve had five children and noticed patterns. One of those patterns is that my water doesn’t break on it’s own. Sure, if I go to 42 weeks, it very well might. But that brings me to the second point. I have decent sized babies. I have been induced in different ways for the last four kids and I’ve been grateful for that. Let me give you some perspective. My smallest baby was 7 lbs. She was 2 weeks early, induced with Pitocin because of kidney problems. My largest baby was 3 days before the due date, induced only by breaking my water and had a placenta healthy enough to stay pregnant another week or two. This would have had me deliver a 10 or 11 lb baby. I feel confident that my chances of complications would go up by waiting too long to give birth. Also, people discount the mental part of the game. I’m trying to do so much right with this pregnancy. Trying to be a good mom to the other children, trying to not overload my husband with a million extra tasks that I simply can’t do, and trying to learn boundaries and how to let go of all kinds of emotional crap through therapy. Having a giant question mark over my head pertaining to when this baby will make her debut is causing far more stress than it would on a normally functioning, non ADHD person. Scenes playing over and over in my head of “What if it happens this day” and “What if I wait until that day” have literally taken over my nights. I’m not sleeping well. While, again, I’m not stupid or naïve enough to think that she can’t come on any different day, having a day on a calendar to look forward to takes so much of the stress off of me. An end date. Not to mention that my body is so physically done. Dealing with SPD (it pretty much feels like bone on bone when I walk), being overweight, carrying this perfect baby, and having other unmentionable issues have taken their toll. I just can’t risk being pregnant for 2 extra weeks. I need to be done as soon as safely possible.

I’ve had five healthy children. I have an amazing support system. I’ve had several priesthood blessings.  While I do appreciate it when you try to be polite when I tell you that I’m doing these untraditional things, it still hurts to see the disgust on your face or to have you straight up question me. We’ve done SO MUCH research. We have prayed and consulted and done more research. You might think that I’m just a silly girl with silly ideas, but please. Trust me on this one.

I would like to add that just because this is the way I do things, it does not by any means think it’s the way everyone should do them. I know my labors are short. I know they are easy. If they were long, I would welcome an epidural. If they were hard or scary or we’d had a history of anything going wrong, you bet I’d be close to medical intervention. How you choose to have your baby is part of who YOU are and your journey to become such and I will support you however you choose. You are an amazing rockstar for sticking to your guns.