Yes. I’m going to post about unmedicated childbirth. This subject could be as highly debated as formula versus breastfeeding. But I have to talk about it. I need some input, please. (Sorry to all you non-mothers, men and people generally grossed out by childbirth and things of that sort. Feel free to skip this post and go back to yesterday’s…you could win a prize!)
When I had Lydia I was a first time mom and just did exactly what my doctor said. I had the epidural, the episiotomy and all the monitors and meds they told me to take. I don’t regret her birth. I don’t think anything bad happened to her. I think it was the most wonderful day of my life!
I just remember right before getting the epidural, I thought, “I wonder if this pain is really bad? I wonder if I could make it longer? What if it’s not really as bad as it gets?”
Looking back, I wonder if Lydia would have been born sooner without the epidural. After all, I was falling asleep during pushes. I couldn’t feel a thing so I had no idea what was going on inside me. I wonder if they wouldn’t have had to use forceps on Lydia’s head if I had not been laying on my back and gravity could have helped out a little. I wonder if my doctor, who was sick, just wanted to get out of there?
So, this time around I’ve been doing a little research. And honestly, it’s frightening.
I totally believe God made my body to know what to do. I know there are women RIGHT NOW in some other part of the world who are stopping in the middle of their work day to deliver their baby alone. They’ll get up tomorrow (or even later today) with that babe on their back and keep working.
HOWEVER. I live in the United States in 2008. I don’t have to do that. Just because it happens doesn’t mean I should do it.
HOWEVER. If they can do it, why can’t I? Are they more heroic than me? More able? Stronger? More educated?
I doubt it. In fact, I’m guessing the only thing that’s different is our experience. My experience has only been to see women go to the hospital and get an epidural. Unless they are on TV, then they scream and contort their faces and yell at their husbands. The mom in the other country has only seen women deliver their babies at home or wherever they are.
This same thing is true for almost everything. If you didn’t have friends or family around you that breastfed, or worked outside the home or spanked their kids, you’re probably not going to do it either.
SO. All I need to do is become more educated. Hear stories from other mamas and childbirth specialists who have had great natural experiences.
WELL. I did that. I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. The first half of the book is just stories of natural childbirths. And it’s making me feel worse. There’s just so much out-of-control-ness to it. (And sometimes some freaky-out-there-ness that makes me feel weird.) I don’t doubt I can do it. I can do anything if I have to. I just doubt if I’m willing to…
I know I won’t like people waiting around on me. I won’t like the doctors and nurses wishing I was taking the epidural or doing what they want. I’m a people pleaser who doesn’t like making waves. And being in the center of attention while in pain will not make me feel comfortable.
HOWEVER. I think I’ll be a little disappointed with myself if I don’t try it natural. When I hear about the good experiences from some of my friends, it makes me want to experience it. And just knowing the dangers and the un-natural-ness of medicated childbirth makes me lean towards unmedicated even more.
SO. Here’s what I really want…
I’d love to find out I’m in labor at home. I’d love to be in pain here. Then when it gets close to delivery, go to the hospital. I don’t want to deliver in my home. (Maybe if I didn’t live in the Ukranian-wonder…) I want some sterility and doctors and nurses and the ability to help during an emergency. I’d like for the doctors to see me and say, “OK, it’s time to push!” And my little pirate come out just as fast as he can. And if this could all be under 2 hours, I’d also appreciate it. HA!
Here’s what I don’t want…
Going to my 39 week appointment and hearing my doctor (who I’ve only met once or twice) say, “Oh, why don’t you stay the night? We’ll monitor you and then induce you in the morning.” Then in the morning say, “Oh, you’re one centimeter.” And five hours later I’ve still barely progressed. And once they give me the epidural, I don’t want to be sitting on the bed, not allowed to eat wondering what my baby is doing inside me. Then when they deem it necessary, I get to push, totally disconnected from knowing what’s going on on the bottom half of me.
And I don’t want…
To demand natural childbirth while the nurses are rolling their eyes at me or making remarks about what I *should* be doing. Then cave and get the epidural while everyone says, “Good girl!”
So, what’s your experience? Am I over thinking it? Should I just go with the flow? I’m very interested in what you have to say.
UPDATE: I did it! Read my ALL NATURAL birth story! 🙂