As expected, baby stuff is often the foremost thing on my mind right now. Specifically, I have started thinking a lot about where I stand on the line of holistic to modern convenience. Typically I'm a rather holistic person. I'm not extreme by any means. But I do have holistic tendencies. I try to eat healthy and I try to conserve where possible. I tend to avoid medications where possible and much prefer to treat the cause, not the symptom. I have lost a lot of faith in general practitioner doctors who a) can never actually figure out what's wrong with me and thus b) always prescribe medication to treat symptoms. I'm most annoyed when they prescribe things like Lortab when Ibuprofen is sufficient to treat the pain. Anyway... that's another story. Point is, I tend towards the holistic side of things.
Now I have to decide if I want to be holistic in birth and parenting. The most pressing question on my mind is epidural or not. My gut instinct is to not have an epidural. I want the least amount of medications in myself and affecting my baby as possible. I firmly believe that the female body was designed for childbirth and that I am completely capable of handling the pain that accompanies it. I asked my sister, Jalin, mother of 5, what she did. She had an epidural with the first, because the contractions were coming one on top of the other and she never had time to relax enough to prepare her body for labor. After that, she never had an epidural and prefers it that way. She prefers to be able to feel what is happening, instead of just pushing when someone tells her to push.
On the other hand, I'm not exactly a fan of pain. The most convincing argument I've heard for an epidural is, "People went to the dentist for hundreds of years without anesthetic. Would you go without it now just because it can be done?"
My next dilemma is my doctor. I have an OB/GYN right now. But do I really want an OB/GYN? Or do I want a midwife? Don't worry, I'm talking about a Certified Midwife... preferably one that is associated with a hospital. I like my OB/GYN well enough, but I don't feel overly comfortable talking to him. The thought of bringing up my holistic questions with him just doesn't seem all that appealing to me. I like the stigma that midwives carry of being more involved and more of a friend than just a doctor. Also, the simple fact that they're a midwife makes me more comfortable bringing up holistic concerns. But do I really want to change doctors at 20 weeks?
Then there are parenting things. The wife of a guy I went to school with, Thora (yes, I'm a blog lurker), blogged about co-sleeping. I had never actually thought about this idea, so I spent the day doing research on the pros and cons of it. The pros sounded quite convincing, but the cons made me a little leery. But then I found this co-sleeping bassinet that quite intrigued me. It's basically a bassinet with one wall that comes down so that the baby can sleep right next to the bed and keep the close proximity and all the benefits that come with it, but also keeps the baby in a baby-safe bed that reduces the risk of suffocation that is possible with modern bedding. Another great benefit of this is the idea that we can stay in our current apartment for awhile longer, which is nice because it's a really great deal price-wise, and we can save more money to buy a house in the future. Also, we love the area, the ward, etc.
And then there are things like cloth diapers. Which, let's be honest, I want to at least try, but will never do it until I have a washer and dryer in house.
I know I don't have to decide on all of this right away, and I'm not super stressed about such decisions quite yet, but they are all things that are running through my mind, demanding research from me now so that I can make an educated decision later.
I'm also quite aware that many of you are reading this blog right now with wide eyes, a dropped jaw, and thinking, "This woman is crazy!" Trust me, I know I'm in the minority. I've already had several people express the opinion that to not get an epidural or to keep the baby in my bedroom is the result of pure insanity. In fact, I think that's what's caused me to not give this serious thought sooner. I have my own opinions on things, but I also tend to bend under peer pressure. I've chosen an OB/GYN, seriously considered an epidural, and have been spending a lot of time investigating two-bedroom apartments not because I feel they are necessary, but because everyone around me thinks they are. Today I'm kind of in the mood to make decisions based on what I feel good about. I'm in the mood to disregard what everyone else thinks, grow a spine, and do what just feels right. I know this feeling isn't gonna last forever. I know peer pressure is going press down upon me again and make me reconsider. I already made BJ promise me that if I decide to do things holistically (and that he is not opposed to said decisions, of course) that he will support me when things get tough and remind me that popularity isn't everything.
So, dear readers, I would love your comments on such things, esp. recommendations for midwives in the Provo/Orem area if you have them. I would love to know what you think. But I do request that if you're entirely negative to any of these approaches and have no support to give to my decisions (if they end up being holistic), please keep them to yourself.