March 15, 2010

Let Go and Let Birth

I finally gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Mia Jordan Frazer one month ago, on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 11:47am. She is gorgeous, weighing in at 6lbs, 4.5oz, measuring 20 inches long. She screamed as they pulled her out, before they could even start to suction her. She wanted her Mama badly, but my arms were tied down. Yes, as scary and wrong as that sounds, they were, because I ended up having a c-section instead of being able to give birth naturally. After all that! Hours and hours of daily Bikram yoga practice, stomach crunches, squats, push-ups, man, I was ready for the long-haul labor and the glory of womanhood in pushing this baby out of my birth canal. But it was not to be so.

So here is what I say to you pregnant ladies out there, or Mom’s feeling blue because they didn’t get to execute their ultimate birth plan… LET GO AND LET BIRTH.

That’s right. Go ahead and draw up your perfect birth plan. Print 6 copies if you want and hand them out as you waddle into the birthing center grimacing between contractions, BUT, leave your birth plan at the door mentally. Its good to have a guide, a GUIDE, but the most important thing to remember is that having your baby is going to be wonderful no matter how he or she ends up arriving. Don’t allow your experience to be shadowed by disappointment, guilt, sadness or fear that things aren’t going the way you imagined. The most important thing is that he/she arrives SAFELY and that you are healthy, so let nature take its course, and let the doctors and nurses do their job. I didn’t want a c-section, not at all. But when the choice had to be made, I made the best choice for my daughter’s safety, and I’m so glad I did.

Birth plans are awesome to have, but don not hold on to it so tightly that you lose sight of why you’re there… to have a BABY, not to have the “ultimate” birth experience. Maybe everything will go perfectly; maybe it will be terribly hard and complicated, even scary. I sure was scared and had NO idea what to expect regarding a c-section. My recovery has been long and painful. Now, after a month, I am finally starting to feel a little bit like myself again, and can move around more freely, and enjoy being a Mom physically. For the first two weeks I couldn’t even get my baby up at night, I had to have my husband get her and hand her to me so I could nurse her, and then he’d have to change her, burp her and put her back down. I was in INTENSE pain, and never more grateful for pain medication and Ibuprofen in my life! But I’ve gotten through it, and you will too, either way.

At my two week check up with my doctor, the same one I ran into buying my superfoods at Whole Foods, I had already dropped nearly 20 of the 24lbs I’d put on during my pregnancy. I had eaten nothing but my superfoods and smoothies through my birth and while I was in the hospital and at home, just giving my body what I felt were all the raw, bare, nutrient rich necessities it needed to heal fast and recover quicker than I would have normally. I was THRILLED! I am still waiting to work out, it’s been a month and I’m planning on slowly starting some light working out for the next week or so, and then starting back at Bikram yoga at 5 weeks post partum. I’ve experience no mood swings, no depression, and even though I’m getting very little sleep, my energy levels are still high, and I’m still able to function throughout the entire day on a high energy level, sometimes without even a nap. It feels so good knowing that all the work I put in during my pregnancy is actually paying off post partum.

I still have a little “speed bump” on my belly, and feel weaker than I was from not working out, but I’ve been walking outside for a week now, which has been a huge help. Like the nurses told me in the hospital, “GET MOVING.” It’s the fast track to recovery after birth. I started out barely making it from the bed to the couch, and maybe the bathroom alone. I couldn’t even shower by myself for the first week. But the more I moved the better I felt, and now I’m feeling much more confident, as nearly everything is “out of my system” and I’m starting to look and feel like my old self.
Things didn’t really go the way I’d planned, but I’ve refused to feel guilty about any of it, or let it hinder the wonderful things that are happening daily as I’m turning into a Mom, and finding a new sense of womanhood all at the same time.

So I urge you to let go and let birth; the experience will be as amazing as you let it be, all on its own. Either way, you can do this. Your body was made to go through this experience and will tell you what it needs. Your baby needs you to be low-key and stress free so he/she can enter the world in a joyful environment. I was tortured by the fact that I couldn’t hold my daughter right away, but she’s gotten over it, and so have I, and I now spend hours each day holding her, which we love, and I’m certain makes up for it.