I think I have talked about it on my blog before, but I definitely have always wanted any and all the pain meds that they could give me when it came to childbirth. It scared me really bad. John was the one who was for natural birth, but not because of all of the reasons some women are for it (to say you did it all natural and have bragging rights, to feel empowered, etc.) it was because he wanted what was not only best for our babies, but also for me. Now some of you who have not had a natural birth may be thinking "that is easy for him to say but wouldn't the best thing for both would be pain medication to make the birth as easy as possible?" Yes, if there were no possibly (and today very likely) side-effects and cause and effect issues from most of the procedures.
Now before I continue, I am not saying that if you have a medicated birth or a c-section, that you "did it wrong" and are a bad mother. I am not at ALL saying that. Each family has to decide for themselves what is best for them. Each family is different. Each pregnancy is different. Each situation is unique. And realistically, 20 years down the road, how you had your child will not matter. What matters is his soul. The reasons I am writing this and why I wrote my natural birth stories is so women can be empowered and informed on their choices that they have. Until I started doing research myself (tons and tons of it), I had no clue about ANY of this. No doctor explained any of it to me or even mentioned that sometimes an epidural causes babies heart rate to drop which then means labor has to hurry up which then could lead to pictocin and if that doesn't pick things up and babies heart rate is still low you need to have a c-section. No one told me there are lots of things you can do while you are pregnant to change babies position or ensure they are in a great position for birth to avoid a c-section from that. No one told me that there are minerals and vitamins that you should take more of or start taking to strengthen your bag of water so that it doesn't break too soon and this also helps labor be more "cushioned" and the pain not as sharp (with both of my babies, my water didn't break until I was literally pushing them out. I would not let them break it before hand. There is no need at all. And we'll see if this holds true with this third one as well as I am planning on doing the same thing to strengthen it as I did with them). None of this was discussed. It was very business like. Most women have no clue and of course don't know to ask question because they don't know to even ask!
So now back to the how I got interested in natural birth. When I started reading natural birth stories, researching, studying, and watching natural birth videos I became much less afraid and actually quite shocked at how little we are told. It is turned into a procedure rather than a wonderful time of celebration. It is all very "medical" when it doesn't have to be; when there is no emergency. It went from John wanting me to give birth naturally knowing it was better but not really knowing all the reasons why, to me wanting to as well and even though I was still nervous, I made sure I was very informed and knew exactly what was going on. I was not going to rely on others to inform me, I wanted to know myself.
The next thing is why exactly did we become advocates for natural birth? I say that it is better, but why? There are a few reasons. The biggest is birth is a natural thing. Your body can handle it; it was made to give birth. Before, women gave birth in fields for goodness sake. Yes, infant mortality was higher, but most of the time, it really had nothing to do with the births themselves. It was nutrition issues, infections, etc.Normally the pregnancies themselves were not healthy which caused the baby to me unhealthy as well. Of course there were cases where c-sections and the like would have saved mom and baby, but we are talking about the majority of the births. Today, statistically more and more women are ending up having c-sections (almost always for preventable issues). Normal birth is not natural. Another thing is when you started getting interventions of any kind (I will go into details about them in a second), it starts a vicious cycle of intervention after intervention. If you are "late" by the doctors standards, they want to induce. Contractions caused by pictocin are not natural and the body has a really hard time handling those. They are much more painful, there is no natural break in between like with natural contractions where you body can rest and you get a break. Most women then beg for an epidural because they just are not able to handle it and rightly so. After getting the epidural one of a few things are very likely to happen, either your labor slows down and you need more pictocin, you can sometimes get a fever from it, or baby's heart rate has issues either from the epidural OR from the fact that you need more pictocin. Just as your body has issues handling the pictocin, baby's does too. Baby doesn't get a chance to catch a break from the contractions and it starts to stress their bodies out. So then you can run into a rushed labor most likely ending in a c-section because baby's heart rate is too unstable. The c-section is needed. I am not saying it's not. What I am saying is that it all could have been completely avoided in the first place. If they break your water, labor get hard fast as well. You risk infection and then most doctors will basically put a time watch on your labor because supposedly you have to have the baby within a certain time frame after having your water broken. Plus, with an epi. you can't move around as much and keep labor progressing well. Another thing is the position that you not only labor in but give birth in. Both of those have into account not only how labor progresses but also your chance for tearing or needing to have an episotomy along with how long the pushing stage can be (more on this later as well). I put in my birth plan that I did not want to be told when and how to push nor have any guidance in this area unless I asked for it. I also avoided dilation checks for a few reasons. There are a ton of routine stuff that I wanted to avoid and knew that the natural route was the way to do it. Another reasons is I recovered so well! I felt great after birth. I was actually shocked. I felt more better with Jahs and he was bigger by a pound and came out with his hand up by his face yet I didn't tear (because of pushing position and hot oil compress). I kept having to remember to take it easy after I had him because I felt so great.
I am going to be writing a second post explaining what the procedures are, why we avoided them, and a few other "tips" for you if you are going to be having a baby whether you don't think there is any way you would want a natural birth or not. :)