My blog posts seem to be all over the place. But I write in reflection to a conversation I had earlier today with a friend.
I had a natural birth. I don’t often talk about it, mainly because I don’t want to come across boastful. So please, as you read, know that I do not look down on medicated deliveries in any way. I did just as we all must: choose what is best for us and our children.
I’ll be completely honest. Going natural was the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done in my life. However, it was the absolute coolest, coolest, coolest thing I have ever done. Just cool! I don’t know how else to explain it. I get pumped just thinking about it. They say that after you have a natural birth, you experience a high. Mine came three days after giving birth. And really, it’s never left. I’d go natural again in a heartbeat.
Let me start this off by explaining why I chose to go natural:
- The main reason was because I wanted to be in control and not numb to the experience, to act and not be acted upon (2 Nephi 2:26), as it were. I wanted to give birth, not have birth happen to me.
- I hate needles. I can give blood, but only if I don’t watch or think about it. I can pretend to be calm and cool, but inwardly I’m holding back a flip out. So make that needle freakishly long? I don’t think so.
- I also really don’t like the fact that epidurals go into your spine. With all those nerves and with your spine being so central to all functions, my philosophy is don’t mess with it if you don’t have to. I have a friend who still has back pain where they put in her epidural.
- I didn’t want to pay for it. I don’t want to pay hospitals in general. Our goal, really, is to have our babies at home. But we didn’t think it was wise to do so on the first one. We decided to be in a hospital with a doctor to just see how my body reacted to childbirth and how the baby also did.
- Natural birth provides for a quicker recovery.
- Epidurals don’t guarantee a pain-free birth. Both my husband and I have friends who have gotten an epidural and either it wasn’t injected properly or it didn’t function properly or it didn’t kick-in in time. Also, my mom had my baby sister naturally, but she wasn’t planning on it. My sister was coming too quickly for an epidural to even be an option. I didn’t want to plan on an epidural and then have to experience pain I hadn’t planned on or prepared for. Those who I know whose epidurals didn’t work right felt like the pain was worse because they weren’t prepared for it.*
- I believe hospitals are there to fix things: disease, injury, illness, complications. There are complications that can happen during childbirth. That’s a given. But pain isn’t a complication. It doesn’t need fixing. It needs to be understood and left alone. It isn’t a problem to be fixed. It is what you need to pay attention to so you know what to do and how to react. The pain is a tool to assist in childbirth; it’s not just there to make you miserable (which I’ll go more into when I talk about the method I used).
*Now, don’t get me wrong. Epidurals can work flawlessly. My mother had an epidural for both me and my brother, and it was totally fine. The majority of people I know had an epidural. My intent is by no means to scare you out of an epidural.
So, I’ll end on this note tonight. Natural birth is by no means something you should just do on a last minute whim. You gotta study, both man and woman gotta study. I suggest coming equipped with a game plan and with some accurate expectations. Further, I would suggest that whichever you choose, whether natural or medicated, prepare for a natural birth. That way you are prepared for whatever happens.