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When the Apple is Ripe

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
I’m officially at the end of my pregnancy. 39 weeks. That means any day now I can have a baby. Each week, I get a call from my 90 year old grandmother who lives in inner city Baltimore. She calls to “check in” and see how I am feeling. When I explain to her that waiting at the end of pregnancy for the baby to arrive is frustrating, her aphorism of choice for me is “Hon, when the apple is ripe, it will fall from the tree.”

And that is what I am waiting for . . . my ripe apple to “fall”. I like that metaphor. It sounds so much more gentle and natural than the reality of labor and delivery. Actually, even though this is my second child I am WAY more nervous for the “apple to fall” than I was the first time.

Reason number 1: At this stage of the pregnancy every single woman and many men want to share their labor and delivery battle stories. Everyone wants to scare me and remind me just how hard labor is.

Reason number 2: I have already been through it and I know what to expect.

Last time, my husband and I had a doula with us in the delivery room. Because of the doula, my approach was nonchalant knowing that she would help to guide us through the whole process. This time, we will rely solely on each other to work through the stages of labor and delivery. I am not so much nervous that my husband and I can’t do it, but I am worried that I won’t be able to labor and deliver the way that I want to.

Lately, I find myself voraciously reading anything about natural birthing or more informed birth. I want to know everything this time that I didn’t know going into the first birth. I have read countless accounts of women who praise the sweet, sweet pain reduction of an epidural. I have read about the joys of hypnobirthing. I have read about the ease of a scheduled elective C-section. I have read about water birthing. I have read about all the stages of delivery and moods and temperaments of women through each. I have read about the use of episiotomies. I have read about what to ask for, how to ask, various theories on birth plans and readiness. I have read about the benefits of prenatal yoga, the necessity in some situations of pitocin. I have read about doulas and midwives, doctor interventions, various birth positions, the intuition of mothers and the history of birth practices in our culture vs. other cultures.

After all of this reading, I have come to the conclusion that I want to go through the whole thing naturally – again. That’s right – no drugs, no spinal blocks, no pitocin, no cutting, no interventions at all. This, however, seems mostly unnatural in the world of medical meddling with childbirth, but this is what I want. What scares me is the interventions, the incessant need to put fetal monitors on my belly, my unborn baby’s head, and to stick me with an IV. I am worried about being pushed into labor, membrane sweeps, drugs to speed up contractions and dilation, and then drugs to stop the pain of the speeding up which in turn slows everything down and could potentially lead to a C-section.

Call me insanely naïve and possibly even a glutton for pain, but I want my body to be able to work through the apple falling process as nature intended. Not everyone would choose this way, and I don’t judge any woman for what they choose for their own birth.

Because, let’s face it – it is hard work to bring a baby safely into this world no matter what choice you make or what choice is medically necessary to help the ripe apple fall.

I think what all women want at the end of the 40 weeks of growing a baby is dignity and the knowledge that somehow we are lucky enough to be inducted into the beauty of motherhood. And . . . what makes labor and delivery worth it – no matter how it happens - is the joy of holding our newly formed “ripe apple” for the very first time.
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Comment by Mendy

Joined: 4/20/2009
Posts: 2
As a lover of natural childbirth (and one who has gone through it three times), I applaud your choice and dedication. I like the idea of waiting until the baby and my body are ready to do their thing. I also like not being encumbered with tubes and whatnot. That said, don't let yourself get too disappointed if something out-of-the-ordinary happens and things go differently. (My oldest daughter was breech and no one knew until I was 8 cm dilated! Suddenly, an epidural was mandatory...along with some other interventions to get her safely out. And I'm not trying to scare you. Everything went fine, just differently than I had been planning.) Like you said at the end of your post, the most important thing is the end result of a nice ripe apple in your hands at the end. Happy Labor Day, Becky!
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2009 5:56:12 AM
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Comment by ABakke

Joined: 5/29/2009
Posts: 1
So how goes the process? Did it happen? I'm in the process of studying for my first now. My lady and I have decided to go the same route, completely natural and started looking for the right people we want present at the event.

Buen Suerte Thiegs!

-A.D. Bakke
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 5:06:02 AM
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Comment by Guest

Joined: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,760
I was really confused, and this answered all my qeuistnos.
Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:21:10 AM
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Comment by futurejournalist

Joined: 4/30/2013
Posts: 48
I hope it went well! Not to scare anyone who reads this, but a friend of mine decided to have her baby at home when the worst possible thing happened-the mid-wife DIDN'T SHOW UP!!! Her husband had to call 911 and do the, um-stuff you have to do. It was scary for them, I'm sure, but the baby boy was born just fine. Again, I hope everything went well and you're enjoying raising your boy or girl. :) God bless you!
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:31:16 AM
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