Friday, January 28, 2011

Birth Art for Baby Girl

Well, hi! It's been a little while-- things as always have been quite busy.

But I have such exciting news! I have switched to a midwife for the remainder of this pregnancy and birth of our baby GIRL. Cheers! We are feeling very blessed to have our second on the way, and we think it is very special that we will have one boy and one girl in our little, growing family.

And our midwife is amazing. She is unlike any other medical professional I have ever met... in such a good way. She sat with us, talked with us, listened to us-- as a couple, as birth partners, as husband and wife, not as 'patient and spouse.' And her answers were never condescending. She didn't roll her eyes at things we said that seemed off (I have no idea if she thought anything we said was weird, which is quite a difference from one particularly rude doctor we encountered at my old OB practice-- that OB rolled her eyes when I acted concerned about being strapped to a bed while laboring naturally, and she flat out laughed while I asked about natural birth classes saying she had never even heard of Bradley. She was joking, right?).

Our new midwife is encouraging and positive-- she didn't focus on what COULD happen negatively, but how to go about making the birth of our daughter a positive experience. And she encouraged both my husband and myself to explore birth art (after she mentioned that we should read Birthing from Within and I said I read it in three days). I might not be an artiste, but I explored art as a student and considered a college career in art so using birth art to explore our feelings about labor is actually quite exciting to me. My husband is having a hard time embracing it because he thinks he can't do it, but he, despite his initial snickers at the thought of birth art way back when, is being supportive, open, and very curious about my use of birth art.

Above is my first piece of birth art done in crayon.
I am laboring in water, supported by my husband. I am warm colors because my body is using and producing strong energy while my husband is in cool colors to keep things calm. There is a tree budding around us because we feel connected to nature, but it also represents our growing family tree. The heart represents our son, Gabriel. The abstract sphere emerging into the tree trunk is our daughter. Around my crayon sketch I have written some phrases that speak to me about birth (some of the phrases are very hypnobirthy).

And then there's waterbirth. Something I never had really considered and then I saw a video. It was so peaceful. Everything was so calm and gentle for both Mom and baby. I read about the benefits-- such as reduced risk of tearing, natural pain coping techniques, and a soft transition for the baby leaving the womb. I read about the risks... which are honestly very low when waterbirth is practiced safely. With my midwife, the baby's numbers need to look great for me to get in or stay in the tub for pushing. And if everything looks good, waterbirth is something we are strongly considering.

What's great about my midwife is that she has done a lot of waterbirths. She is actually on babycenter.com's waterbirth video. And the hospital where I am delivering is waterbirth friendly with a tub equipped for birth in one of the suites.

So we're excited, we're curious, we're a little nervous, but above all, we are now at peace because we have taken the experience in the birth of our daughter into our hands and made it something for us to experience as a family. It's no longer about the medical stuff-- that stuff is important, and our baby's safety and health is our number one priority-- but we are not looking at birth in terms of "going to the doctor" anymore.

And that, is birth art in itself.

1 comment:

  1. This post made me tear up!

    I think you will never regret switching from your OB to your midwife. I know s/he was supportive, but there is nothing like a midwife practice if you are interested in pursuing natural childbirth. Not only that, but I found that midwives and doulas are so much involved in the process. They care and they are invested in your experience.

    Natural childbirth in itself reduces so many possible complications, and water birth, too, can facilitate a better birthing atmosphere. I labored at home in our tub for 2 hours the night before Dalia was born. I am pretty sure I was contracting 8-12 minutes apart. At the hospital, the water actually stopped my progress, so I had to get out of the shower and keep moving. The tub rooms were all taken, but in the end I think that was better for us since my labor stalled with the water.

    Keep us posted with your birth art-too cute! Natural childbirth is the most amazing experience we have ever had. I am so rooting for you this time around!! Go Bernard and Benson!