Today I went to a place called OM Baby. Here they offer a variety of birthing classes, parenting classes, yoga classes for pregnant women or new moms, and breastfeeding classes. I know what you are thinking: The place was full of hippies and smelled like Burt’s Bees and Nag Champa. Well, not really. It was warm and friendly with a classroom and a library. It had a small store with eco-friendly bottles and breast pumps and cloth diapers. It had a variety of herbal teas that were pregnant mommy friendly. It was a place that felt good to me. It was soothing and made me want to give birth. I am so excited to get started there. Now comes the fun part where some of you will think I am crazy. I know because I have already seen people roll their eyes and tell me I don’t know what I am talking about.
I am going to have a natural birth. I have opted out of all drugs and plan on laboring at home until the last minute when I will head to the hospital. I know that birthing my daughter will be painful and I am ok with that. I am a woman and I am designed to have babies. Women have been doing this for millions of years. I want to be awake and aware during the birthing process and I want to feel any pain that comes with it. I have been told that if you opt out of drugs and pain killers, you come through feeling like a warrior and with a high like none other. That, to me, sounds wonderful! My daughter has to work hard to come out and I will work hard with her. We will do this together. I do not want a pill or a shot in my back that will cause me to feel nothing and forget this moment. I do not think I will have another child of my own, I did not think I would ever even have this one, and I want this to be something I never forget.
Once we make it through the birth, I will breast feed. This is another thing that some friends have heard from me and, surprisingly, gave me a look of horror. When did the natural process of things become so taboo? Our bodies were designed to give birth and to feed our babies. The nutrients from Brest milk are all natural and specific to our children. The process of breast feeding is a bonding time for mother and child. The breast milk is full of immunity builders and acts as a natural immunization for a variety of diseases. To top it off, it reduces the risk of SIDS, child obesity, and postpartum depression. Even more, it burns about 500 calories a day! It is a workout you can do from a rocking chair. To be honest, I am not sure why people raise an eyebrow to something so natural and I do not know why women chose to use formula which is anything but natural.
Cloth diapers are another thing I am planning on, but think I will save that post for when I am actually using them since I am sure it will be a lot more entertaining. For now, I have been surrounding myself with women who think like me, including a Facebook group called “crunchy Mommies,” and I have been trying to avoid people who tell me I’ll be screaming for an epidural the minute I go into labor. I have talked to dozens of moms who have been through natural and drug induced births and the only ones that made it seem like a totally wonderful, non-scary experience were the ones who went traditional and all natural. And if you are wondering, yes, I do start my mornings with green smoothies, vegan organic granola, and GMO free organic soymilk!
***I would like to add a disclaimer to this post. I think ANY woman who carries a child for 9 months and gives birth to that child is pretty amazing. And, if she loves and cares for the child while having to deal with all the other things life throws at us, it doesn’t really matter whether she fed the child breast milk or formula. I admire mothers in general and we all decide how we should do things and we all have opinions. However, I don’t want people to judge me for my choices and I do not want to be misunderstood as someone who is judging anyone else.