Friday, March 21, 2014

Yet another labor metaphor...

So I went on a run this morning.  You wouldn't know it by looking at my "Runtastic Pro" automatic post on my Facebook account though.  It would say that I walked 9.45K.  It would say that because of a fundamental principle that I tend to live by.  I don't like to feel externally obligated to do something.

A couple examples:

1. If someone is in my car, it is not a wise choice to tell me how to drive.  I am fine being a passenger too, but when I'm behind the wheel, I will ask for directions if I don't know how to get somewhere.  I may not travel the most logical route, I will go the way I know. Sometimes I will even take detours that are slightly out of the way to drive past something that is familiar to me, a house I lived in, a park I took my kids to, etc., if it is in a forward direction and approximately toward where I'm headed.  I'm emotional like that.  Don't like it? Don't ride with me.  I have been known to travel in exactly the opposite direction as instructed when I have not asked for a passengers opinion.  It's in my blood, I get this particular trait from my Dad.

2. I have a lot of food sensitivities.  I will VERY often eat before I go out…pretty much anywhere.  I am terrified to eat at most potlucks and even restaurants because even when I think I have covered all the bases, it often turns out that I receive or unknowingly ingest something that will impact my wellbeing for several days. The hardest situation though, is going to someones home where they have lovingly prepared something that they believed I could safely eat and in doing so have unintentionally  obligated me to have some….even if I already ate, even if I still doubt that it is actually "kristinable", as my friends call it.  I feel bad when A. Everyone else is needlessly subjected to my ridiculous limitations (limitations that I wouldn't choose for myself) or worse…B. That the host has gone out of their way to make something specifically for me, separately.  I honestly prefer to just eat before I show up, perhaps sample a couple things if they clearly won't cause a problem, have a square of chocolate from my purse and a cup of coffee or a glass of wine for dessert.  It is less stressful for everyone and I don't have to feel worried about what I ate, or feel like an A-hole for refusing.

So back to my run.  When I get ready to go, I have my phone strapped to my arm and my neon jacket on for visibility.  I start my app so I can see had far and how fast I have traveled.
It gives me several activity options:
Running, cycling, mountain biking, race cycling, nordic walking, inline skating, hiking, walking, riding, sailing, surfing, kitesurfing, wake boarding, kayaking, hand biking, cross skating, skiing, snowboarding, back country skiing, cross country skiing, golfing, paragliding, motorbiking, american football, baseball, cross fit, dancing, ice hockey, skateboarding, rumba, gymnastics, rugby, stand up paddling, or other.

What I do doesn't really fit into any of these categories.  I usually try to run as much as I can; at 42 I'm aware of my knees and hips and don't want to risk injuries which would preclude me from living an active lifestyle for a long long time.  I frankly don't like running that much, but I know it gets my heart rate up better than walking.  My "run" is approximately a 10-11 minute mile.  I call what I do "wogging" because I walk when I want/need to.  Up hills and down hills, and once I have completed 5K.  There is no option on my app for "Wogging".

Since I don't like to be externally obligated…even by my phone…I choose walking as the activity on Runtastic Pro, then all expectations are met and it gives me the opportunity to exceed my own expectations to the degree that I so choose.

Additionally, when I remove the pressure to do something because I HAVE TO, which automatically makes me hate it, I now only do that thing if I want to and it empowers me.  I also know that for wogging, for me personally, I prefer to do it alone.  I don't like the pressure of keeping up with someone, or slowing them down.  So I ran 5K this morning, then I walked an additional 4.5K (running parts of it because I was going to be late to teach a PE class).

It is my choice, my challenge, and my success.  If my knees had started hurting or if I was too exhausted, I had given myself permission to slow down by pressing that walk button.  Even if I had walked the entire 9.45K, it was going to be a success because that is already an accomplishment.

Now for my labor metaphor.

I believe that there are a lot of women out there who, while they may know that fewer interventions throughout labor is generally healthier (meaning less straps, less immobility, less chemical cocktail for mom and baby, less surgery), they may hesitate to state out loud that they intend to have a natural childbirth for fear of being boxed in, afraid of facing the real possibility that it may not work out that way and the perception of failure if there is a need for intervention.
Your intention really matters and there is a way around this problem.
You can approach it using the philosophy above.

Push the walk button:
I want the healthiest possible birth for my baby.

Prepare yourself for the healthiest possible birth:
Mentally, physically and emotionally.  Know your own needs: What empowers you? What do you need for comfort? Who supports you? What are your weaknesses?  Your strengths?

Know your reasonable limitations:
Take a comprehensive Childbirth Education Class (click the link on the right to learn about mine or click the link here to purchase my curriculum and work independently: ) so you have an opportunity to understand your body and your baby's needs, as well as an understanding of imposed external hospital policies, routine procedures and agenda's that don't align with your goals.
Write a thorough, friendly birth plan that sets a boundary for giving informed consent for all procedures (outside of an emergency) and be informed about the things that may come up.
The boundary of "the safest possible birth" is reflected in your birth plan which…like the scenario above, gives you permission to change the plan and walk (accept intervention) if it becomes the safest option for you or your baby.

There is no box except the one you create for yourself.  Set the bar at healthy…it is an accomplishment to have a safe, healthy birth even if it wasn't your perceived, most ideal version.  Set the bar at healthy and then choose to push yourself (your choice, your challenge, your success) as far as you want, as far as you can without judgement or worry about disappointment, certainly not failure.  When you have a healthy baby, that is the success.  To "run" just means that you are willing to educate yourself, risk discomfort, risk having to say that you really tried for a natural birth but that circumstances didn't allow for it, but also being open to the very real possibility that with some education, support, and your expertise of your own body, you may well have a healthy AND beautiful, intervention free, low risk, welcome for you and your baby.  Maybe you can run faster and farther than you imagined.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.