We writers at Eco-Child’s Play are writing about our birth experiences this week. My son’s birth was a fairly traditional hospital birth. It wasn’t until…oh… about a week before my son was born that I started really getting into the natural movement…way to late to do anything but make minor changes to my birth plan. So, I’m going to write about a friend of mine’s “natural c-section.”
My friend, a yoga teacher, living a green and organic life in Northern California, was happy to find herself finally married and pregnant in her forties. Well educated and well informed she planned to have a home birth until she received the devastating news from her OB and another OB and a series of midwives – a prior episode with fibroids, involving surgery, prevented her from having a vaginal birth, let alone a home birth. A C-section would be required.
I felt it was important to write about her story because there are ways to make a hospital birth, even a C-section, if you or your OB feel it’s necessary, more “natural” and feel less like medical intervention.
With time to plan, my friend worked with her OB to schedule a day that her husband, a chiropractor and a close friend, a doctor, would be available. She selected and her husband made a CD of soft, calming, mystical music to play during the procedure and planned to have a CD player in the surgical suite.
Prior to the day, she went over her birthing plan which included somewhat lowered lights and voices in the room and got the OK from the surgical team.
On the day of the birth, she woke up early, did some yoga stretches and headed off to the hospital with her team (which included a doula) a special blanket for baby and soothing, homelike accessories for her room.
The procedure went smoothly and the baby was immediately handed to her husband for a chiropractic adjustment, skipping the almost requisite visit to the isolette common during a hospital birth. Her husband, not nurses and doctors, held their son while my friend recovered from the surgery and brought him to her room to start nursing.
After the birth she made sure to post her birth plan on her hospital room door. The plan included instructions on the birth itself as well as post-birth do’s and don’ts. An advocate of “attachment parenting” from the onset, it was important for her that the child never leave her side. The one time when the nurses “insisted”, the father tagged along and held him throughout the exam. Since she had a c-section and was holed up for a few days, she brought a lamp into the room to avoid the harsh overhead lights, along with a CD player to play soothing music.
My friend ensured that her baby would not be vaccinated and would not spend anytime in the nursery. The only ones to hold him were her, her husband and family.
While not optimal (if you desire a home birth) a hospital one can be made less like a surgery and more like a natural activity with proper planning. If you think you might have a hospital birth, talk to your doctor and the hospital regarding their typical procedures and put together a plan that works for you.