December 04, 2006

stepping into curiosity

andrea_matt_belly.jpg
Matt and Andrea, back at 35 weeks, photo by Anna Kuperberg

Every week at prenatal yoga class, my teacher asks a question and we all go around and share. The question last week was, "What are you looking forward to in regards to your birth?" (besides the obvious of having the baby in your arms and it being over)

My answer fell more into the category of what am I curious about... and it turns out a lot. I am getting very curious what this horrendous PAIN everyone talks about is actually like. I'm curious how my body and mind will respond to it and who and what I will need. I'm curious what part of me will rise up: Will I be a fierce warrior? Will I be relaxed and focused and quiet? Will I cry a lot? Will all those years of yoga come in handy? Will I be afraid and anxious? Will I be all of these things in a matter of 5 minutes? Will I want drugs? Will I take them? Is the wee lad going to make his way right out? Is he in the optimal position for that?

The beauty of this question was that it had me realize that I have come full circle. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I had no idea how I wanted the birth to go. I wasn't particularly afraid, was undecided about pain meds and everything else and just wanted a healthy baby. I had waited so long for this and learned in so many ways how little control I had over the process. Who was I to decide how the birth was going to go? Birth plan? Ha!

As I learned more and more at my birth prep class, I got more and more afraid. I decided I didn't want any pain meds, we hired a doula and I read more and more. I panicked and felt irresponsible that we hadn't thought about the birth plan. I became suspicious of the doctors, the hospital, etc.

And then, somehow over these last months, I loosened my grip.

We have a fabulous doula (possibly more than one doula if one of my sweet friends who is visiting makes it for the birth) We have an incredible team of nurse midwives at one of the best hospitals in the world. I have an amazing partner who will support any choices I make (and will be there to rub my back) and I have faith that my wee boy and I will collaborate well together and will celebrate no matter how it goes down.

When I think about it now, fear creates a desire to control. As I became more and more afraid, the more I wanted to control my experience.

I feel good about where I've found myself. Open, curious, no big agenda. This is not an act of heroism for me. This is not where I pound my chest and show how powerful I am for doing it without meds. I'm really only attached to both of us being healthy. All the rest is a grand adventure. I'll keep you posted.

*The above photo is by the fabulous and talented Anna Kuperberg. You can see a few more pics from our session on her blog!

Posted on December 4, 2006 09:36 AM
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Posted by: htbklxj zjhmdvk at December 23, 2006 03:47 PM

What a peaceful looking little person. He's such a beautiful baby. Congratulations.

Posted by: Jennifer at December 15, 2006 10:15 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 13, 2006 01:34 AM

Good job!

Posted by: Markus at December 13, 2006 01:26 AM

OMG! BEN WAS IN THERE!

I just keep looking at your watermelon belly thinking... there was a BABY in there... a black haired BEN!

I'm not sure why this surprises and delights me so, but it DOES!

Posted by: Leonie at December 12, 2006 06:04 PM

The suspense is killing me, too. My, 17 today, superhero son, was born today! I'm hoping to "meet" yours soon! Wishing you the best!

Posted by: LeAnne at December 12, 2006 05:06 PM

Ahh!! The suspense is killing me!!

Wishing you and Matt lots of love and good vibes as you meet your little superhero!

Thank you for sharing your journey into motherhood. You are so inspirational and amazing. I am so excited for you!

Posted by: Christine at December 12, 2006 05:02 PM

a~

my sweet dad turns 60 today.... if you haven't already, I hope you meet your little man today. :)

xoxo

jenn

Posted by: jenn at December 12, 2006 10:31 AM

Something tells me theres a new superhero in the world now- a mini one!

Posted by: Alex at December 12, 2006 07:41 AM

I can't help but wonder why you haven't posted in a while... ;)

hugs!

Posted by: Sophie at December 12, 2006 03:06 AM

Yeah, what's going on??? I'm wearing my superhero necklace for you this week.

Posted by: linda at December 11, 2006 06:40 PM

So excited! Keep us updated!

Posted by: oregoncoastgirl at December 11, 2006 04:18 PM

Andrea! I am sending warm wishes to you all as your pregnancy journey ends and motherhood begins.

All good things are on their way... Enjoy the ride and know that you have everything it takes!

XO,
Holly

Posted by: Holly at December 9, 2006 02:36 PM

I wish you and your new family health and much happiness. I love the look in your face in the mirror. You look so happy!

Posted by: Michele Annette at December 9, 2006 08:00 AM

"Fear not!" Also - "Don't Panic!"
"Resistance is futile," might also be another good one to remember. Don't take anyone else's birth stories to heart - each birth is it's own story - most of these stories with happy endings, than otherwise.

This photo is so whimsical and beautiful. Wishing you and your baby boy a happy, healthy birth day!

Posted by: tinker at December 9, 2006 01:43 AM

beautiful!

Posted by: Kelsie at December 8, 2006 03:19 PM

all i can think of when i look at this photo is "wow, look how small her butt is!!! lucky girl!"

Posted by: marci lambert at December 8, 2006 01:57 PM

may the universe bless you
with everything you need
and everything you dont

may fantastical adventures
find you and your wee lad
at every turn

blessings sent in such large proportions
you have no idear

its going to be fantastical cupcake
you just wait

thats a mighty belly you got working
i'm diggin it soooooo much!
BABY SUPERHERO AWAITS MEETING HIS MOMMA AND DADDY
so very very cool
so amazingly inspirational

rock out with no plan
he's in control now!
xo xo xo

Posted by: d.lish at December 7, 2006 09:05 PM

I'm checking your blog every day now.... waiting by the phone - like ;)
and the blog pictures are awsome! I love her blog.

Posted by: Meg at December 7, 2006 05:58 PM

What an incredible photo of you... three! Well done!

I admire how you share your wisdom "As It Happens", not after the fact. This too is new in the world.

Thinking of you, Matt, and the little Hero.

Posted by: Shelley Noble at December 7, 2006 02:11 PM

Andrea,

Thank you for sharing the journey you and Matt have been on with all of us. You have so many people sending love your way.

I was so excited this morning when I heard Rebar being spoken about on my local radio channel! Even little old Erie gets to celebrate Matt!

Jenn

Posted by: jenn at December 7, 2006 11:03 AM

i wanted to say i wish you a very good, healthy birth - everything will be great! just trust yourself, only you know what is true to your heart. :)

again, LOVE your blogs/photos - it made my day! xo

Posted by: muck at December 7, 2006 06:54 AM

oooh and the curiosity just grows and grows! What will he be like? Who will he take after? What will be his first word? (In the case of my 18 mnth old "dog").

I love reading your about your letting go. this is the start of a lifetime of letting go.

you are already an exemplorary mum!

Posted by: faery at December 7, 2006 03:27 AM

Hey Andrea, when is that baby coming out? I am so excited to meet him.

Love,
Anna

Posted by: Anna Kuperberg at December 6, 2006 07:10 PM

Hi,
I have a beautiful 10 week old baby boy, and I am loving the whole experience. Just a quick word about the birth, it was wonderful it wasn't particularly short but it was one of the best experiences of my life. All i can say is that fear cause your body to tense up, so release the fear and allow your body to do what it is made to do (amazing that this is one of the things that our mind has absolutely no control over, become immersed in those yoga breaths). Enjoy every moment and work together with your precious boy.
best wishes
jay

Posted by: Jay Black at December 6, 2006 06:32 PM

i love this shot. you guys are beautiful and you're going to do great!

thanks for letting me come along with you on this journey and many others. you make me smile.

Posted by: erika at December 6, 2006 06:11 PM

perfect photo and wonderful post! can't wait to see the little fella eventually on here. bestest of wishes!

Posted by: kerstin at December 6, 2006 05:27 PM

It's so amazing how a picture can endear me to you two even more. The Big Day is almost here! Unless it's already come? Either way, I can't wait to see what he looks like.

Posted by: Christine at December 6, 2006 05:11 PM

Yeah You!


Posted by: georgy at December 6, 2006 01:50 PM

From my own experince, with a very involved birth partner, Matt is not going to have to time to get on the computer and update us on the blog for awhile either. Its a busy, overwhelming time for a new family.
Is there anyone else you could delegate the task of updating all of your internet friends?
BECAUSE we love you and very much want to keep abreast of the happenings. :o)

Posted by: Jen D at December 6, 2006 01:24 PM

You are just so beautiful. Look at you! :) I love your expression in the mirror.

In my experience, yoga DEFINITELY came in handy. Compared to all the horror stories I have heard, I think my labor was a cake walk. And yoga breathing techniques were BY FAR better than anything they ever taught me in my child birt classes. You will do great. I mean, come on. You're a superhero for crying out loud.

I know you are so ready to great this little one on "the outside", and I am truly excited for you. Be well. :)

Posted by: rachael at December 6, 2006 11:04 AM

cutest darned picture evER!

Posted by: jennifer at December 6, 2006 09:04 AM

You are positively Radiant (with a capital R)!

:)

Posted by: penelope at December 6, 2006 05:26 AM

Dear Andrea,

I love how you've chosen to welcome your baby...openly!

I've noticed a trend amongst people I know who've had babies. My non-scientific survey...there are two types of women...those who have short births with virtually no pain, and the other kind! May you be in the first category! (I was not.)

A couple of questions...

Will you have the option for pain meds and/or epidural if you want it?

Will you feel badly if you change your mind? (I sure hope not, and I hope that your openness would extend to that as well.)

First, let me say that I have ABSOLUTELY NO TOLERANCE FOR PAIN on a normal day!

I had my first without an epidural, although I did have whatever IV pain meds they offered. After a while, it didn't make a difference. The pain was greater than the pain meds. However, the pain is not constant like an injury. It comes in waves, so you have time in between to recover from each contraction, and each contraction comes on as a wave, with a beginning, then it peaks, then subsides.

After my first child, I decided to go the epidural route. For me, it was the best decision, and I wish that I'd had one for my first, although I'm glad to have experienced labor without the epidural.

I'd say that the drawback of the birth without epidural is that I was exhausted, and even with pitocin, the labor didn't progress very quickly. Is suspect because I was so tired.

Whereas with the epidural, things moved along much quicker. Perhaps I wasn't able to resist as much...I was more able to relax.

Trust me when I say this...if I can do it, you can too, if you choose to. But don't be hard on yourself if you change your mind. Once the baby is here, happy & healthy, all of the rest fades away!

Best of everything to you! You'll be great!

Warmly,
Andrea

Posted by: Andrea at December 5, 2006 06:57 PM

Great picture. You are on the right track. My birth to Rocky was done without meds, with a midwife in a birthing center. My plan was to have a water birth but things changed and he came quickly. If you keep an open mind it will all go well. I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing your adorable baby.

Posted by: Heather at December 5, 2006 06:36 PM

Adorable photo, belly beautiful...
All three of you so together and ready...
Loooove galore

Posted by: Vanessa at December 5, 2006 04:58 PM

I check in all the time here to see "Has it happened yet???" Just know that here in the Northwest-and I'm sure all over the globe- prayers and thoughts and plenty of love are all being routed your way so that no matter what you decide to do you are being carried by all those who care so much about you and this new life that will soon be here!

Posted by: Alexandra at December 5, 2006 02:44 PM

This is such a beautiful photograph.

Posted by: Pip at December 5, 2006 01:25 PM

Hi Andrea. I'm not pregnant, but just the other day I found myself in a situation that left me feeling out of control and I was angry. I realize now I was angry because I was afraid. Afraid of what I couldn't control (another person's feelings) and afraid of the unknown (the other person's reaction). It took reading your blog about preparing, or more appropriately allowing for the birth, to realize I felt so angry and upset because of my fear or losing control. Thank you for your blog. It's funny sometimes where we find inspiration and clarity.

Posted by: anon at December 5, 2006 11:55 AM

I love this post...I love how open you are, your curiousity and combination of knowledge and unknowing are gorgeous. I know everything will go exactly as it's supposed to.

Can't wait! Lots of love to you, darling one!

Posted by: amy at December 5, 2006 11:36 AM

I love this post...I love how open you are, your curiousity and combination of knowledge and unknowing are gorgeous. I know everything will go exactly as it's supposed to.

Can't wait! Lots of love to you, darling one!

Posted by: amy at December 5, 2006 11:35 AM

this will be the most powerful, profound and beautiful exerience of you life. it's VERY spiritual...and otherworldy. i know that you will and your baby will be just fine and i look forward to hearing your birth story.

bless you sweet mama.

all my love,
wendy

and welcome to the other side!

Posted by: wendy at December 5, 2006 11:16 AM

IT IS AMAZING HOW WHEN ONE "LETS GO" SO MUCH MORE IS "LET IN"....

BEAUTIFUL YOU...SUCH A WONDERFUL GIFT YOU AND MATT WILL BE OPENING...IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE REALLY LET GO...THIS IS AN AMAZING ACT...YOU HAVE TRULY LISTENED TO YOURSELF.....BIRTH IS SOMETHING THAT IS PERSONAL AND SO MIRACULOUS...KEEP LISTENING TO YOUR BODY, BREATHE AND LET GO...A MIRACLE IS ABOUT TO UNFOLD...

I AM KEEPING YOU IN MY THOUGHTS AND HOLDING YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY IN ONE OF THE "POCKETS" IN MY HEART THIS HOLIDAY....
XXO KATHLEEN

Posted by: Kathleen at December 5, 2006 10:59 AM

"Will all those years of yoga come in handy?"

They will!
You are in the right way of thinking.
At the end of my pregnancy I was curious too.
I thought "OK, we talked and talked...now let's see what it really is"

And for me it was a wonder.
It was THE DAY of my life.
Good luck
Kiss
Carla

Posted by: Carla at December 5, 2006 10:39 AM

this sounds just right to me. yay for you for doing your work and coming to this open, quiet place. so happy and delighted with how everything is unfolding.

Posted by: jenlemen at December 5, 2006 09:52 AM

good luck and I can't wait to hear that your lil' dude has arrived. And good for you with the open mind. For what it's worth, I loved my epidural.

Posted by: MamaChristy at December 5, 2006 09:46 AM

OoOoo... beautiful photo! sending lotsa love to you, babe and matt! so happy happy for you guys!

Posted by: alison at December 5, 2006 09:07 AM

Oh I cannot wait to see the first phot of your little one. Good luck in the delivery room when the time comes. This photo is absolutly beatufil and filled with so much magic, wonder and amazment. I wish you, Matt, and your little boy the best!

Posted by: Jennifer at December 5, 2006 08:32 AM

Yes, a beautiful picture. I really have nothing to say as far as the birthing process goes because I have never given birth, but... from what I have heard, a lot of feelings surrounding the birth happen afterwards, like a mother who was determined to not use meds and then did, now consumed with guilt about her last minute decision. I think your position about wanting the best for everyone in the situation is wonderful and open to whatever may happen- and then be at peace with it.

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane at December 5, 2006 07:55 AM

this picture is the best thing i've seen on the internet in a while. you are going to be so glad that you have this- priceless.

Posted by: nina at December 5, 2006 07:02 AM

Andrea,

I can not tell you what joy seeing this photo brought to me yesterday.... I am just so exited to you.

I love that you can see yourself in a full circle moment. Not being a mother I've always wondered why mothers have so much planned walking into the delivery room. I've always thought it must be a way to help wrap their thoughts around the unknown. I love how open and present you are to the experiene you are in the middle of. You trust yourself and your lille guy and I find that so inspiring.

Good luck sweet girl and keep us all posted.

xoxox

Jenn

Posted by: jenn at December 5, 2006 06:26 AM

I'm learning some important things about birthing taking birthing classes in another country. The approach is quite different from what i know of US births, in many ways seems much more relaxed and natural. Not sure if you plan to give birth in a hospital or not, but to share with you the most important things I've learned: you don't have to be lying on your back with the feet up in the air. that's a choice you make. remind your partners in birthing to remind you, that you can and should move around. get off the bed, hang on the bars of the bed, squat (the most open you can be), kneel, whatever feels right. this is your birth. moan. if your birthing partners hear you saying eeee and iiii, they should coo in response sounds of oooo uuuuu and aaahhhh which are more opening. if Wee One wants to stay in or is slightly off course, get up, have a walk around, some times that's all it takes to shift him just enough. Pack a yummy sandwich, you might get hungry or suddenly 6 hours of past without a morsel to keep you going. a banana or coca-cola is a quick energy boost.

There's a Wee One inside you curious to meet you. You can do this and you'll be great at it.

Posted by: Talia at December 5, 2006 06:02 AM

OMG! You're gonna have a BABY! Squeeee! :)

Posted by: Laura at December 5, 2006 05:23 AM

blessed be honey... as you journey into this new part of your self, and welcome a new soul into your family. :)

Posted by: Leonie at December 4, 2006 11:57 PM

i knew this is where you would end up once you came close to birth...open, curious, no big agenda, going with the flow, no expectations.

well...because you're you.
and Matt's Matt.
and you're both so laid back,
and open.

i am learning so much from you and your experience. i will soak it in when i get pregnant.

you're both so beautiful.
i want to hug you both.

beautiful, perfect picture.

love you.

Posted by: boho girly at December 4, 2006 10:26 PM

beautiful andrea,

you will do great and the most important thing to remember is no matter how it goes down, it is a miracle.

p.s. my first born was due december 14th and was born december 5th. he turns 12 tomorrow. it doesn't seem so long ago i was wrapping him up like a burrito in a blanket.

thinking of you!

Posted by: meesh at December 4, 2006 08:56 PM

Andrea,

This is THE most adorable picture EVER! Your attitiude is good. Open mindedness is the key. And your birth experience - however it turns out - will be yours and yours alone. And really there is no such thing as success or failure - pain meds or no pain meds. All of that becomes ultimately so unimportant after the little guy arrives. It will be YOUR STORY no matter what, beautiful and hard and joyful and full of surprises - and a great one, I know!

Lots of Love to you and eagerly awaiting the tale!

xoxoxo

Stephanie

Posted by: Stephanie at December 4, 2006 08:53 PM

I love the photo as well as the reflection. You will be just fine.
What a blessed baby this kid is to have parents like you two.

Posted by: kristine at December 4, 2006 08:49 PM

Andrea, peace be with you!

Posted by: surcie at December 4, 2006 08:13 PM

That photo is the tops! You sound like you're in a great place. I can't say enough how excited I am for you!!! Yay!!

Posted by: Teri at December 4, 2006 08:12 PM

Ohhhh I soooo agree. I think Matt should be a geust poster notifying everyone about the arrival (hidden agenda: I think Matt would be a really fun blog poster. and I'm punning. sigh. hard to help myself).
But mostly I was writing to say you look so PRETTY in that picture. I love it love it love it.
And, in more news, I'm so excited for you!

Posted by: Meg at December 4, 2006 07:50 PM

Childbirth is just something we can't control. Prenatal yoga helped me the most. Just centering and breathing.

I did it without meds- all three. The first with no choice. The rest just because I did it with the first. However, if there were ever to be a fourth, I think I would opt for some meds! lol, seriously.

Wishing you and yours the best!

Sam

Posted by: Sam at December 4, 2006 07:45 PM

How will we know when the little guy has arrived? Please make Matt promise he will post on Superhero and let us all know!

Posted by: nadine at December 4, 2006 07:32 PM

I wish I'd know to only be attached to both of us being healthy and open to whatever might come along. I also chose to not have a birth plan. I knew I'd be fully present and capable of making decisions on the fly and a plan wasn't going to make a whit of difference. That attachment to outcome and desire to control...I didn't know about that until my wee one turned four though. He's four and half now. Smart woman you!!!!

Posted by: Tina at December 4, 2006 07:31 PM

I remember being really curious too and nothing I read really prepared me for the experience. One thing that surprised me about the whole giving birth process was that I did not swear once. This is unusual for me.

I'm sure you'll be fine. As you say, you've got a great support network and that's important.

Posted by: jen at December 4, 2006 07:27 PM

The best advice I was given regarding the birthing experience is this: "It is what it is."
For me that meant that things were going to happen according to nature's plan and that I simply needed to give myself over to it, and not be a control freak and trust my choices and doctors.
It wasn't painless...but ultimately, my healthy daughter emerged and nothing else mattered.
I hope for you that bringing your son into the world is filled with every joy, grace and blessing.
xoxo, Julia

Posted by: Julia at December 4, 2006 06:41 PM

Oh....what a beautifully happy photo...to treasure.

Posted by: Leslie at December 4, 2006 06:34 PM

I LOVE that photograph! Anna Kuperberg is one of my favorite photographers ever, I hope you will post more!

Posted by: maile at December 4, 2006 06:12 PM

Having read "having a Baby Naturally" by Peggy O'Mara (she owns Mothering magazing), I was fully prepared for how I, my doula, my midwives and my partner could help my body birth our baby with homeopathic remedies, baths, and mantras for a flexible and open vagina. Like you though, I didn't know if I...the mental and emotion I...could do it. Could I endure this unbearable pain of squeezing a 9lb baby through a 3 inch hole? Could I stop myself from writhing and screaming in agony through the whole blessed event? Would I accept my baby or turn it away because of what she put me through (I'd heard of that one and it was one of my deep fears).

Somewhere along the way, my doula told me that my body will remember how to open and push and pop out our baby! Remember what...I'd never given birth before! The memories from all the other women in your blood line have been passed onto you...you just don't know it...and they birthed their babies, your ancestors perfectly...and so will you! Only don't think about what if...think about the moment, riding the ebb and flow of the birth...and it will be over before you know it...and your baby will be here, and you'll forget about all your fears and you'll be bathed in love and pride.

I did...I birthed, without meds, in my home (then in the hospital), surrounded by my team and partner...and when I gave up emotionally and mentally from exhaustion and fear...my body still kept on opening and pushing. And thank the Goddess that it did, because it was one hellufa birth...one that I'm proud of...and was worth it.

And the pain...it's manageable, without the drugs. And yes, your yoga-trained body will help more than you realize.

Posted by: Lil at December 4, 2006 06:04 PM

It won't be long now. The only thing you can know, is that you won't know how it will be until you get there. Your outlook seems healthy and normal. Good luck, I feel like it will be any day now. Funny as you and I have never met :)

Posted by: jen b at December 4, 2006 04:54 PM

What a fabulous photo! I can't imagine that it won't be one of your child's favorites when he grows up. :) Here's wishing for you a safe and gentle delivery. May your angels surround you with love as your wee one makes his grand entrance. And may they tickle his nose with their wings as he lies across your belly...letting him know that all of Mommy's angels will be there for HIM, too.

Posted by: Marilyn at December 4, 2006 04:39 PM

Great post, these questions and thoughts seem to mirror my own at times.
Have confidence in your body and all the women who, from the beginning of time, have been birthing babies. You are going to do great!!

Posted by: Tiff at December 4, 2006 04:31 PM

This is SUCH a gorgeous photo, you look so beautiful!

I am three months into my first pregnancy and my only thoughts at the moment are whatever gets that baby safely and without harm into my arms, than I am open to it.

Beautiful post, Andrea!

Posted by: Schmoopy at December 4, 2006 04:27 PM

that is the best way to approach it that i have truly every heard anyone decide to focus on!

i have friends that agonize over the fact that it didn't go 'according to plan' and that x,y,z went wrong or that they had to have a c-section when they really think it could have been vaginal (ick I hate to type that word).

You are SO smart to know today that there is very little you can do in this birth in terms of how your baby will come out.

Posted by: liz at December 4, 2006 04:25 PM

What an absolutely beautiful picture! The look of wonder on his face, and your beautiful grin reflected in the mirror - it captures all of the emotions wonderfully.

Posted by: Shannon at December 4, 2006 04:05 PM

I think your whole attitude is really healthy.

I had no real notions either, just curiosity.
I knew it was going to hurt. I just wanted a happy and healthy babe....

I was calm leading up to it... and knew it was something I could do. I was confident that because my mother had such easy births... I would too.

And I did... 2.5 hrs, no drugs, no tears... no REAL issues (asides from standing up to walk out of the room as her head crowned *grin*)... it was wonderful, powerful and amazing. I felt that morning as I held her... that we women... we REALLY are SuperHERos !! Totally!

I wish the same for you... however, just like I would have done if necessary... I know that you will do whatever is required to bring that little boy safetly into your arms and onto your bossom.
And that is perfectly okay!!

((hugs)), love and best wishes.
Bx

Posted by: Bek~Aussie Chick~ at December 4, 2006 04:00 PM

With my first - pain meds screwed up my head - aweful! With my second, medical rules changed, I knew what to expect and demanded my epidural at 3cm (first time I could lie on my back pain-free in 4 months!). They cut the epidural off early and I have to say there was not any pain during the birth - however there was tremendous pressure. I guess cause I dilated and he decended all under epidural it was fast and easy (an hour and a half) and the actual birth process, with no meds and full feeling was easy. I was so glad to be clear headed after the birth and to get home in less than 24 hours and be able to cook supper was wonderful. When people ask me, I always say first time is a learning experience, second time you know what to expect and what you want. Good luck - it's FUN!!! Knowing you, from what I've read, you will really feel the empowerment after the process!

Posted by: chris at December 4, 2006 03:06 PM

Just found you here today. I absolutely admire this entry (as well as several of your others). If ever I am in your shoes I hope to be nearly so wise. I, too, have been waiting a long four years for the baby I dream of. Your story is an inspiration to me. It keeps my hope alive. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to you and yours.

Posted by: irish at December 4, 2006 02:56 PM

With my first 2 children I did it without meds and it hurt. However, right as I gave birth I experienced what I can only describe as pure, bright joy. They were without a doubt the most complete and beautiful moments of my life. When I had my third child I opted for the meds and while it "got through it" easier, I can hardly remember it.
Of course all of this is such a personal choice and the journey that is pregnancy is nothing compared to the destination that is your BABY!

Posted by: Lauren at December 4, 2006 02:48 PM

oh boy..the pain and the fear... 8 months later and I can still remember it very vividly. But you know what, it's all Ok now because I have the most precious little boy.

My labour didn't go how I would have liked and I wasn't as in control as I would have liked - in fact there was an hour or two where I was so frightened and in pain that I completely lost my focus - and for a while afterward I beat myself up for it. But now I realise that is just silly - I delivered a healthy baby and that is all that matters and my hubby was so proud of me!

Stay open to whatever happens, trust your body, try to stay focused on your precious boy and just do what you have to to get through it. Drugs, no drugs, water, massage, elective caeser, whatever - so long as you, your baby and Matt are OK.

Posted by: Michelle at December 4, 2006 02:41 PM

I LOVE that Anna K photo!
I wish you the best, and will keep you in my thoughts.
I recommend the drugs...

Posted by: Sinead at December 4, 2006 02:00 PM

The best thing you can do is simply go into birth with an open mind. People who go in with very set ideas of what they want to happen are usually disappointed. Good luck!

Posted by: scout at December 4, 2006 01:59 PM

Another thing that to this day makes me laugh...

During my pregnancy - and those of some of my friends - I and my friends repeatedly said, 'no drugs.' One of our friends commented in a humorous voice, "You guys have tried every recreational drug in the book (an exaggeration), and now when you come to one of the most painful human experiences, all you say is, 'No drugs! No drugs!' It's a bit ironic, don't you think?"

I know it's about baby, but she had a point...

Posted by: deezee at December 4, 2006 01:46 PM

What a wise place you have arrived at. There is no predicting the birth experience, as I learned. Did I plan - commit to - going without meds? Yup. Did I pull that off? Nope. Did I give one hoot once baby boy was in my arms? Absolutely not.

Posted by: deezee at December 4, 2006 01:37 PM

PS - FABULOUS Anna Kuperburg photo!!! How fun! Are there more? Can I possibly see??? xoxo

Posted by: Jen D at December 4, 2006 01:34 PM

Ahhhhhh... letting go is a beautiful thing!
Your words today were wonderful and I'm so happy that this is how you are feeling on the cusp of birthing. Power and Peace to you, Superhero Beauty!
You are totally rad. Totally. :o)

Posted by: Jen D at December 4, 2006 01:28 PM

Watching you vocalize each of these steps is an amazingly eye opening experience for me. I cannot wait to go through each of them myself. Thank you for sharing.. and best wishes in what's coming! :) xo

Posted by: joleen at December 4, 2006 01:15 PM

I wish you all the best on the beautiful grand adventure that is ahead of you!

Posted by: Sophie at December 4, 2006 01:03 PM

I think you are going to do well -
It's the most gratifying work, but hard, as you know.
Fear is tricky -
if you fight the labor (I think) it gets harder...
if you flow with it and choose something to help you go through each contraction, it tends to get easier.

My SIL is in labor right this minute - so I'm thinking of her!
I don't get to see her much and so have enjoyed your posts as a way of connecting with where she's at...

Posted by: blackbird at December 4, 2006 01:00 PM

You Go Girl! And Journal it all because we do forget the details. I am excited for you!

Posted by: krista at December 4, 2006 12:53 PM

You are so cool.

Posted by: Jessica at December 4, 2006 12:52 PM

Good job mom! Your perspective is right on. You don't need advice when you have such a great head on your shoulders!

Posted by: moki at December 4, 2006 12:43 PM

It is great to be focused. I was by far more mentally prepared and focused for my first birth, which was the longest and most difficult, than for my second and third and it truly helped. It is something that is out of your control, labors take so many different directions but being in a good state of focus will help you be in a place of relative calm. I believe you are an athlete, just prepare like you would for any physical endeavor. I actually had an anxiety attack with my third as it went so quickly and so intensely and it felt horrible to be so out of control. Mind you though, I still ended up with the prize, a beautiful baby, which is what the whole thing is all about! You will feel pain but it is the kind of pain that when all done, you will feel invincible! Pregnancy was tough for me, childbirth was an amazing and "wow" experience. I wish you the best, you are about to see one amazing miracle!!

Posted by: Anne at December 4, 2006 11:04 AM

so very excited for you!!!!

xox

Posted by: stef at December 4, 2006 10:51 AM

Your letting go of the fear and the need to control is so big and so wonderful. You should be proud that you have come to that place! I had a similar realization before I gave birth to my own wee angel boy 7 months ago. My biggest fear about the birth was that the pain would be so bad that I would "lose control." Through readings and great conversations with my doula, I realized that I had to "lose control" in order to do what I had to do--give birth! It was actually liberating to let go of that need to control. And my son's birth was beautiful and the defining moment of my life thus far. Best of luck to you, Matt, and your wee boy, Andrea!

Posted by: Arin at December 4, 2006 10:50 AM

hello friend. there is a little more we can know about ourselves after we have given birth. all of the answers you seek will become known to you when it passes, but there are no words to help you prepare for the adventure that lies ahead of you! weeb will arrive in his own perfect way-however, i admire the team you've assembled and also the commitment you and matt share. THAT is what will make your birthing experience magical and transcendant-something that already exists. oh, i already yearn to hear your stories. as conscious as you are, you are bound to grasp the gold. all my love and birthing pixie dust, p.

Posted by: pixie at December 4, 2006 10:38 AM