Prepping for Pain Party Oh-12...Yes, I'm Going for Another Natural Childbirth

What. Who even does that? Elects to try for a double-dip after experiencing the agony of a natural childbirth the first time around?

Oh, this girl.

Bring it.

And by that I mean, please dear God let it be faster and less painful this time.

We're getting close over here people, and I'm just as pumped and excited for baby girl's arrival, as I am dreading it. (You can read our TJ birth story here.)

Super fresh, minutes-old baby TJ

The other day I was at lunch with some co-workers and one of them asked me what had even made me consider having a natural childbirth, so I thought I would share my thoughts with the four of you out there as well. And just so we are clear - I make absolutely no judgements here.

Labor sucks.

It hurts.


Like, nuclear-bomb-went-off-in-my-abdomen-and-is-ripping-through-my-body-and-I-can-feel-it-in-my-teeth-and-legs-and-fingertips-and-hair-and-eyeballs-and-it's-not-going-away-and-I'm-probably-DYING bad.

Everyone makes their own choices for how they bring their children into this world and I do not begrudge anyone who chooses to beat the pain with medicinal support.

It's just not my preference.
In the beginning I decided I didn't want to use drugs during my labor because it honestly just doesn't make sense to me. It makes zero sense in my brain that for the nine months preceding childbirth I am not allowed to eat fish, or take medicine, or drink alcohol, or ingest unpasteurized food and drink, or pick up dog poop, and on and on, because doing so could possibly maybe have a chance of hurting the baby. BUT at the 11th hour - during labor - it's somehow ok for me to have anesthesia intraveneously administered while my baby is still inside and attached to me?
I don't get it.

How does that NOT get to the baby?

I'm not a doctor, and I'm not claiming to know anything about medical science, but if you're telling me it's not ok to take cold medicine while I'm pregnant, but I can have serious anesthesia administered during labor, I can't process that. I just don't get it.

Dadda supervising the APGAR proceedings. I took this picture!

So that was the genesis of my not wanting to use drugs during my labor...

And then I watched The Business of Being Born.

First of all, put your giant nips away.

And second, yikeserwhoayowza.

After watching this documentary hours upon hours of research ensued on my part, as my curiosity on the effects of anesthesia on the unborn, and then born, baby was piqued, and to be objectionably honest (personal feelings aside) it was pretty inconclusive. Studies have been done by both sides, those for the use of anesthesia, and those against. But from what I can tell it's a stalemate. They just continue to "disprove" one another's "conclusive evidence," and so the dance continues.

What really blew my mind, though, is that there are serious ANTI-natural childbirth folks out there. To the point of basically declaring war on groups like Lamaze, which is all about natural childbirth.


But why?

To cut through the bullshit The way I understand it, the "PC" argument they pose here is that women should not endure the pain of childbirth, simply because they don't have to. These anti-naturals don't see the point in enduring that pain, when there are approved and effective drugs available to just disappear the pain away. "It's surgery." NBD.

Discovering this led me to do more research, as I forced myself to read every horror story personal diatribe I could find written by women who had had a natural childbirth, and what it was like, as well as stories from women who had used drugs, and what their experience had been like.

Neither side painted a real pretty picture of labor, which I was grateful for, because I wanted to know exactly what I was in for. And I'm not going to get into the "she said - she said" here, because anyone reading this is perfectly capable of doing their own reading (start here), and for me to share the particularly poignant stuff that resonated with me would certainly come off as preaching.

But I will say, without a doubt, I was far more disturbed at the terrible tales told by those women who had used drugs during their labor, than I was by the women who had not used drugs, and ended up with a negative childbirth experience.

For me, I think it's also that when you use the drugs, you essentially give up control. You put the decision-making power of your labor - the birth of your child - into another person's hands from the beginning. That doctor doesn't knooooow you, and doesn't know your baby, you have no idea what that person's intentions are or what preoccupations they may have that day - I feel it's probably wise to be at my witty best in this kind of situation, not potentially numb, sleepy, loopy, distracted, and/or sick.

Minutes after being born...Welcome to the World Little Man!

I'd like to start out with the power to make my own choices for my own child's birth, and if something happens and I have to relinquish that power for the safety and health of my child, then so be it.

So pregs out there - it's important to know your options, do the research, and decide what you want for the birth of your child. No one else can make the decisions for you. Be your own advocate. Be informed about things like epidurals and pitocin and what a low heart rate is for the baby during labor and dilation and scraping cells and the bag of waters.

Be in control. And most importantly BE INFORMED.

I choose to forgo the meds. I can take the pain, so I choose to take it - how can anyone have a problem with that? I don't recall anyone ever dying simply from pain, and I want to ensure I have the option of having the power and cognition to preside over how my baby is born, so that's where I'll start.
My first labor was 16 hours long, and the way I look at it that's 16 hours of my life, for potentially the entire rest of my baby's life, and that's totes worth a little bit of hellacious, teeth-gnashing agony.

After we walked (yes I walked) to our room.

And there you have it. My feelings on natural childbirth, why it's my choice and why it's very important to me. 

One last thought I reflect on constantly that helps me keep everything in perspective...

When I was prepping for T's birth I read a passage somewhere, written by someone a lot smarter than me (how's that for citing a source?) that essentially said, there is no time in a human beings life where they are more fragile or compromised than when they are being born.

That thought helps me keep my preferences and ideals in check, and keep the health of the baby first and foremost in my brain. If I end up having to get an unplanned emergency c-section so my baby is born safely and as healthily as possible, so be it, I'm down. But I'd like to try to experience the single most incredible, empowering and proud moment of my life one more time - to birth my baby naturally, without the synthetic assistance of medicinal substances.

First family photo, home sweet home with our 24-hours old little bundle.

Good luck out there pregs.

With that, I bid you (and this behemoth post) adieu...

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