By Shana Genre
I invite you to the birth of my child, who will soon slip joyously into the world like it’s her first day at the water park, except that she won’t be sliding through chlorinated water. I am happy to report that I have read many books about childbirth, so you might consider me an expert on the subject.
In addition to parenting books, I have also read The Secret, which taught me that my gestational diabetes, advanced maternal age, and family history of preeclampsia will disintegrate in the face of a well-planned vision board. I would like to remind you (since you’ve probably forgotten) that birth is a completely natural process that only goes wrong when “medical professionals” like yourselves interfere.
Though I have reluctantly chosen your hospital as the place where my offspring will first enter the world, I am well aware that you will be casing my uterus for a C-section. That is why Ina May Gaskin will be here to pluck my baby from the rosy bouquet of my vagina, all while staring at you, judgmentally.
Attending will be my partner, Aaron. Aaron should be beside me at all times, giving me reiki and pressing the right crystals into my palm. My hypnotherapist recommends amethysts and moonstones, but I am partial to rose quartz.
We have also hired a troika of doulas to fan me and feed me grapes as I labor. They will also be ready to receive my placenta, which they will pulverize and then blend with essential oils to create a facial poultice certain to resolve my pregnancy melasma.
I prefer low, ambient lighting, so I have brought sandalwood scented candles that your staff should keep burning at both ends. During the first two phases of labor, my doula, Andrea, will drift around the room while burning sage and ringing a singing bowl.
I do want music playing, but I prefer live music, so you can expect the Ancora String Quartet to begin their performance during the transition phase of my labor.
I have been practicing Bikram yoga, so please turn the heat in the room up to at least 100 degrees. My yoga teacher, Dayna, will be present to lead me through a series of poses designed to encourage the miracle of natural birth. We invite you to join us as we practice Warrior XI, Hyperventilating Prairie Dog, and Volcano Pose.
I also heard you have a hot tub here. Heat that thing up! I brought my swimsuit and so did Aaron. We even bought a tiny suit for the baby so that she can take a dip with us. Isn’t this why someone would deliver at a place like this anyway?
It’s certainly not for the “expertise” offered by hacks who recommend monitoring my baby’s heart. George Orwell saw this coming, and I refuse to let our baby endure surveillance while she’s in my very own womb.
I have been working hard to center myself in preparation for this spiritual journey, so please conceal any “medical equipment” that might detract from the nirvana of my birth experience. I want no pain medication during my delivery, either, so don’t even think of offering it.
I expect euphoria, transcendence, and maybe even one of those birth orgasms I read about. I wouldn’t want any drugs to numb that, haha! Be ready to witness the miracle of birth.
When my baby emerges from my loins, breathe deeply along with me as the earth pauses in its orbit and the Ancora String Quartet hits a dramatic crescendo. A rainbow may alight upon us as my daughter sings her first sacred “Yawp!”
Don’t even think about whisking my baby away to give her an “assessment” or “medical care.” I will be practicing attachment parenting, so we must maintain skin-to-skin contact at all times. We are planning to delay the cord clamping indefinitely, so my baby will only stretch as far as my umbilicus anyway.
Good luck trying to conduct those so-called screening tests! I look forward to delivering my little one here at the facility my mother begged me to choose. Because I am so thoughtful, I graciously appeased her despite my desire to birth in the comfort of my own home, far away from the troubling presence of a credentialed and experienced staff.
I hope I have inspired you to honor my plan. Goddess bless.
About the Author
Shana Genre writes, teaches, and occasionally parents in Portland, Maine. Her writing has been featured in McSweeney’s, The Belladonna Comedy, and The Second City.