So when I was pregnant with my first, I considered going natural...
...for about 2 minutes.
With my second I didn't consider it at all, but just so happens my epidural stopped working just in time for me to push out a 9 1/2 lb baby.
I thought I was going to die. Very painful, but then again, not quite as bad as I had imagined. I think I was scared more than anything. Plus, the recovery was MUCH easier for some reason. This experience also gave me the confidence that maybe I COULD do it naturally.
Now most people, including myself would say, "why endure pain if you don't have to"?
Well that was before I took the time to research it a little more. Started by watching the documentary, Business of Being Born. Here's the trailer, you MUST watch it.
I realized that my past desicions were all based on ignorance and fear. I never took the time to actually learn about childbirth, I was doing what everyone else seemed to be doing without second thought of the alternative. Natural childbirth was never even something my doctor wanted to talk about.
I've learned there is so much more to having a baby naturally than just pure horror and pain. Not that I know from experience... YET, but I've heard it's the most amazing and empowing experience a women could have.
Not only do I want to have that experience, but I'm dealthy afraid of that epidural. I would dare say that getting that tube shoved up my spine was the hardest part of the whole thing for me, and my back has never been the same since. I still have pain there and get a sharp tingly feeling anytime I'm massaged in that spot.
Here are a few interesting facts about natural childbirth.
- Quicker recovery for mother and baby
- Shorter labor
- More effective pushing, shorter pushing time
- Less tearing of the perineum
- Lower Cesarean rate
- Less chance of damage to baby's brain due to drugs or misused forceps or vacuum
- Less chance of bodily harm to baby from forceps or vacuum
- Less need for interventions such as internal fetal monitor, continuous monitoring, IV, catheter
- Mother can move freely and get in comfortable position
- Mother can squat to push, which makes pushing easier and shorter
- Shorter hospital stay
- Baby is alert and reactive to environment
- Baby is more coordinated
- Baby can latch on better and more quickly for breastfeeding moms
- Mother is in control of her body and can use instinct to birth the baby
- Mother is unmedicated and can bond more easily with her child
- No risk of prolonged pain from botched epidural or from Cesarean wound
- No long-term negative developmental or behavioral effects on the baby
To tell you the truth, I did feel a little disappointed after giving birth my first time. I was expecting so much more. I thought... that was it??? I didn't really do anything. I thought I would be left with an overwhelming feeling of, WOW---- I'm pretty darn amazing :)
Don't get me wrong, every mother is amazing for all that comes with motherhood starting with the 9 months of pregnancy. That alone is something to be forever cherished and praised. I just can't help but feel that I'm missing out on a life changing experience.
A few things I've learned from having babies in hospitals and using traditional doctors.
- You don't get ANY support when you're in labor and they definitely don't promote natural childbirth. It's get in, get out, as fast as possible.
- Making the decision to go natural is something you need to decide on well before you enter the hospital. You can't go in thinking, "we'll see how it goes". You will most likely go for the epidural when no preparation or commitment is involved.
- Coaching is a must, weather you hire a Doula, invite your mom or sister to be there, or simply take classes with your husband so he knows how to best support you through the labor.
My husband supports my decision whole heartedly and I know I can count on him for additional support. I'm so excited about this new endeavor but scared out of my mind. I've got 4 months to prepare myself mentally, so I've been reading a ton on natural childbirth and different techniques like hypnobirthing.
I will be sure to document this experience and share it with you all. What I need right now is major support and positive affirmations to keep me focused on the goal. Please, no horror stories :) Thank you so much!