I just had a chance to catch up on this thread...here are a jumble of thoughts...
karenpl – I am also not finding myself ready to pull together “supplies” and such, even at 37 weeks. I think for me it has something to do with rejecting the model that I need “stuff” to give birth. Also the thought that I have at least a couple of weeks left to go, and little ones underfoot, and too much to do every day to think about anything but the usual without going to great effort.
DancerMom asked I guess one question I have for those of you doing UPs is what are you doing to personally prepare yourself for your birth?
Blueviolet said – I'm not doing any special preparation this time around either -- I've just gotten to the point where it's just birth, you know? It's just not that big a deal. I don't need to midwife myself, my body already knows how to do it.
Exactly. That is exactly how I feel. I keep checking in with my body and my intuition, asking myself if I really feel comfortable and safe doing this, and each time I ask the answer comes back a resounding YES! If that changes, my plan will change, but so far it has felt very clear to me that all I have to do is listen to my body and all will be well.
Blueviolet asked, So tell me, what points or issues would you want to bring up if you had a chance to talk to a group of midwives? What would you hope they would get out of it?
I would hope they would get that UC is a valid and responsible option, not to be scoffed but to be respected. I’d want them to know that it’s not going to put them out of business or anything, but that there are solid, legitimate reasons why someone might choose a UC over having a midwife present. Maybe talking about different things that motivate people to choose UC might help them understand that UC is not necessarily about rejecting midwives. I would hope it would get them over any defensiveness and start them thinking about possible ways they can support UC-minded moms who aren’t coming to them as clients but who might seek them out as a resource of another kind. I think a lot of midwives must have a hard time finding a way to feel good about that kind of situation, and I wonder what it would take to change that. It may not be possible to change their thinking, but even so I think it would be good to plant those seeds.
Even my midwife/friend, whom I love dearly, has all kinds of last-minute unsolicited advice for me, and has vowed to be available by cell phone in case we have questions during the birth or need her to come. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is an absolutely wonderful gift that she is supportive and willing to come help out if we ask her to, and I think it’s a rare midwife who will offer to do that (given that I’ve had an unassisted pregnancy as well) but although she is an extremely hands-off midwife as far as midwives go, I can just tell from our conversations that she can’t completely 100% let go of the idea that we will need someone else to turn to.
I really liked LizD's reply, about midwives backing up UCs like OBs back up midwives, and how that relationship isn't always easy but it is important.
Chaka Falls said, It seems that I miss the abnormality of birthing in a hospital. I miss birth as something monumental and absurd. I'm trying to figure out why I feel this way. Is it b/c no one really pays me attention except when I'm pregnant? If so, why does that matter to me? I thought I liked that aspect of my life.
I miss the validation of going along with the thing other people think is right, good, and valued. It is so hard to swim upstream, and even harder still when the other fish are glaring at you and wagging fins at you and complaining that you’re threatening their peaceful little group-mentality existence. It’s lonely to choose the path less traveled. Yet I’m finding that inside this loneliness I’m more free to be me, and I’m finding ways to validate myself where I used to look outside myself for validation.
Today I told a close mainstream friend about our UC plans. I have only told a few people so far. She admitted that she was worried for me. I didn’t think of this until after our phone conversation was over, but I was so worried for her last fall when she birthed in a hospital with an OB. I imagine we had similar feelings of worry – and I intend to tell her so next time we talk, so maybe she’ll understand that it goes both ways.
blueviolet – I hear you about feeling like everyone else is the weirdo. It took getting out of my old environment and into a new one for me to realize that, and my DH talk about it all the time. I felt like a “supreme weirdo” (as Chaka so eloquently put it) where we lived before, in my hometown. We moved last summer to a more rural area in a place where people are more of the live-and-let-live type. I like the solitude and the space. I like that everyone kind of seems to be doing their own thing and expecting others will, too. It was a very healthy change for me. It means I have fewer people around me celebrating my pregnancy, but I also have fewer people judging my choices and making me feel out of place.
DancerMom – Try www.birthlove.com;
it’s well worth the cost of joining. Lots of UC stories and articles.
mollyeilis - I’ve always wished for a blessingway, and hoped this time that someone would figure out to give me one, but it didn’t happen. I have friends who have made me food and given kind thoughts and one even knitted a little baby sweater for the newling, but it’s not quite the same as a blessingway – I have hosted a few blessingways for friends and they were truly magical. I had hoped for one the last time (my first homebirth), and this time (my first UC), but I'm over it I guess.
I think that is all I have to add - sorry this is so long!