Birthing without an Agenda

November 5, 2017 at 12:04 am

Who is to say that this moment is not a part of creation?
Or this one?
Or the one about to arrive, across the vast distance of time?

-David LaMotte

When I was pregnant for the first time, my primary goal with my birth was to get through labor without an epidural. Thanks to my husband’s support and an angelic doula-like nurse, I succeeded.

With my second, I wanted to have a midwife, and I wanted to have an easier recovery (no stitches). With my certified nurse midwife’s help, I was able to give birth unmedicated to a posterior baby with just a “skid mark” and some minor stitches.

For my third birth, I was desperate to give birth with an fully intact perineum. It was a magical home birth experience, and I didn’t tear at all!

After delivering my previous three babies on my bottom, I really hoped with my fourth baby to give birth in some other position. Following a near-painless labor, I delivered my fourth baby on my hands and knees.

My primary goal with my fifth baby was to give birth upright. After an emotional, but exceptionally supported labor, I delivered with my upper body cradled in a birth sling, standing with bent knees.

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As I met for the first time with my new midwife many weeks ago, she asked if I had any goals for this birth. I told her, “No, it’s strange. I have with all of my other births, but this time I don’t really have anything specific I’m hoping for.”

I don’t have an agenda. I’m open to whatever happens as I listen to my body and do what feels right. Maybe I’ll have a water birth? Maybe I’ll give birth on my bottom? It doesn’t really matter much to me how it happens as long as my baby and I are healthy. Of course I hope I won’t need stitches. But there are worse things than stitches.

Having a child is always an act of creation. But I never really thought about labor and delivery as creations themselves until now. My sixth birth will be something I will create moment to moment, contraction to contraction, like an improvised dance. Nothing choreographed.

It feels really liberating.

Food for thought

Food for thought