It happened again . I was at the Doctor’s office for a prenatal visit and a conversation started between myself and another pregnant woman nearby. The topic came up about where I was giving birth and she quickly exclaimed how she could never give birth without the drugs and thinks it’s a bit crazy. Her final statement was “The end result is the same so why suffer?”
I think this is a pretty common philosophy among women and my canned response is always “Well, it’s definitely something you have to be passionate about”
For me it is something I am passionate about, but I have had to question myself. Am I really that crazy? Would I describe the pain of childbirth as “suffering”? “How can I know what I am missing out on if I have never even tried an epidural?”
I may be crazy, but no matter how much I try to talk myself out of it I always come back to preferring a natural birth.
After having each of my three children natural in an alternative birth environment I can honestly say that I like the organic raw connection I have with my baby and my body as new life passes through me. I enjoy the feeling of strength and empowerment as I give way to the rhythm of the contractions.
I don’t know how it feels with an epidural. I am sure it’s still one of the greatest moments of your life no matter what, but there is certainly plenty of research and studies to suggest that epidurals interfere with some of the major hormones of labor and birth. To me there is no greater intoxicating euphoria than when the baby is born and you get that initial skin to skin contact. It is an indescribable high. You go from this intense pain and struggle to instant relief and rapture. It is incredible.
I am not diminishing anyone else’s labor experience because again, it’s a new baby how can it not be amazing? And since the women choosing not to get epidurals are by far the minority I can only assume that there is another side to the story and maybe I am missing out! It’s a different and unique experience for each mother.
In my case I am probably influenced by the birth options my mother chose with me. I was born at home with a midwife at a whopping 9 pounds 9 ounces. I’ve never felt pressured whatsoever to do the things the same way my mom did, but she is had 4 children that way and I have three and it’s been a positive experience for both of us.
Baby #4 is due any day now. I have plans for another natural water birth, but this birth could be completely different than the other three. I have been blessed with some pretty smooth and consistent labor and deliveries, but if this one doesn’t go as planned I am totally okay with that. There are lots of reasons that women choose or need intervention.
But, just in case anyone else is wondering “why would you suffer when the end result is the same” I hope I have provided a little insight.
Natalie Busch is a Jesus lover, a wife, and a mother. You can find her over at Messy Mom where she shares some practical tips along with humorous and heartfelt stories about her family of 5 (and one on the way) living in a small space with a small budget. You can join in on the mess via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram YouTube.