Who’s a big girl now?
Hi! Here I am at 32 weeks pregnant! Read: I’m in the first week of my eighth month of being pregnant and I honestly cannot believe how time is racing by. I keep saying to my coworkers that the bigger my belly gets, the redder my lipstick will be. I need something to bring passerby’s eyes a little higher. I’m hard to miss.
I am constantly bewildered at the how much this little one is growing. For me, pregnancy was something that I knew I would go through, but it always remained in the future. I’ve been blessed with an overall easy time. When I look down at myself, I can’t believe how far I’ve come and how close everything really is.
Over the last few years, I’ve become interested in the idea of having a natural delivery. I actually read a bunch of blogs on the subject — for fun believe it or not, and watching the documentary The Business of Being Born solidified my decision. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to find the right doctor’s practice for me. Washington, DC’s c-section rate is a solid 30%. One thing that I am terrified of is abdominal surgery. No thank you. I really liked the obgyn practice that I had been with for years, but they too had a very high c-section rate which sat uncomfortably with me. I did a bunch of research and asked all my friends and co-workers who had had babies what route they went through. Eventually I was introduced via email to two women who delivered with a midwifery practice that is affiliated at a local hospital — it’s the only one in DC. I attended an informational session with the practice which is run by four midwives. There they talked about how common it is to treat pregnancy and child birth as a pathology — something that you treat rather than allow to progress on its own. The over medicalizing of labor can introduce a sort of spiral to more treatments (pitocin, epidural, more pitocin) and then before you know it, your body isn’t in charge anymore, it is just trying to respond to all of the chemicals in the bloodstream. This spiral can (not always) introduce stress on the baby, on the mother and send the doctor suggesting more interventions when things don’t progress in a timely manner. That isn’t the path for me.
In order to enroll in the midwife program, patients must be in “excellent” health with no pre-existing conditions, get plenty of exercise, and be able to follow their super strict nutritional guidelines. Thankfully, I fit the requirements and was excited for an excuse to do all my grocery shopping at Whole
Pay Check Foods for organic produce and meat. The approach is holistic in a sense that they want the mother to be getting necessary vitamins from whole foods and don’t necessarily even recommend taking extra supplements — the idea being, if you are following their dietary guidelines, you are getting the nutrition you need. (I still am taking prenatals vitamins on top of the caveman diet I’m on.)
The eating and exercise have proven to be the most difficult. The cravings come on strong. Never in my life have I eaten more raisins and medjool dates. Oh, and chocolate. Like, daily. While I continue to have jam packed days at the office, it remains hard to get enough exercise too. It’s easy to say “oh just go for a walk at lunch” but most days I barely have a moment to step away to grab a Sweet Green salad to scarf down at my desk. So to compensate, I have simply started getting up earlier and Daryle and I go for a long walk around the neighborhood. It’s actually a really special time for us because in the midst of our busy-busy lives — on these walks we hold hands, catch up, and admire other people’s dogs and gardens.
Through the pregnancy, we have grown even closer. Never could I have ever imagined a more loving person to be with. Daryle remains patient and sweet, and so supportive through my quest to have a natural delivery. I guess I sort of had a fear that being a guy, he would be grossed out by our natural childbirth class or just disinterested. Seriously — there were those guys in our class. But even through my emotional sobbing fits (it really happens) he remains unphased. And that makes me happy.
So from here, I pray for continued good health. A lot of people have told me to not be wedded to the idea of natural childbirth. And I will admit, I’m no psychic — I don’t know what the future holds. But on the other hand, I can’t get over the fact that people doubt the strength of the mind and body. This is what the female body was designed to do. If I said I was running a marathon, I doubt people would say “wow, you’re out of your mind” but would say something like “good for you!” And that’s how I am looking at this. I’m doing the best I can with what I have. Preparing myself mentally and physically for when the time comes to meet this little person inside me. I will admit, the unknown is absolutely petrifying. But I believe I am up to the challenge. And what a better way to get me through the unknowing fear when I know I’ll have my own little creation to hold in my arms.