Birthing Ayurveda: Week 21—Deciding Where To Deliver
Welcome to Birthing Ayurveda, where we follow one woman's pregnancy experience week by week—from a positive home pregnancy test all the way to delivery.
I started my pregnancy care pretty quickly with a physician. It was what kind of fell into my lap through a recommendation from another physician friend. Plus I was fairly new to this small town in West Texas, where, at the time, there were not any options besides a pretty traditional hospital delivery, with or without doula (birth companion and post-birth supporter) support. I loved my obstetrician. She was kind, intelligent, and capable. But something just was not clicking for me.
I then learned this week that a new birthing center opened up right next to the hospital. I am fully supportive of well-trained midwives and their work and so my husband and I decided to go take a look. Plus that gnawing feeling inside of me that the birthing experience I would get through my obstetrician, despite her amazing qualities, was not what I would want, just would not go away (though I could not exactly pinpoint why).
The midwife who opened the center was amazing and extremely welcoming. The center itself had a wonderful feel, was spacious, cozy, and felt very supportive of whatever birthing experience I would like. I met the midwife that would deliver Charlie (the name we call the baby) later, and we seemed to see eye-to-eye on various topics. I also felt like she would be able to guide me to do my very best to have a natural delivery.
There are many options for your birthing experience. You can deliver at home, at a birthing center, at a hospital with a midwife, at a hospital with an obstetrician with the support of a doula or midwife, or at a hospital with an obstetrician alone.
I am a firm believer that there is no right way to deliver. The one that is right for you lies in your heart and in your consciousness. It is important that you feel comfortable with the risks and benefits of any of the many options. Problems, though rare in a healthy mother, can and do happen during labor and delivery (if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying).
I had to answer honestly whether the emergencies and complications that I have seen during my training would flood me with worry during my labor if I was not in a hospital. I had to ask whether I would be willing to accept care from someone who was extremely knowledgeable in complications of pregnancy but not as present or involved in a natural, healthy labor and delivery. My husband also needed to ask himself these questions, and I had to listen. If a rare complication were to happen to me outside of the hospital, would he be able to accept it? Or, on the other hand, would we both feel fulfilled and more content from an environment and people who believe just as much in the spiritual and emotional aspects as the physical process of delivery itself? And there were so many more questions.
Here are more questions for you to consider as you make this decision for yourself:
Remember, every option has risks and benefits. Be prepared for both.
Of course, if you know enough mothers, you also know that you can only set intentions and do your best. It is also important to be yielding to your body and what fate has for you if your circumstances keep taking you away from your perfect plan. This is the spiritual practice of giving birth. Learn to yield despite your intentions.