Monday, April 8, 2013

The Birth of a Birth Nerd

Yesterday Baby and I went to a monthly gathering of our fellow birth nerds to watch the second DVD of More Business of Being Born. If you don't know about The Business of Being Born you should check it out. It's a pretty sweet movie.

Anyway, I realized that I have totally become a birth nerd.

When Boo and I started this whole pregnancy/birth/parenting roller coaster I was a typical girl. I knew enough about pregnancy and birth to roughly fill a thimble, I thought that meant I knew everything, and I was not really interested in anything else. I got myself a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting". I read it chapter by chapter relishing the tidbits about my baby's size and development each week, and was perfectly okay with the fact that the book doesn't really offer any useful information about birth, although I didn't know it was devoid of useful information at the time.

As I was reading ahead, and got to the chapter on birthing classes I realized that we were going to have to birth the baby. It wasn't like I didn't know before, it was more like I hadn't realized just exactly what that meant. So, in a near panic I started searching and searching for a birth class. Enter J. She is not only a Doula, but an independent birth instructor certified in several curriculum focusing on natural (meaning unmedicated) birth. As Boo and I debated the costs and time commitments of her class (at a few hundred dollars and 12 weeks) vs the hospital class (at $60 and 4 hours on one Saturday) Boo in his infinite wisdom suggested we take the longer more expensive route, because "you can never have too much information".

Setting up the class was another trip. J teaches on a rolling schedule, and her current class was already in session. She informed me that we could join the next session, starting in late October. The only problem there: Baby would be born before the class was over...(This is the first clue that the book is complete birth trash. Shouldn't the birth class chapter be early enough in the pregnancy to actually take a birth class??? I digress...) But! Because J LOVES what she does, and truly believes in parents having an informed birth, she worked us in to an ongoing private class. So after a quick crash course to cover the weeks we had missed we jumped right in.

I must say, before the class I thought my little thimble of birth knowledge was quite vast and comprehensive. I was wrong. So so wrong. By week 3 (of the class) I realized how far in over my head I truly was. By week 5 I was desperate to get my hands on every book on J's recommended reading list. By week 7 I was committed to a natural unmedicated (yeah that means no drugs) childbirth, and Boo was on his way to convincing me we needed a Doula. (If you don't know what a Doula is, Google it. Then multiply what they do for a pregnant/laboring mother by about 5,000,000 and you might have an idea...) So, we hired J to stick with us after class, and be the Doula in attendance at our birth.

While my birth story absolutely plays a leading role in my own birth as a birth nerd, that is a story for a different day.

Here we are then, on the back side of birth, with the most delicious Baby ever, and instead of relishing the fact that it was over as so many people do I was mesmerized by what I had done, producing this little human, and not only did I want to do it again, but I wanted to learn so much more about it! I wanted to know how other people had done it. I wanted to know how I could do it better the next time. And I really really wanted to do it again.

When J first assembled the group to watch The Business of Being Born I couldn't wait. A bunch of birth nerds sitting around watching birth videos?!? Yes please! Now it is top among some of the mom/baby activities that I participate in. I love everything about it.

As I was sitting in the living room yesterday, in a house I had never been to, surrounded by women that I don't actually 'know', I realized that what we all have in common is birth. Everyone has a different story, or stories, but it doesn't matter. We were all brought there by birth. We came to watch a tribute to the many different birth stories that exist, but also to share our own. To laugh about how we all thought we knew what was going on before, and how clueless we now realize we were. To share our concerns about upcoming births, and our experiences past and present.

I'm not really sure why I needed to write this post. Who really cares if I am a total nerd about all things birth now? Maybe it was just a way to say thank you to J. Thanks J, for introducing me to the beauty of birth, and for including me in your birth nerd circle. I really feel like this is where I belong.


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