Have you ever seen the movie Apocalypto (I am expecting a resounding "no" here)? It is a (very violent) Mel Gibson movie that I watched with my husband...against my better judgment. Don't watch it, unless you're really into violence and unflattering portrayals of ancient civilizations. However, there is one pretty sweet scene in it where the hero's pregnant wife is trapped in a pit with her toddler to escape the violence ensuing in her village above, and it starts to rain, and she goes into labor and delivers her baby alone, in the flooding pit, while holding her toddler above her head to keep him out of the rising water (I think I got the details right there... I saw it kind of a long time ago). It was a super non-relaxing water birth, before such things were trendy.
It sounds horrible, I know.
But also (stay with me here), it was a little bit inspiring and empowering. I kept thinking of that scene when I was expecting little Miss Euler a few years ago, partly because I thought, "no matter what happens to me when I am in labor with this child, it can't possibly be that bad," and also because it presents a slightly refreshing (maybe overdone) juxtaposition to the message commonly given to pregnant and laboring women in this country.
Instead of the idea that when a laboring woman walks into a hospital, she should be confined to a wheelchair, not allowed to eat or drink, made to wear a hospital gown, confined to bed, and immediately plied with pain medications, it presents a picture of a capable, confident woman who is making the best of her situation, caring for her children, and trusting her body to do what it was designed to do.
Yes, I know hospitals save lots of moms and babies who are in trouble (the pain meds are also a perk sometimes...), and no, I would never want to have a baby in a flooding pit by myself (especially while holding a toddler above my head). But the idea that something like it can be done, and survived, is empowering.
Which leads me to my exciting announcement (exciting to the blogging world, old hat to mom and grandma... sorry)! We are expecting Kid 3 at the end of March!
And I will not be birthing him alone in a muddy pit. But just knowing it's been done (in a controlled, not-actually-happening Hollywood environment, but still) is slightly comforting and encouraging.