Monday, December 12, 2011

Childbirth as rx'd

I'll start this post with this disclaimer: this is my first pregnancy, and I have abolsutely zero idea what labor and delivery are actually going to be like.  So any mothers out there, feel free to tell me I'm completely off base here.   

As a crossfitter and first time mom, the labor and delivery process seems like the ultimate unknown and unknowable.  All of the sudden, 3...2...1...GO!, and you just have to be ready for whatever your body is going to go through.  Justin and I have been attending natural childbirth classes, and last week we talked about the labor process, particularly about the pain of labor.  We started with this quote:

It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require willpower.
You will need to make healthy decisions.
It requires sacrifice.
You will need to push your body to its max.
There will be temptation.
But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it's worth it.
Naturally, I associated the quote with CrossFit. (In fact, I think I've seen it on another CrossFit gym's website before.) The sick thing about crossfitters is that we actually like to put our bodies through pain and push the limits.  Miko Salo did 1,000 burpees for time?  Shit, I can do that.  I'll do 1,001.  (And I did. It took 76:59).  So while talking about the pain of childbirth, I'm sure my reaction was not the typical freaked out, first time mother reaction.  I actually got excited for the process.  It was like being told "there's this super crazy hard workout. I can't even describe it, it hurts so bad. Tons of other women have done it, and you can too, but you have to wait 6 months to try it."  Of course I'm going to get excited to go through this!  I found myself sitting there almost wishing I didn't have to wait until May to do this WOD.  Justin must have had a similar thought because the first thing he asked after class was "so are you just going to treat this like a crazy CrossFit workout?"

A lot of people think the whole natural childbirth thing is silly, but here's how I look at it:  (1) there's a good reason for the pain, (2) I'm way more freaked out about the risks to the baby of unneeded medical intervention than I am about it hurting, and (3) I want to experience what it actually feels like, pain and all.  In CrossFit terms,  med-free labor and delivery = rx'd childbirth, and I'm planning on doing it rx'd.  But labor is going to be like doing a workout with an undetermined number of rounds.  If you told me to do 5 pull ups every minute for an unknown number of minutes, I could do it rx'd for a pretty long time, and I would continue to do it rx'd until my arms were about to fall off and I was finishing the 5th pull up at 59 1/2 seconds, but eventually I wouldn't be able to do it rx'd anymore, and in order to keep doing pull ups I would have to scale and use a band.  If I've been in labor for days and completely miserable, you will probably be able to talk me into drugs.  As long as the end result is a healthy baby, I'll be happy. 

Hmm ... I think I just wrote my birth plan.

166 days to go!

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