Sunday, May 24, 2009


I taught a great couple on Saturday, May 23. They had so many questions and also so much misinformation. It is always so reassuring to me to know that when a couple is completely counseled and given accurate information, they are ready to birth and no longer afraid of what the immediate future ( labor and delivey ) holds for them.
Some things we cannot control when it comes to how we choose to birth our babies. If the baby is breech, well, that's a cesarean section and that's that. Just like, it's not your choice if you test positive to group B strep and you need antibiotics in labor to protect the baby from sepsis. You can't decide to have a water birth, if your practioners won't do it. You have to comply to a dietary regime and testing your blood, if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. If you have a negative Rh factor, you need Rhogam at 28 wks gestation and again within 72 hours of delivery. That's the way it is and the accepted school of thought in this country is: that's the way it is mandated by the American College of Obstetrics. Okay.
But there are so many things to learn about so you can decide one way or another. Decide whether you want to collect cord blood and make arrangements ahead of time. Decide on a pediatrician. Decide when you are going back to work outside of the home and vist daycare options and get on a list or enroll. Decide about breastfeeding and take a course, if you feel you need it. Decide, absolutely, to certify in infant CPR. Decide way ahead of time who you want at the delivery and let everyone know beforehand, who will and also who will not be present when you are laboring and delivering. Decide that you are the parents now, and you will be making all these decisions based on what is best for your new family and not anyone else's. Decide who will be guardian in the event it is needed and get that person's permission and add that to your will.
Decide that is it very okay to make mistakes and very okay to change your mind and even more okay to give yourself permission to forgive yourself. Decide that some things are out of our control and that we hand those things over to others better able to decide.
Labor and delivery and the post partum period and all the years ahead of parenting are all in process and somethings just have to be lived and then the outcome is revealed and you will do the very best you can, after you know you have done your homework, learned what you need to make the best decisions and moved on. I think that if you find the resources you need ahead of time: childbirth education and the doctors and midwives of your choice, a doula, if you want one, a lactation consultant to call if you need one, then you will be prepared and good to go.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your pregancy and time alone with your partner. No pressure. Do your homework and it will happen when it's supposed to, the best way for what you can control and give up what you can't control. I always think that dancing your way through labor makes it easier for gravity to do what it's meant to do. Get that baby out of there so you can go home and learn how to be a parent. That takes alot of time and even more decision making.