I remember when I was pregnant with my first. The end was drawing near and that prompted people to ask the question of whether I would be laboring naturally or if I wanted medication. It was something I thought a lot about and did quite a bit of research on. I knew I wanted to do it naturally but telling people that often got me laughed at. “Yeah, most women say that but then end up screaming for an epidural! Good luck with that!” It wasn’t nice to hear. I even got some of that from my doctor and his nurse. Apparently natural labor doesn’t happen that often.
It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, as I stated before I researched it. I love to research and find answers to probing questions. I also don’t like surprises so I wanted to know all about labor and delivery. Every aspect of it. I read many stories by women that did it natural and many that used the epidural and some that had done it both ways. I also read a book entitled Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition by Susan McCutcheon. I have talked a lot about this book in previous posts. It is the one thing that really helped me.
Yes, I did deliver naturally and I got to tell everyone that I survived. It was fun rubbing it in the faces of people who said I couldn’t. That’s mean of me I know but if someone wants to do a natural birth they really could use encouragement and not a sarcastic tone.
The next question I got asked is why? Why would I want to feel the pain of childbirth if I had an option to go without? Well I am happy to tell you!
Keep in mind this is my own opinion. I don’t think anything less of women who have opted for the epidural. I know many strong capable women who have had it! It is just not the path I wanted to take for me and my baby.
First off I don’t like drugs. I have to have a major headache for me to even think about taking a simple pain killer. What I don’t like about them is they mask a problem. I have a headache for some reason and usually its because I haven’t had enough water or I am in need of some fresh air.
Although the epidural cant be compared to simple pain killers it does numb pain and can cause other issues in the process. I understand it effects people differently but to my understanding once you get the epidural you are no longer free to move around. You are numb from the tummy down and as a result a catheter is put in place.
I would hate not having control of my body. If I couldn’t simply get up and walk around it would scare me. One woman who opted for the epidural said whenever she had to get checked or in position to push the nurses had to move her legs around. That resulted in a very uncomfortable experience she said. I can see why. I don’t want to be so numb that I cant move my legs! Maybe that is just a bad experience with the epidural but I could also have one like that. Who’s to say how it will go?
The side effects the epidural its self scares me. It can cause major headaches and fevers which leads to more medications. There are of course more severe side effects, the worst leaving you paralyzed. And even though they say the drug doesn’t harm baby it can effect how baby reacts when he/she is delivered. Many women who experienced natural and medicated births said they noticed their baby was more alert when it was naturally done.
Going through a natural birth the first time went really well for me. I did have a little medication put through my I.V. that lasted a couple hours. It helped me catch up on some Zzz’s before the hard contractions kicked in. I think it was called Demerol. I can’t be 100% positive about that. It was three years ago.
Going into labor then I had no idea what to expect. However this time, I think I can say I am more nervous just because I know what will happen and how it will feel. To get through it I keep reminding myself of these simple yet important facts.
- When baby comes out its over. No more pain. Just recovery (Yes recovery can still mean a little pain but nothing like labor itself).
- I can walk around through contractions and this time I want to try the birthing ball.
- This being my second delivery it will go by faster.
- I want to be able to feel when to push. I don’t want to be told when or how to do it.
- Baby will be born alert and healthy.
- Chances of a cesarean birth greatly decrees when done naturally.
I also keep reminding myself to stay calm. I did this once I can do it again. Its a natural every day occurrence. My body was built to handle this. Its just muscles contracting and the pain will only last for a little while.
Labor really is a small part of the whole pregnancy process. Its not a bad part either. Sure it isn’t easy but once its over and you realized that you survived it can be really empowering. Its a time in your life you will never forget. You will look back to it with a smile not with resentment or fear. That’s the day your baby was born! The day you dreaded but ended up surviving.
I am as mentally and physically prepared as can be. I hope baby Eli makes and entrance into this world soon! There are a lot of people excited and ready to meet him!