I’ve learned a lot about how exactly I want to introduce a new son into the world through the process of watching my wife go through pregnancy. We were all ready to do the hospital birth with drugs and had even picked out a hospital and a doctor until two things sort of lead us down a rabbit hole that changed all of our thinking about how birth should be done (for us). Those two things were:
- Pushed, the book
- The Business of Being Born, the documentary
That lead us to research more about midwives and doulas. Even in the hospital midwives and doulas are very useful. The main barrier for us was that we didn’t know how to find a midwife, and the doctor/hospital route never really assumes that you’ll want one. It’s difficult to learn about so much in such a short period of time (especially since we had insurance issues and house-selling goals to deal with at the same time, not to mention money strapping), and often times I was hoping that someone would just lead me in the right direction. As first-time parents we expect a lot of guidance from the professionals. The hospital situation is pretty stark on that front… charging a lot of unexplained bills for each visit, and only getting a few minutes with the doctor.
We brute forced our way into an interview with a midwife even though we didn’t know what we were doing, and that saved us. The midwives were really communicative about our options, and gave us a ton of time to ask all kinds of silly, “stupid” questions about how things are done. They were just much more available. And cheaper!
Luckily we live in a state that allows midwives to be covered under insurance, and they led us to choose a doula that came with a ton of good reviews. And also helped us find a good birth class outside of a hospital for people having babies at home or in a birth center.
From there it all just came together. We found a Naturopathic Doctor for our newborn care, we have a doula and a home birth, we decided not to move, or get a car, or worry about all the crazy scary things that people try to scare you with. We decided to be open, confident and excited about everything that’s going to change in our lives. We’re going to try to breastfeed, co-sleep, do our version of attachment parenting, avoid circumcision, and also make sure we don’t exhaust ourselves out of guilt or do anything simply because a book tells us to do it. We will make mistakes and adjust, and take in as much information as we can in the process so that we can make balanced decisions. No dogmas, no taking everything too personally, etc.
Easier said that done, you might say. Well, we say it so that it can be easier done. And if it goes completely differently, that’s fine too. We’re adaptable creatures, and have good intentions, and everything will be okay in the end.