As I’ve shared throughout my weekly bump day blog, I’ve been doing many types of self-care this pregnancy. I thought it might be interesting to also share the type of prenatal care I am receiving because, like most of my lifestyle choices, it is unconventional.
Pregnancy is filled with so many decisions and the weighing of risks and benefits.
But that is life, I suppose, and parenting too. Every decision I’ve made in my journey has come after dozens of hours researching peer-reviewed studies and talking with professionals, and dozens of hours connecting deeply with my baby and myself. I’m really trying to make choices that are balanced in both science and spiritual intuition.
One thing that I keep saying to myself, again and again, is: do not make decisions out of fear. I feel vulnerable at times in this pregnancy, and in my moments of insecurity, I try so hard to control everything as much as I can and somehow barter with the universe to just give me my safe healthy living baby in May. But, as I’ve written so many times, there are no guarantees in this life. That’s when my self-care practices come in, and I take a step back and really feel my way through decisions and fears.
Because I underwent a successful minimally-invasive hysteroscopic surgery in June to snip my partial uterine septum (“partial” meaning it took up about half the length of my uterus; “complete” septums go all the way down to and into the cervix), and because I have no underlying health conditions, my pregnancy is considered low-risk. Hallelujah for that, I am so eternally grateful! This means I have a number of choices that my healthcare providers are comfortable with me making, and I really get the opportunity to visualize what kind of pregnancy and birth experience would work best for me.
With both my pregnancies, I’ve chosen midwifery care as opposed to a conventional OB/GYN provider, and have declined most prenatal testing.
In the little bubble where I live, it’s actually very common for young birthing people to choose the midwifery model, but I made my decision purely based on my own research, beliefs, and values. I really believe it’s important for everyone to look at all their options and choose what is ultimately best for them and makes them feel the most safe, comfortable, and empowered. And for me, that means choosing a midwife to oversee my pregnancy both scientifically and spiritually, support me emotionally and physically, and attend my birth at home as my body does its thing undisturbed in a familiar setting of peace and comfort. I’ve recently switched to a midwife with 30 years’ experience attending births in a variety of home situations in rural areas particularly, and who really truly believes in the innate wisdom and power of the female body. In fact, for our next prenatal appointment, she is traveling to my house! How cool is that?!
There is so much judgment, fear, and unsolicited advice given to all pregnant people, and it seems that no matter what we choose in our pregnancy and birthing plan, somebody has something negative and unhelpful to say. Here is a message for me and for all you pregnant people out there: make your own decision that works best for YOU, not for anyone else. Everyone’s pregnancy and birth experience are unique and there is no right or wrong way to do any of it. Especially for pregnant after loss mamas, we don’t need any more stress and pressure, as we’re just trying to stay afloat every day anyway. Maybe the world just doesn’t understand how wild and challenging a journey pregnancy after loss is. My prayer is that the people in our families, friend groups, and communities will respectfully give us the space, trust, and support to enable us to listen deeply and make the choices that are right for us.