We canceled our mail-order DVD club membership recently when we realized we hadn’t been actually watching the movies and our beloved life-membership Tivo committed suicide, so we now need to pay a monthly fee for our new DVR. There was just one movie I had wanted to see: The Business of Being Born.
My super-hero home-birthing friend, Nelly had first recommended I watch it while she was still pregnant with baby P, her second child. I thought maybe I’d better wait until after I give birth. Then, I heard about it again at my pre-natal yoga class. One of the pregnant women was saying how she had seen it and she felt really empowered. She wouldn’t stop talking about it. My yoga teacher who is also a birthing doula, who was standing there, responded when I asked if I should see it before or after my birth that there was one uncomfortable part, but for the most part, it was probably fine to see while you are still pregnant. Probably very empowering. Most of the lesbians in my pregnant lesbians (which is quickly turning into a new moms group, yippee!) had seen it and were still psyched about giving birth.
When my honey and I took the childbirth prep class while she was pregnant with Cakie, we had to watch at least 8 birth videos. Yes, they were uncomfortable to watch. But always ended with me sobbing, overcome with joy at seeing that blue goopy baby take its first breath. (I have to admit that I just sobbed watching the trailer to TBofBB while linking it to this post.) Mind you, I recently had to watch one of those birth videos again at the prep class for using the birthing center… it is a far different level of discomfort to watch one of those videos when you know a baby will probably be coming out of your own vagi.na in the next few weeks. A whole new level.
Here’s how I’m feeling about labor and delivery at the moment. I feel powerful. I know it will hurt like hell. I know it might make me say things I’ll regret to my honey. I know it will probably last a long time. I’ve enjoyed reading and re-reading ohchicken’s birth story. Labor may very likely result in some injury to my lady parts. I also know that active labor will last a day at the longest. I know I may end up with a c-section. I’ve read The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, and I am aware that the hospital can make a lot more money off of me if they cut me. I know that they have rules not based on logic or research but on medical tradition and fear of litigation that might make it more difficult for me to have the birth I would like. That’s why I’ve hired my kick-ass midwives. I’m hoping to use the birthing center. That’s why I know karate. I’m ready. I can cope with pain. My mom did it. Natural childbirth on pitocin, no less. I have a kick-ass mom. I look forward to the goopy blue crying thing landing on my chest. I’m not scared. I can do it.
I asked my friend lifebelowtheline if she could order it through her netflicks, and bring it over to watch. She said she’d been wanting to see it. Then she got cold feet. Apparently she started asking around to all of my buddies if maybe me seeing it was not a great idea at this point in my pregnancy. When she told me this, I had one question, “Did she ever give birth?” No. No, she asked all of my friends who had never given birth, been to a childbirthing class, or attended someone else’s birth. One of the people she asked hadn’t even seen the movie. Silly! I love my friends, but really. I’m a big girl. I can see an exploding vagin.a or five if I want to.
I convinced her to bring it over later in the week, provided my own vagi.na had not exploded prior. I think the only thing it might do is make me more inclined to home birth, but it is too late in the game for that to happen (unless Trucker turns out to be a speed demon.) So what do you think? Have you seen it? Would you avoid watching it while 37 weeks pregnant? Are my friends silly?