Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"The Big Stretch" at 26 Weeks

I just watched a video that horrified me, fascinated me, and had me peeing my pants (though, what doesn’t these days) in laughter.  Our doula gave me this video – “The Big Stretch” – to help me with some of the emotional issues I have been struggling with involving the upcoming labor and delivery.  She warned me that it was a bit “crunchy” and “natural.”  She wasn’t kidding!

The video was made in Australia and has tons of beautiful photos and clips of naked pregnant women…not topless…naked.  I have no issue with that, but The Prince (who was encouraged by the doula to watch the video with me) would have a major issue with seeing so many vaginas (thus, the reason for my pre-screening of the video this evening, while he was at work).  The movie contains tons of video clips and still shots of multiple home births.  There is video of a woman playing a recorder in a birthing pool to help with her contractions.  There is a woman holding up a picture of her anus and vagina during the crowning, saying “This is my favorite photo because you can see how my anus is literally inside out, stretching me to the brink as our son entered the world.”  There are cartoons (very reminiscent of a bad 60’s movie) of flowering vaginas (complete with a song about exploring the sacred dark cave) and cartoon women walking in and out of the cartoon vaginas (see how comfortable I am with the V word now?).  And…SPOILER ALERT…the movie ends with a naked man riding a bicycle in the forest.  Why?  I don’t know…but what a way to end a movie!
I joke, but in reality, I am really glad I watched this movie.  Although it could pass for a spoof of a natural birth movie, it did contain some great words of wisdom from women who have been there…done that.  Some of the words were even offered while the women were in the midst of their labors…when the filters were gone.  I won’t be having my baby in a pool or a shed or a yard.  I won’t be playing a recorder or any other instrument during my contractions.  But, I will be bringing a new life into the world, just like the women in the movie were…and I will take any help or advice that they have to offer.  Some of the wisdom I gleaned from the movie: (1) Pregnancy is a big stretch…not just physically…but emotionally.  Stretch with it, don’t try to contract against it; (2) Pregnancy is the perfect time to work on yourself, getting rid of what you don’t like about your behaviors and thought patterns.  Spend the pregnancy nurturing yourself and growing; (3) Be prepared to go inside yourself during labor and delivery.  Support is important, but in the end, you have to find the strength from within to get through the “big stretch”; and (4) Understand that the days after the birth will likely be more trying than the birth itself.  Be prepared for that as an individual and a couple, but have faith that you can learn to enjoy being in survival mode.

These messages were important to me today.  I had my 26 week check-up with the OB earlier and the baby was doing great.  I put on 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks (perfect).  I am still dehydrated and no one is cutting me any slack on that issue anymore.  Initially, when the doctor got on my case about my water intake, I started into my usual spiral of defensiveness, guilt and anger…silently wondering why the doctor was being mean to me.  But, after watching the video tonight, I have decided that a little tough love was in order, as I have not been controlling something that I actually have control over…something that can make my pregnancy and the baby’s experience more pleasant and healthy.  I decided that there is likely an emotional component to my hang-up about not drinking enough water.  I’m not sure what it is, but there is truly no excuse for me to not drink…I love water, I know I feel better when I drink enough of it, I know it is important for the baby’s well-being, and I work from home (so distractions are not really the issue).  I’ve decided to “stretch” myself a bit by trying to explore what is at the bottom of my self-induced dehydration and to really work on it.  And that small shift in my perception and my attitude has had me smiling all night (well…that and the mental image of a smiling naked man waving at me as he pedals his bicycle). 


infertilenanny said...

Um Where can I get this video? I'm glad you were able to take some good out of it and that you are feeling better. I have my 25 week appointment on Friday and I'm bracing myself to be told I've gained too much weight :/

China Doll said...

Naked man on a bike? Really?! Is that a metaphor for something?... :)


Krissi said...

Congratulations on being pregnant! I would love to feature your success story on my blog! Here's a link to the format I use:
Thanks so much in advance!