I am sitting in prenatal yoga, with my favorite yoga teacher, Kelly, at my favorite pre/postnatal yoga spot in Boulder: Yo Mama Yoga. Kelly is patient and she is kind. And she knows tons regarding the stuff mommies care about, though she hasn't had a kid of her own.
"So," she begins, "why don't we go around and share how many weeks pregnant you are, where you plan to have your baby, and anything else your care to share about your birth plan." Sounds like a good idea, I think. We begin ...
Mom number one starts in. "Hi, I am Jane and I am 20 weeks pregnant." We all smile, beginning to subtly stretch as we listen. "I am planning to have a water birth and to do so silently."
The other mom in the class nods in approval. Wha? I think as I look around seeking other skeptics. In silence? I try to act cool, like what she said is in my plan too. I don't want to come off as rude and appear to be as shocked as I am. I await the response of the other mother to make me feel more normal.
Mom number two follows. "Hello, I am Betty and I am 30 weeks pregnant." Nod and smile, nod and smile, stretch, stretch. "I plan to have my baby in the woods. My husband and I have picked out the perfect spot." She offers excitedly. "I am going to give birth on a blanket my grandmother made for me when she found out I was pregnant."
This time, I accidentally let out a small giggle. Not as much because of what she shared, but because I am picturing the look on my husband's face if I came home one day and said "Hey honey, I have an idea. Let's have her in the woods."
Now both moms are staring at me, as is the friendly teacher. I try to recover. "Oh, no, I-I think it's great, really." And I do. Good for them. It's just not my style.
My turn. All eyes, daggers, on me. Suddenly I am propelled back to my middle school locker room. The cool girls are standing, half naked, surrounding me and asking me if I've kissed a boy yet, as they share lavish details about first base, second and third. I am too embarrassed to undress while they are standing there, watching. And I don't want to say a damn thing to let them know that I haven't yet had my first kiss. I stand there, unable to find my voice, while they stare.
"Brie. Brie? What about your plan?" The friendly yoga teacher asks.
"Oh, right. Um, I am going to have my baby at the hospital." I let on sheepishly, the unnatural outcast. The other Boulder mommies are clearly unimpressed. So, just to catch everyone off guard, I decide to throw in: "And I am planning to use drugs."
At this point, if it would have been socially acceptable to scoot their yoga mats away from me, they would have. But they don't. They try to remain friendly, despite what they think about my "selfish choices."
I sit, smiling on the inside. Because though there are others of us in Boulder who choose to use the devil himself (the epidural) as part of our birth plans, we feel we need to remain quiet about it. Because if you live here, and you consider yourself "hardcore" like the rest of the town, you do things the "natural" way. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
I am pretty sure there isn't a method out there that could be considered a walk-in-the-park. And I think that having a baby and being a mommy is maybe one of the more "hardcore" things a woman could do, regardless of the method.
As we finished yoga that day and I listened to the other two mommies make play-date arrangements for the future while throwing an occasional pity stare my way, I strode out of class confidently, feeling more hardcore than I'd felt in months.
This is an original post from the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog. When Brie isn't doing "unnatural things" like taking Tylenol, she can be found making light of life on her blog: Brie's Blunderings.
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