What a better time to write then on a rainy, yucky Friday? Baby Cooper is sleeping in Great Grandma's (G.G.) arms, the dogs are all passed out, I have a full belly and a warm sweater... sounds like perfect timing to me! There's been a lot going on lately actually. I finally got my photography web-site up and running. When I say finally, I literally mean f-i-n-a-l-l-y. I won't even go into what took so long, there's no sense in harping on the past when there's so much exciting stuff happening in the future! Grammy and Grampy were here this week for about three days, they stopped in on their trip south to Florida for the Winter (aaahh, the life!!). It was a great three days, it went by way too fast as always, but luckily we are heading south in a few weeks to visit them and get a taste of some warm weather. Thank goodness too, I really do not like the cold. I hate it as a matter of fact. Anyhow... more about my journey. As you read in my previous post I had just switched provider's from an OB to a Midwife at 35 weeks and boy were we absolutely thrilled with our decision! As it turned out, each and every visit we had with the midwives was the same as the first, if not better! I cannot stress how important it is to have the full support of your caregiver for your labor and delivery, not to mention your pregnancy. I hear a lot of women say that they would "like to try natural childbirth, but aren't opposed to interventions". First, I think it is great that so many women even consider it. But, I believe that in order to "try" natural childbirth, you must be 1- educated and 2- supported. I feel I can honestly say this now because I have given birth and know the challenges you overcome as a mother and as a woman during your pregnancy, labor and delivery. What stands out to me is the preparation process. I believe that simply wanting to have a natural childbirth and thinking you'll try it aren't quite enough to ensure you will have that type of delivery. You have to ask yourself just how serious you are about doing this? Now before I go any further I will say that one of the more important things I learned in my childbirth class was that you must have an open mind and you cannot beat yourself up if things don't go as planned. You can be the most prepared woman in the world and still end up with interventions, because you never know what is going to happen during your labor and delivery. I personally know of two women (one a midwife!) who ended up with an epidural after enduring nearly 24 hours or more of natural labor. Both of these women are very educated in natural childbirth and had every intention of delivering naturally. Even though they did end up with interventions, their births were both simply amazing. The point I'm trying to make is that labor is not easy, even the most prepared women may end up in situations with their births that they didn't plan but being educated on your choices and how to deal with certain situations if they arise will inevitably help you to make the right decisions. To start, there are a ton of classes available to women interested in natural childbirth. As mentioned in a previous post I took the class A Brighter Birth. The class is 8 weeks long, you go once a week on Wednesday. My class was made up of four couples. I'm sure some other classes have a few more or a few less. Even if you choose a class other than this one, I very highly recommend you sign up for a class that is taught over the course of several weeks. There is so much to learn about yourself, your partner, your options, your caregiver, your hospital... There's so much to know and to grasp and to keep close to your heart for when the *time* arrives. I pulled this quote from A Brighter Birth's homepage: "The knowledge of how to give birth without outside interventions lies deep within each woman. Successful childbirth depends on an acceptance of the process" - Suzanne Arms. What a powerful quote! If you think about it, how many times have you heard a woman say she was going to have a natural childbirth and the response was "Wow, that's great! You are so strong! You can do it!" ? I bet you really can't even remember ever hearing that, right? It's so unfortunate too because as much as we need and love modern medicine, over the years it has made women believe that it's crazy to give birth without a host of medications and outside interventions. It has made women think that our bodies are not made to do this, that our bodies are not strong enough to bring life into this world without interventions and doctors and nurses all telling us how we should be doing it instead of letting us listen to what our bodies are telling us to do. In a childbirth class you will not only learn different methods for dealing with the pain of your labor but you will also learn a bit about yourself as well. As you learn about natural childbirth you will begin to learn how to really listen to your body, to your instincts. You begin to trust in yourself more. And most importantly you trust 'the process' of natural childbirth. With this new trust you have along with the support of your partner, doula and caregiver, your on the road to the birth you imagine.