Isn’t interesting that when you’re pregnant everyone shares their pregnancy and birth stories with you? It’s almost as though you have carte blanche to share the details and most intimate stories of your life with someone because they are about to go through it as well. I’ve heard stories of c-sections, natural births, epidurals, water births, complications, inducing, episiotomies, premature births from many women in my life. Even those who haven’t had children of their own have to share a story about a sister, a cousin or an aunt. And I’ve been told many different horror stories too. My pregnant girlfriends and I wonder why people feel the need to “warn us” with their scary birth stories. I’d much prefer to hear from those who have positive birth stories – yes, they do exist. It does seem like you’re much more likely to hear the long, drawn out labour story then the quick natural birth story because it is more captivating for the audience.
The first time I had ever heard the possibility of using a midwife was about 4 years ago, when a good friend at the time had shared her home birth story. She told me that when I got pregnant, to make sure I got a midwife. I didn’t know that they were covered by our provincial health plan (they are) and that you could still birth in a hospital in the care of a midwife. A few years later this friend had one more home birth – a wonderful, safe and joyous experience. When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I did was call to get a midwife – I had heard that it’s hard to get a spot since there is a shortage of midwives in Ontario. Then I told my husband I was pregnant (yes, the receptionist at the midwives office knew first). I didn’t know much about the role of a midwife so they provided books and literature so that I could educate myself.
One of the things I have really liked about being the care of midwives is the amount of education that is encouraged. Every visit a different book is recommended and I have watched several documentaries as well, based on their recommendations. Also, I feel like I am a part of the community, having met several of the midwives in the practice in passing, and also having met other pregnant friends who are also in the care of the midwives. I like that our appointments involve a good conversation and an open forum for questions. It’s also nice that Dan has been able to come to the appointments too – secretly I think he likes being surrounded by so many women!
So back to the scary stories – here’s what I can relate to in my life. I haven’t been through my birth story yet, so I don’t know what’s going to happen and therefore cannot comment yet. But there has been another time in my life where people shared their scary stories with me, and I ended up having a great experience. When I was preparing for Ironman, I heard so many stories of difficulties, people dropping out, ending up in the medical tent, even someone not making it out of the water from the swim. I did my preparation, trained not only my body but my mind, visualized my race and my finish over and over again. And guess what? It ended up being an amazing experience. I truly believe that we create our experiences in our minds before they happen. And I have been training for this birth since I found out I was pregnant. Although I won’t be sharing my plans on this blog, I do plan to have a safe, wonderful and joyous experience – and I promise to share the story after wards.