First, I want to apologize for my blog being very pregnancy-focused lately. As we are going into the final few weeks, all I can think about is this baby and all the things I still need to do before she arrives in 25-ish days. So, if you’re here for the pregnancy talk, GREAT! If you’re not, I’m sorry and will try to talk about other stuff too. As my motto goes, everything in moderation, right?!
Secondly, I want to preface this post by saying that my decision for a natural childbirth was just that – my choice. I am not by any means saying that having a natural childbirth is better than having an epidural or Cesarean section, nor am I trying to convince you to choose a natural childbirth. I completely understand that many people would rather not experience the (what I hear is) excruciating pain of childbirth and I think that is absolutely their choice for an epidural. However, that is just not the choice I feel is right for my childbirth experience.
So, without further ado, here are my reasons for wanting an unmedicated childbirth:
1. I want to fully experience childbirth, regardless of pain. I am not downplaying the pain aspect. I expect it to be painful. I am prepared for it to be the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I want to feel my body attempting to open up to allow this baby to come out. I want to feel the urge to push and know that I am making progress. Again, yes, I know that it is going to be painful, but I also know that the pain I am experiencing is temporary and in the end, I will be holding my reward for my hard work in my arms.
2. I believe God made my body specifically to give birth to children. There is a reason I am having this child and not my husband. And no, it doesn’t have to do with my higher pain tolerance. My body was made to labor + deliver a child. For thousands of years, women gave birth without medication and many women are still doing that today because they don’t have access to modern medicine. Just because I have access to an epidural doesn’t necessarily mean I need it. This all goes back to wanting to fully experience childbirth.
3. Although I believe in modern medicine, I don’t believe in using it to mask something my body is meant to do. Like I said, women have been giving birth to children without medication for thousands of years. Just like I don’t like to take medication to mask the pain of a headache, I don’t want to try and cover up what my body is supposed to be doing. In fact, in the research I have done regarding childbirth, having an epidural is more likely to result in a C-section than not having one. And a C-section is the last thing I want. I am more afraid of a C-section than I am of the pain I will experience during labor.
4. I know that whatever I put into my body, my baby will be feeling the effects of also. I have this precious little 6 to 8 pound child in my tummy that I have taken extra special care of for the past 8.5 months. I have carefully watched what I ate + drank in order to make sure she was safe and sound in there. I have avoided caffeine, alcohol, tobacco (well, that wasn’t a problem, but I have avoided secondhand smoke), and certain medications that may cause her undo harm before she is even breathing on her own in the outside world. Why would I stop trying to protect her from those things right before she makes her appearance? The medications that I would be putting into my body to mask pain will also effect her. Now, if I am putting in X amount of medicine into my body, she is getting much more of that amount in her 6 to 8 pound body. That can’t possibly be good for her. Plus, she will not be nearly as alert and anxious to begin breastfeeding right away, which can make breastfeeding even more difficult than I expect it to be.
With all that said, I am completely prepared for the fact that my labor may not go exactly as I want it to. I’ve never done this before so I honestly have no idea what it is going to feel like. I am hoping and praying that I am able to have a natural childbirth without the use of drugs and without a C-section. However, I understand that things go wrong and in the end, all I want is a healthy baby. So, if my plan doesn’t coincide with God’s plan for this experience, I am OK with that. Will I be upset? Sure, but in the end, I will just be happy to have this little wiggle worm in my arms.
Suggested Reading: I don’t have a reason for choosing one method of natural childbirth over another. But, when I looked up books on natural childbirth, the Bradley Method was the one that came up the most frequently. If you are looking to have an unmedicated childbirth, I suggest reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. It is a bit outdated (even the revised editions), but I felt more prepared to give birth after reading this book. I am not sure I will employ their strategy exactly, but I am going into this somewhat knowing what I am doing.
Edited to add: If you are as baby crazy these days as I am, you will want to go wish Brittany good luck as she is probably having her baby today or tomorrow! Baby fever around here!