I’ve been frequently accused of being optimistic. It’s a true accusation. I prefer to look at the bright side of things, to visualize the glass as half-full, to wear rose-colored spectacles — “la vie en rose.”
The most recent time was this past Saturday when I went to a baby shower, and got into a conversation with some of the other people there. The conversation naturally turned to birth — the mother-to-be is planning a home birth, and was discussing if the midwife couldn’t make it (having another client also due about the same time, quite some distance apart). Also, the mom-to-be said her mom had a 90-minute labor with her, so this is something which is definitely worth thinking through!
We began talking of a friend whose 3rd birth was only 45-minutes. It was a planned home birth, and the midwife couldn’t make it in time, the husband caught the baby, and a friend who lived down the road and had had a couple of home-births herself was also able to make it. (Had it been a planned hospital birth, the baby probably would have been born on the side of the road, because they would have been hard-pressed to make it to a birthing hospital from their home in less than 45 minutes — and that’s assuming they would have hopped in the car at the first contraction and not had to do something with the other two children!) So, anyway, in discussing this birth, one of the people in the conversation said that as the baby was being born, the husband was telling his wife things like, “Just let this baby be born” — in other words, “don’t push” — and other similar things. To me, that sounds like a pretty normal comment — soothing words, reminding her to slow down and not push too hard so she didn’t tear. In fact, I had something similar in my 2nd birth plan to remind me to take it slow to hopefully avoid tearing as I did in my first birth. (The funny thing is, my younger son was born much faster than my older son, and he was a good pound and a half bigger, and I didn’t tear.) Anyway, that’s the first thing I thought of when I heard the phrases he used.
Of course, most of the women there were not birth junkies, although a few had had home births and some had had several children — most had had typical medicalized hospital births, and wouldn’t know what a “doula” was if she walked up and gave them a honey stick! So I was defending this man, and the woman who was relating the story, even after acknowledging that she herself “labored down” instead of pushed when she was VBACing with her epidural, which is not too different in my (never humble) opinion from what this man was encouraging, said (in that “pat the little girl on the head” tone of voice), “You just keep your rose-colored glasses on, Kathy. But we know that he was just being controlling.”
It is possible that he was attempting to be controlling — he has that personality, and I’ve seen him be “controlling” a few times — but I honestly believe he loves his wife and his children, and was reminding her to slow down to avoid some potential problems, not being controlling.
They can keep their jaundiced-colored glasses on and be snide and miserable if they wish. Most gladly will I keep my rose-colored glasses on! It makes for a better life.
Filed under: labor and birth, pushing, Uncategorized Tagged: | baby, baby shower, birth, birth stories, birth story, breathe the baby down, breathing the baby out, epidural, home birth, la vie en rose, labor down, laboring down, optimism, optimistic, pessimism, pessimistic, precipitous birth, precipitous labor, pregnancy, pregnant, rose-colored glasses, rose-colored spectacles, VBAC