>>Wow. An unassisted childbirth. Sounds scary, but glad everything worked out great!<<
It actually isn’t scary at all, but I can see how it could sound like that! I was talking to my dh about why people think giving birth without medical professionals present must be such a frightening situation. A big part of this is because our society has bought into the belief that birth is dangerous and therefore has to take place in a hospital, because anything can and probably will go wrong in the absence of professionals. But I don’t buy into this mindset of danger and fear. I see labor and birth as a normal and healthy process, and generally when the birth goes so quickly, it’s because everything is fine. So to me the fact that things were going so fast would in and of itself be reassuring, if I had been worried. But I wasn’t.
I think giving birth in a hospital can be a pretty scary proposition – there are so many unknowns facing birthing women other than labor itself, factors that they would have control over in their homes. But maybe it’s only scary if you know that the infant and mortality rates are higher in the hospital, infection rates are higher in the hospitals, all the intervention rates that lead to further intervention and are linked with other complications are higher in the hospital – most people think they’re safer and view the frequency that all of these things occur in hospitals as proof that they need to be there, proof that birth itself is dangerous. “Imagine how much more dangerous it would have been if they hadn’t been in a hospital!” goes the reasoning.
A friend afterwards tongue in cheek asked me why I hadn’t called an ambulance. Besides the fact that the idea didn’t even enter my mind, that’s another option that sounds unpleasant. I think emergency services are wonderful, but for helping women in childbirth? Umm, that’s not exactly where their strengths are. I can just imagine them rushing into my room in emergency mode, insisting on taking me to the hospital even after the baby was born to be sure everything was okay.
>>A friend of mine had an unplanned HB and is sooo traumatized by it.<<
Not being prepared for a situation mentally can make anything traumatic. I also think that mental preparation in life tends to be one of the most important factors to being content. (Mental preparation for labor is the most important factor in having a positive birth, in my opinion.) That means working on accepting what is, rather than continuing to verbally or mentally hold on to your image of what you want. This is something that we all get to work on every single day, every time your child, spouse, or even the person in the store does something that doesn’t match what you want. I know that the more I can let go of what I think needs to happen, the more I can tune in to what H-shem wants and the happier I feel.
If I had mentally focused on how absolutely unacceptable it was to me that the midwife wouldn’t be able to make it in time, my insistence on my past plans would have kept me from being able to shift into being fine with what was going to happen.
>>Thanks so much for posting a photo for those of us who can’t be there to see him in person. It is a nice addition to your posts. <<
It’s my husband who’s to thank for this. I’ve never had the patience (or desire, to be more honest) to figure out how to put a photo on the blog. I also liked that he put it there – I didn’t ask him to. Maybe now I’ll be inspired by him to post photos from time to time.
>>Birth is truly a surprise and an adventure, not matter how many
times you’ve been through it. <<
This is so true. If I PG have another pregnancy, this is something I’m going to remember – not to think that I know what even my own normal is by virtue of being pregnant nine times before. Being ‘overdue’ was a much needed exercise in humility and trusting H-shem’s plan.
>>You had your supplies, your midwife was coming anyway, but that sounds like such an ideal birth. If you’re emotionally capable of handling such a thing, and medically prepared just in case, that sounds so special!<<
It really was an ideal birth – I’ve always felt homebirths were amazing experiences, but this birth was on a totally different level.
>>Can I ask what you do with your placenta? Do you bury it? If so, is it for halachic reasons? I have never gotten a clear answer if I need to bury mine or not.<<
Rav Heinemann was here this afternoon to check the baby (he was our mohel for the last two brissim, also) – too bad I didn’t read this in time or I would have asked him. I’ve never asked a shaila about this – in hospitals, placentas are thrown away and I’ve never heard of anyone wondering what to do instead. And until now, we’ve always thrown it away.
This time, the kids were talking about planting a special tree over it (they know a 20 year old whose family planted a cherry tree when she was born), which I thought was a beautiful idea. Because of their enthusiasm, I was researching fruit trees before Pesach, trying to figure out what kind to buy and where to put it, but now it’s so late in the season that it’s not really the time to plant fruit trees.
We always put the placenta in the freezer, and then throw it away right before the garbage truck comes; this time I figure I can leave it there a little longer until I decide what to do with it.