Wednesday, December 5, 2007


So now that I am halfway through this pregnancy I have come to accept the fact that one day this child will leave my body. I took sex ed in middle school, my mother took out books from the library about this before I was in middle school, I knew that was true. But it was an abstract truth until now.

Women have given me lots of conflicting advice about how to deal with childbirth. From take the epidural, don't be a hero, to the pain has a purpose, don't fear it - work with it. I know women who had cesarian sections out of medical necessity, others out of convenience. I know women who gave birth vaginally. My doula danced through her labor (no, really! she did!), with no pain meds, and pulled her child from her nethers. I hate her, but that's why she's my doula:-)

I saw a 20/20 segment about waterbirth when I was in 8th grade. It looked so calm, so serene. When I saw the baby swim into the water I said to myself "That's it. That's what I want!" I have held to that mental image for a long time. So when the midwife at the OB/GYN said their practice does not perform water births I was crushed. There is not a hospital in this city that does it, I've checked. Some birthing centers will allow labor in a tub, but not delivery. Doctors want 360 degree access to the laboring mother, and many tubs are against a wall.

So I am faced with a choice: water birth at home, or hospital birth. I am not sick, I'm having a baby. I've said from the beginning I will not have a cesarian unless it is medically imperative. I'm not keen on doing it in the hospital. Unless of course I could go to a hospital in Phila where I could give birth in the water. Sadly that's not an option for me, and I'm not interested in travelling to North Jersey to give birth. I still have lots of research to do, but if I do decide to have a water birth, it might mean I'll have to switch doctors.

There are midwives in the city who have experience with water births and admitting privileges at hospitals, for emergencies, and also accept my insurance. There are companies that sell and rent birthing tubs. There are websites dedicated to promoting water birth. I am not at a loss for information, it's just going to take a lot of time to do the research.

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