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I love you… Pitocin?

20 Jan

A Post by Kate:

Throughout this whole birth-prep process I have looked forward to at least TRYING to give birth naturally. I have reserved the right to change my mind mid-stream & know if that happens I won’t feel like a failure or anything. So, now we are still hoping for a natural birth but also have an induction scheduled. There’s not much natural about a schedule, thus I find myself with a new inner struggle—I realize that I have to reshape my thinking.

Maybe I'll just pretend the Pitocin is coffee or wine instead!

I think of Pitocin as pretty on par with rat poison. Intellectually, I realize this is a bit drastic but emotionally I can’t help it. My gut reaction to the stuff is complete revulsion. Now, there is a possibility that in 5 days there will be a steady drip of this poison going into my arm. The thought makes me shudder and, honestly, kinda scares the shit out of me. (If only it would scare the baby out of me!)

I have read quite a bit about the fear/tension/pain cycle and I wholeheartedly believe in it. In a nutshell, that which we fear causes us to tense, the hormones that get released when we tense heighten our sensitivity to & perception of pain—and thus increase it.

Until now I have been pretty free of fear about this whole process. I have accepted that my body & this natural process will take over and that my brain won’t be in control. Now, I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my body & nature may not even be in control. For me, the idea of birth is empowering, beautiful, and primal. The thought of all that nature being taken away from me & replaced with arm restraints, chemicals, & florescent lights is just… powerless & terrible. I know that this is what my body was designed to do… and now, I may not get to do it on my terms. I guess I didn’t realize I was so territorial about my own power—shut up Ryan, I know what you are thinking!

Of course there is/has always been a chance I would not get to completely have a birth on my terms… In fact, listening to how that sounds makes me laugh! We have been saying for a long time that the only thing we know we can count on with birth is that it will be unpredictable & out of our control. However, the reality of the scheduled induction brings it all home in a new way. I realize I can’t be in denial about the prospect of things not going the way I would like. Wait, not just come to terms with these prospects, but accept and embrace them. As a believer in the fear/tension/pain cycle I understand that I must rethink things like Pitocin & C-Section—if these are now real possibilities for the way my baby will be brought into the world then I need to approach them with the same calm excitement I currently feel about a natural (painful) labor.

I’ve decided the best way to wrap my head around this is to revert a little bit to the “as long as the baby is ok then the details of how don’t matter” idea. I don’t totally agree with this philosophy but, focusing on the end result seems to be the best way to move forward. As a good friend said to me, “if you have to be induced, take drugs, have a c-section, what have you, I can tell you without a doubt, it will be a lot harder on you than it will be on your son.” Thinking of it that way helps put things in perspective. And of course, it’s true. All kinds of babies are born in all kinds of ways & though there may be ideals… more often than not, all the end results are just fine.

Apparently, this is my first lesson of motherhood—accepting a lack of control. Seems very appropriate. So… yay Pitocin? Ugh,  I’m not quite there yet, but working on it! Knowing that in less than a week this pregnancy chapter will be over & the new little baby chapter just beginning is an excellent incentive!

-Kate

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