And Leap

"Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep. It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap."

Throughout each of my pregnancies, I've had certain songs that resonated with me during that time. When I was pregnant with Brigid, one of the songs that I listened to repeatedly was "Defying Gravity," from the show Wicked. There were a couple of lines that particularly stood out. One of them is above, particular the second sentence.

November 11, 2008, was my official due date. I hoped I'd have Brigid before that date, but the morning November 11 dawned with me still pregnant, and no sign of impending labor. In fact, it would be nine days later, on November 20, 2008, before Brigid would make her appearance at last, but on November 11, I was still hopeful that I'd be holding her ex utero within just a day or two.

Choosing an unassisted pregnancy and an unassisted birth had been the easy part. The best way to describe an unassisted pregnancy for me is blissful. No, I didn't have formal prenatal care from an outside source, but I took excellent care of myself. I monitored myself for issues, in more or less the same manner that a care provider would have monitored me. For many reasons, I approached my due date feeling good (with the exception of the SPD, but I have yet to find a care provider who can do much more than offer sympathy or a chiropractor recommendation for that!).

Really, going "past my due date" was the hard part. Not the birth (which was quick, but you have to wait until next Friday to hear about it), but the nine days that stretched in front of me. Many times when you read of women who have gone past their due dates, they are readying to be defiant in the face of pressure to induce or submit to testing they feel is unnecessary. There's a feeling of empowerment, I suspect, that comes from that defiance.

When you're the only care provider you have, there's nothing to defy. There's no reason to be empowered in the face of adversity, because there is no adversity. There's just you, and there's just waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Instead of defiance, there is surrender.

When I had gotten pregnant, I had known what I wanted to do for my pregnancy and birth. It was "too late" for me to change my mind, even at the beginning of the pregnancy. I had trusted my instincts, and I had even closed my eyes to the outside pressures and naysayers.

It wasn't Brigid's birthday. In retrospect, though, I can say that November 11, 2008 was the day that I leapt.


Smrt Mama said...

I love this. I think that you should call November 11th "leaping day" and celebrate it every year. :)

Julia said...

I had my daughter unassisted in 2001. It was a healthy and joyful birth.

Wildiris said...

I had my second son in 1993 unassisted without any Dr. documentation. Getting a birth certificate was one of the most difficult jobs. It took three years. My two daughters were born without assistance as well. At some point in the nine months I saw a Dr. once to save myself the hassle of getting a birth certificate. I could not imagine going into the hospital as I had to with my first son, but I doubt my first son would have survived without the hospital. I had planned to have him at home.

Having an unassisted birth means taking total responsibility for your life and another's.

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