Me and Asher moments after he finally made his appearance.Before I even begin this post let me just state for the record that I am NOT currently pregnant, nor are we trying to become so in the near future.
Can you see the relief and exhaustion on my face?
Can you see the relief and exhaustion on my face?
Now that we have that out of the way I can talk about my day today. I went to visit a midwife. For some reason as Asher's first birthday approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about when and how I will have my next baby. A couple weeks ago my friend Danielle and I spent the majority of an hour's phone conversation on the general topic of childbirth, etc. Her baby is now 14 months old and mine is 11 months, so we've both been asked lately when the next one might come along. Every time someone asks me that I think or say, "I have a baby. I don't need another one yet."
And yet... I must confess that I have started to plan for the next one. And I find myself coming around to the idea of having another sooner than I thought I would. Of course, moving to a new state means finding new care providers, and when I happened to hear about this midwife Rebecca, I decided to contact her. For some reason when I heard about her a very strong feeling came over me that she would be the one to help me birth my next baby. She has a lovely little birth suite/office about 15 minutes from my house. Today I got to meet her and tour her facility. We chatted for over an hour, and I just think she is terrific. She has tons of experience. She was a labor and delivery nurse before becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. She has an impeccable record. And she just has a great vibe. She padded around her office in barefeet and was wonderful with Asher.
With Asher I had a midwife delivery in a hospital. As far as hospital births go, it was about as good as it can get. Per my request I was never offered drugs and had a completely drug free delivery with no complications. You can read my complete birth story here if you like. The midwife who delivered Asher was AMAZING! She stuck with me through three long hours of pushing and was never anything but encouraging.
Unfortunately, most hospitals are not very natural birth friendly. Women often can't move around freely and are pressured into getting epidurals, etc. Most of the time women are rushed through, which often leads to cesareans. I feel strongly that had I had a physician attending my birth, I could very well have ended up with a forceps or vacuum delivery or even a cesarean because I was pushing for so long.
Now that I know I can birth naturally, I really want to have an out of hospital birth. As long as I can go full term (37 weeks) than I plan to birth my next baby either at a birth center or at home. With Rebecca, I can do either. I am currently leaning toward the birth center, but I will definitely consider doing it at home. We live quite close to several hospitals, should a transfer be necessary.
Birth is such an amazing, life altering experience. It is impossible to fully comprehend until you experience it yourself. I really do love the whole process of pregnancy and birth. I love knowing that my body is capable of creating a life.
Is it totally weird that I actually miss being pregnant?
So now I have a question for all you mamas out there.... when and how did you know that it was time to have your first or another baby? Did you plan the spacing of your kids well in advance? Did you just let nature do its thing? Were you surprised to find that your plans changed somewhere in the middle? Once decided, did getting pregnant take longer or shorter than you planned? I know this is an extremely personal topic, but I am just curious as to what that process is like for different people. So I'd love to hear your thoughts if you are willing to share.
EDITED TO ADD: I'm loving all the comments on this! I just want to clarify that although I have chosen drug-free birth with a midwife and will probably birth my next baby out of the hospital, I don't think this is necessarily the right choice for everyone. What I feel most passionate about is CHOICE. We as women and mothers MUST educate ourselves and then make the best choice for US. If that means an epidural in the hospital, great. If that means a waterbirth at home, great. What frustrates me is that so often women don't realize what they are getting into and end up with a bad experience. I am also frustrated that our current system is so skewed towards medical intervention. I LOVE the approach that most of Europe has, as Missy says in the comments. You have a midwife and then IF there are problems you see a doctor. I hate that here we assume the worst will happen. For many women, epidurals work great. And I think that is awesome. I guess I have just always been afraid of them. And afraid that they won't work for me and then I'm stuck not mentally prepared to deal with the intensity of labor. Having a drug free birth doesn't make me a better mother, but it is a really great accomplishment and something that I am proud of. It was hard mentally and physically and I did it. It's good to know we can do hard things.