Excuse me while I rant for a bit. It’s 4:07am and I can’t sleep, so…ranting ensues.
I am going to have to stop telling people that I am planning a natural birth. Why? Because I am tired of the responses. I am tired of being looked at like I am insane. Tired of comments like, “Um, no, you’re going to want the epidural.” Pardon me? Did I tell you how to deliver your own baby? Then why are you telling me what to do?
The question I dislike the most is But…why?? Like there could be no possible benefit to going with an unmedicated birth.
I have lots of reasons why. Allow me to explain.
1. I don’t like hospitals, or needles, or medical personnel, or IVs, or the way hospitals smell. This is a big one. Personally, the idea of having a needle poked in my spine or having a c-section freaks me out a whole lot more than giving birth without pain medication.
2. I am fairly wimpy, but I believe that the pain of childbirth is pain with a purpose. It’s not senseless pain. It’s pain that indicates progress toward something. Actually this perspective has helped me deal with all kinds of pain and discomfort. Right now my back is aching, but it’s okay because it’s from the relaxin, which is also opening up my pelvis. There’s a reason for my back hurting.
3. I believe that my body was created the way it is for a reason, and that God knew what He was doing when He designed labor. Doesn’t mean that God didn’t design it with pain. Just means there is pain involved.
The biggest reason?
4. I believe, after weighing all my options, that natural childbirth is actually the safest option for me and for my baby boy. I don’t want to subject him to ridiculously-strong chemically-enhanced contractions that may put him in distress. I don’t want him to be sleepy and doped up due to pain meds. I want him to be alert, and happy, and not stressed out when he makes his move from a completely dark, temperature-controlled, buoyant world with muffled noises to this world of bight lights and clear sounds and cold air and gravity. Those are big changes, and I want to make that transition as comfortable as possible for him. So, ultimately, whether or not I will want the epidural or not is not the issue. I am doing this for him, not me. At least mostly (see point 5).
5. This might sound weird, but there is some part of me that wants to do it just to say i did it. Like people who skydive or climb Mt. Everest. Now, if I didn’t also believe it was the safest thing for me and my kid, I wouldn’t do it for this reason, but because I do, I don’t think this is really all that bad of a reason. I mean, I am about to embark on this crazy adventure called motherhood. A daunting task to say the least. And I would like to begin that journey with a sense of empowerment. Dude, I birthed you, now I can take care of you. Know what I mean?
Those reasons pretty much sum up why I want to do this crazy thing. It’s fine if you disagree with me, or came to different conclusions. Every baby is different, and every mom is different, and every situation is different. And that’s totally cool. I am not anti-technology, or anti-medical intervention. I just don’t think it is necessary for me. I acknowledge that my ideal birth may not happen. Stuff happens, and in the end, my well-being and Sam’s well-being are the most important thing. So if medical intervention is necessary to ensure our well-being, then that’s fine. But I want it to be a just in case kind of thing, you know?
I just get tired of the crazy looks and the comments.