I was a band nerd for most of high school. I played flute- both in symphonic and marching band. Much of that time I was first chair flute. For those of you non-band nerd types, that means I was A-1. All flute solos went directly to me, and I had to compete twice a year to retain this status. I would practice and practice and practice some more. I would visualize myself on stage, playing the solo perfectly. And then I would thoroughly freak out, hyperventilate, and freeze up for just a moment before the performance. But I can’t remember a single solo I didn’t nail. The moments right before playing, I would suddenly get confident and blast my way through it.
I do this with pretty much everything in life. Freaking out along the way, but standing strong during the actual event, whatever that may be.
In this case it is birth.
I’m not crazy. I know some folks have their “ideas” about why women birth unmedicated, or even worse- at home. Some of you think that we have something to prove, that we feel the need to be Super Woman. Some of you feel that we are in serious denial of reality. Some of you are pretty certain we are crazy.
I realize what I am getting myself into here, and rest assured I have thoroughly freaked out. I have reviewed each of our other births in my mind and recalled the agonizing hours. I started to feel really really small and helpless and ummm… stuck. Because, let’s face it, it’s a little too late to turn back now. In all honesty, I’m not brave enough to birth in the hospital with medication. Epidurals just don’t sound very appealing to me, personally.
Then yesterday I picked up my battered and tattered Ina May books and found my monkey again. (Ina May calls it your “monkey”- that primal ability to birth babies, sort of like a “Mamma Bear” kind of thing…) I read through a couple of birth stories and was so encouraged to remember that normal birth does involve going “over due” and it really does indeed span over a matter of days, when left uninterrupted and not interfered with or rushed. And this is normal. I’m normal! What a relief! I read about how it’s okay to give yourself time… something you need to be encouraged of when every time you go out in public you get asked how long “they” are going to “let” you go overdue. I always sort of cross my eyes for a second and try to formulate an answer. Who is “they” and what do you mean by “let”? I’m in charge here, buster!
So, I’ve been to that I-can’t-do-this-anymore-please-get-this-child-out-of-me-I’m-desperate phase. Now I think I’m in the Bring It On phase. I’m ready. I’ve freaked out, I’ve sulked, I’ve pouted, I’ve really lost my nerve a couple of times, and now I’m ready to do this.
And I may still revisit the freaked out, pouting, woe is me phase again a time or two before it actually happens.
But for now I’m confident. I know I can do this. I was created to do this. I’ve done it before- THREE TIMES, for crying out loud!
And I’m going with a dinosaur for this one. (Ina May recommends imagery of large animals.)
“ROWR” is dinosaur for “BRING IT.”