As I continue to work “post dates”–I’m now 41 weeks pregnant–I feel like it has become my second job to defend why in the world I would want to:
a) continue to work (albeit half-time)
b) not be begging my midwives for an induction
and c) plan for a non-medicated birth.
Aside from some patient exclamations of disbelief/amazement that I’m still working past my due date, the doubting comments generally come from the clinic staff. Comments range from “So when are they going to induce you?” (said when I hit 40weeks and 0 days) to “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU GIVE BIRTH WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL??” (said by a RN with a horrified look). I try to be as calm and pro-natural-birth as possible in my answers. I can’t even count how many times I’ve said–with my best smiley face on–“babies will come when they’re ready!”, “I’m healthy, the baby’s healthy and there’s no medical reason for an induction,” and “I don’t want an epidural because I think it will increase my risk of having a c-section.” Not to mention the gazillion times I’ve explained that I wanted to keep working because I would be bored off my ass at home waiting to go into labor. And also that I only get 12 weeks of FMLA and I don’t want to waste it sitting at home without a baby when I could use that time to hang out with my baby. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to be alive at this point, but I actually feel more comfortable when I’m distracted and walking around the clinic instead of sitting on the couch at home.
I think it’s a good thing that I get to espouse my birth-is-a-natural-phenomenon views to all of my co-workers. I was just a little surprised at how deeply ingrained the birth-as-a-strictly-medically-managed-event view has proven to be. D’oh.