Natural Child Birth

So the plan is to give birth naturally, without medication, without medical interventions. Needless to say this decision sometimes raises some eyebrows and brings with it the question “why?” I thought I should write down my reasons and my current thinking just for the sake of getting it down. But most importantly, in no way do I judge others’ decisions not to have a natural childbirth, the choice is personal and the experience is purely individual. So here is what I’m thinking, just for me.

I’m not 100% sure how it all started. I know I watched the Business of Being Born long before I was pregnant and I know that 2.5 years ago when my stepmom’s sister gave birth she did so naturally in her own home. So I knew the option existed and it appealed to me. For anyone who knows me well it’s probably actually pretty surprising that I wouldn’t be all over that epidural. I’m not particularly “natural” in any other aspect of my life. I’m not that into yoga, I don’t buy organic everything, I take Advil at the slightest sign of pain, and I’ve had a host of odd medical issues that have led me to doctor after doctor and 3 surgeries in the last 8 years. This last point being one of my main reasons actually. I’ve spent time in hospitals and I’ve had lots of medical interventions in my life. I don’t want childbirth to be in the same category. I don’t want to experience bringing my son into the world in the same environment that I had my intestine or hip surgery. I envision and want the experience to be special and I don’t want to marginalize it. My body was meant to give birth and can give birth all by itself. Childbirth, in most cases, does not need to be a medical event. Women for thousands of years have been giving birth without medicine and although there is potential for complications, a healthy mother with a normal pregnancy will 99% of the time have a normal natural childbirth without the need for any medical assistance whatsoever.

I know childbirth will be difficult and “painful.” I want to be present and participate in that process. Pain is the bodies response to something negative, it’s the bodies way of telling us something is wrong and we need to address it. But with childbirth, there isn’t anything wrong and the body isn’t having a fight or flight response. Instead this “pain” everyone talks about is actually just the body letting the mother know the progress of labor. So in actuality, childbirth pain isn’t the same kind of pain that we are used to. We shouldn’t try to fix it but instead respond to it and realize our bodies are trying to indicate the stages and progress of labor. I believe if I can remind myself of this throughout labor the experience will not be thought of as painful.

I think that by having a natural childbirth I will see the event as more positive than if I don’t. I will experience a higher level of elation and accomplishment upon the completion of the birthing process. Basically, the harder the journey the bigger the payoff. I want that. I want to feel like a warrior.

Without drugs, I’ll know when to push and I have less of a chance of tearing. Without drugs, the bonding experience with my son with be greater. Without drugs, there is less of a chance of needing a c-section. Without drugs, I’ll be ensuring that my body can do what it needs to do to bring my baby into the world happy and health.

I want Luke to be able to be a big part of childbirth. I want him to have a role and be an active participant. To be able to feel his own accomplishment from the process. If I’m strapped to a bed, feeling no pain, there isn’t much for him to do and he would feel useless. With a natural childbirth, I will need help, guidance, love and comfort from him throughout. He gets to be, perhaps not equally, but at least very involved. He has his own books he’s been reading to prepare and when we take our Bradley method classes, his role will be essential.

And we are preparing, as much as any two people can prepare for something they truly have no idea about and for something that is known to be completely unpredictable. We both have read our fair share of books on natural childbirth, we’ve hired a Doula (which has been proven to improve a woman’s chances of completing a natural birth), we will be taking Bradley method classes (3 hours a week for 8 weeks!), we’ve watched videos of natural childbirth, and I have my self guided Hypnobirthing cds on my iphone.

So that’s my thinking and that’s the plan. I hope it all goes how I envision. But I know there is no way to predict what will happen and I need to keep an open mind to potentially things going awry or changing. I am very grateful that modern medicine exists should I need it at any point during childbirth. I know ultimately all that matters is a happy healthy baby but I still also believe that the process of getting there is a pretty important to me as well.


One Response to “Natural Child Birth”

  1. Courtnei Evans writes:

    Basically, the harder the journey the bigger the payoff. I want that. I want to feel like a warrior.
    Such an interesting analogy. I have to say this is the first time I’ve read anything that makes me want to consider natural childbirth.

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