These are the things I am working towards changing:
- I am going to hire a doula. I am sure about this. If my current doctor tries to tell me I can’t have one, then he won’t be my prenatal care doctor.
- There’s only so much I can do to increase DH’s willingness and ability to play a strong supporting role in my birth. I’ll probably ask him to attend a childbirth education class with me and read a book, maybe The Birth Partner (2007) by Penny Simkin (provided I read it first and like it). I don’t plan to push him too much though. He tends to get squeamish about blood and I’ll consider it a victory if he stays in the delivery room for the entire birth.
- I still lack family in the area, but I will probably lean more heavily on the support of the women at my church. My pastor happens to be a woman. I may ask her to visit me and give me a blessing when I go into labor. I will probably invite my mother-in-law and stepmother to come out and help with the baby if they have any desire to do that, as well as my sister.
- I don’t live in Utah anymore and I’m not immersed in a culture that tries to limit women’s roles and pin it on their ability to give birth, so this shouldn’t be a factor. I feel free to reclaim the birthing experience and make it a positive one.
- My doctor is a family practitioner and a resident, so he’s close to my age. I like him a lot and I think we have a good relationship. He’s willing to take my questions and concerns more seriously than my last doctor did, so I am hopeful that he will be supportive of my labor and delivery plan.
- I intend to aim for a natural childbirth experience in the hospital. One of the things that I didn’t like about my last delivery was the sensation of being removed from my own birthing experience. I had magnesium for high blood pressure, Pitocin to induce labor, my water broken to induce labor, an epidural to manage the pain brought on by the Pitocin (though I was pretty certain I wanted one in advance), and an episiotomy + forceps delivery because my daughter’s heartrate was nose-diving with every push and the doctor wanted to get her out ASAP. This means I had all kinds of wires, tubes, and monitors attached to me (IV, fetal heart monitor, catheter, epidural, etc.) and couldn’t leave my bed. This time I’d like to try and stay off the interventions cascade altogether and manage my pain on my own—not because I think NCB is better or safer, but because I would personally like to play an active role in my next child’s birth.
That is where I am. As I said above, I am scheduled to have my Mirena removed later this month, and we will probably begin TTC in January 2013.