[I'm saying no to drugs.]
According to the latest labor statistics, 99 percent of women in the United States still give birth in a hospital. This woman, however, ain't planning to. I'm the one percent. ONE PERCENT! Does this make me crazy? Brave? Foolhardy? Smart? Adventurous? Maybe all of the above. But I'm superstitious and hesitant to write much about it at this point. The IT being the fact that Joe and I decided to have Henry at a birth center.
It was a decision we came to before I even got pregnant. Typical reporters. We did our homework. We spoke to (some might even say interviewed) couples who had delivered babies at hospitals and couples who had delivered babies at birthing centers. We read birth stories on blogs. We researched the pros and cons of a drug-free birth, the best way to avoid a C-section, how to avoid unnecessary labor interventions. We calculated the exorbitant cost of a hospital birth. Plus the exorbitant cost of adding maternity coverage to my current health insurance policy. We watched documentaries. We took a tour of a nearby birth center while I was still on The Pill. We came to this decision wholeheartedly and now we're following through with it wholeheartedly. We couldn't be happier with our choice. The prenatal care I've received thus far has been extraordinary. In fact, I've not seen one OB-GYN during the length of this pregnancy. Not one. Instead I've come to know two experienced midwives, who continue to exude patience, knowledge, guidance and support at a time when these things are especially comforting. The center itself, like the all-female staff, is calm, Zen-like and warm. Its three birthing SUITES are, as my mother says, "cozier than most hotels" Best of all, the midwives respect me. They respect Joe. They treat us like family, which can't be said for all clinicians. So yeah, barring no complications, we're going the au naturel route. The birth center doesn't even ADMINISTER pain meds. Consequently I've had nine months to pump myself up for this. So here's to breathing. Stamina. And mind over matter. Let's hope in writing this post I haven't jinxed myself. If the experience is excruciating, I'll be sure to sugarcoat it for those of you who haven't had a baby yet. Cuz, you know, I'm so good at sugarcoating. -- PS. Photo by Moni Sertel