A long, long time ago (even before I got pregnant), I made the decision to go the natural childbirth route if the opportunity presented itself. Meaning, I know there are things beyond my control here, and I may end of having to be induced and/or have a c-section. But, if I am able to, my goal in delivering this child is to do it naturally.
I’ve found since getting pregnant this is a question people love to ask. They also LOVE to share their opinions on your answer. A few people I know are extremely supportive of this. But a lot of people I’ve spoken to don’t understand, don’t want to understand, and don’t think it’s possible. And they are not afraid to tell you.
At work the other day, I was working with a male client of ours and he asked me what my plans were. I told him “natural childbirth,” and he laughed, saying, “yeah, that’ll change!” And it made me so very angry. How dare he assume I can’t do this, I can’t handle this? I wanted to launch into a lecture on all my reasons for it, the preparation I’ve done for it, and the prep work I still have planned. I wanted to tell him I am strong enough to do this because I feel strongly enough about it, but I knew it would be a pointless argument. He already had made up his mind on the subject. Why bother when you can have pain meds?
This is the opinion of many people. The hospital I’m delivering at has a 90% epidural use rate, which I guess is similar across the country. Why have a hospital birth if you don’t plan on some sort of pain management? I get that question a lot too. So since telling this rude man was out of the question, I’m telling my little corner of the internet instead.
First of all, I am not anti-epidural or pain management. As with most things pregnancy and parenting related, I am do-whatever-is-right-for-YOU-and-not-some-other-person. I support your right to make your decisions your way, whether it’s diapering a butt, feeding a tummy, or delivering a baby. However you choose to do these things is your business, and everyone making these choices has reasons for them. For me, when it came to childbirth, the thought of being completely disconnected from half of my body, especially the half that’s central to the whole operation, made me really uncomfortable. I didn’t like the thought of not being able to feel what’s going on, not being able to move around, and not being able to eat. For me, it came to an issue of control, and my thought is I can have a little more control of what’s going on if I’m totally aware of what’s going on. Basically, I want to be an active participant in the labor and delivery of my child. I want to be able to say, “that was a big contraction,” and not just be told it was.
As for my decision to have a hospital birth and not one at a birthing center or at home is simple. As you may have noticed, I’m some what of a control freak. I realize you cannot plan for everything and things can go wrong. In the event something does, I want to already be in the best place to take care of it. I don’t want to add the stress of being transported to a hospital. Basically, I want my bases covered.
(And for the record, I am not afraid of needles or shots. I have four tattoos, have gotten five piercings in my life, and have never passed out while having blood drawn.)
Yes, I know it’s going to be hard, and I know it’s going to hurt. I know there are going to be times where I will doubt my ability to do it. But that’s where my amazing support team will come in to play. John, my mom, my doctor and her staff are all fully supportive of my decision (my mother delivered all her kids naturally), and I know they will do whatever it takes to keep me on track. I may not have the support of the belief of everyone, but I have it from the people who matter most. Myself included.