So I’m just sitting and waiting, and waiting and sitting, and trying to recline but finding it hard to breathe, so I decide to eat cake. This is the life of a pregnant woman in the week of the impending due date.
I won’t lie to you, it’s a terrifying time. Women are blessed with the opportunity of considering whether or not their baby will be born with hair or if the kicks they have felt for months are indicative of a rugby player or dancer. But just whilst you’re overcome with sentimentality, you’re also forced to consider the implications of using a heat pack on your nether region and whether or not this will reduce the chance of someone coming at it with a scalpel. Enter the birth plan….
I have to disclose that I am not feeling very mother earth and all accepting at the moment. Much like my last post, I’m in need of a vent. A true believer in the power of the sisterhood, I’m about to jump ship and assert myself in a rather aggressive way. I reserve the right to retract below statements in a haze of “pregnancy hormones” if it all backfires…
Someone once said that to get a giggle from God, make a plan (or something like that) and I understand the meaning. I do believe it may have been the same person that said life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Both good anecdotes that elicit a wry smile. An even wiser person once said, “If you don’t plan how you’re going to get to the city from the suburbs on public transport, you’ll get lost, hot and bothered and you’ll end up in a taxi you couldn’t afford and makes you feel car sick”.
Ok, no one clever said that, it was obviously just me but I am assuming I’ve made my point.
It continues to astound me how many people are so eager to tell me that I can’t plan a birth. I am painfully aware that my body has decided to pack up and do what it bloody well wants to of late (I’m happy to email a running sheet of disgusting things a pregnant woman is capable of) and no doubt birthing will be the same. But in an age where we plan parties to the most minute of floral and table setting detail, why are women not educating themselves about the birthing process and planning for a desired outcome?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a twelve page birth plan file to carry to the hospital which stipulates all medical officers must refer to me as Goddess of the Wild during contractions, I have a one page, dot point plan including such one hit wonders as “Please ask permission from parents before artificially breaking waters, cutting the vagina or taking baby from us”. Yep, grossly out of line aren’t I? Well I can tell you that I hear about all three happening every day in hospitals all over the country, all because it was “best for baby”. And in some cases, it definitely was…but in some it wasn’t. And perhaps, as women, we should be educating ourselves about the difference.
All I ask of you is to consider that whilst I could be wrong and completely naïve in considering a birth plan, I could also be right. And before you think we’ve all gone mad, also consider the thousands of women all over the world, who are survivors of trauma and to whom a simple “examination” might not be so simple at all.
When talking to the toolman today, we were desperately trying to figure out where my strong feelings were coming from. And I suppose it is this – please don’t talk to women like me (and by “women like me” I mean the slightly off to the left ones who take homepathics , use acupuncture and hire midwives instead of doctors) like we are stupid, uneducated or are taking unnecessary risks. We have indeed educated ourselves, have taken what is most probably a more expensive route with said homeopathic private midwife hippy treatment and believe we are making a good choice. I will indeed draw blood for any woman I love who is criticized for the choices she makes, regardless of what they are because I have blind hope that they are making an informed decision (and by informed I don’t mean “because the man in the white coat said so”). And I am accepting that you and I are likely to feel differently about many things. Just please tell me you have considered some information outside of what one person (usually a man) has told you.
All I ask for in return is that when you ask me about something I have decided to do (and I stress the word “ask” because I have completely given up advertising it), please don’t infer that it’s not safe or considered, naïve or risky, because I have been very polite this whole time in trying to make this coffee date pleasant and non-confrontational.
Oh bugger it….
Perhaps it’s best said like this, “If you don’t plan how you’re going to get to the city from the suburbs on public transport, you may just get hot, bothered and end up strapped to a bed, legs in the air and a knife coming at your waa-waa”.