Why Natural?

Since Poppyseed was born,  several people have asked to hear her birth story.  I’m really happy to share it, though I don’t know how many people care to read it, but it’s of course going to involve a lot of personal details that not EVERYONE really wants to read.  So, for that reason, I’m going to make it a separate post that is password protected.  So, if you actually type in the password, then you had better not be mad at me if you don’t like what you read!!  I’m talking to the guys out there… 😉

Why did we choose to have a natural birth?  Why didn’t I want an epidural?  Why didn’t we just induce when she was overdue?  Why was I so opposed to the mandatory induction scheduled for 8 days after her due date?

That’s all sort of hard to explain, because 9 months ago my birth plan was simply “to have the baby in my arms when I left the hospital.”  I never imagined myself to be the “type” to go natural.  In fact, I thought all that natural birth stuff was kind of odd and even unattractive.  Why would a woman squirm and groan through her labor if she could remain dignified and comfortable while on an epidural?  I feel like sometimes women who have natural childbirth are categorized as hippies (if you know me then you know that’s definitely not the case) or women who are on some type of mission to prove that they are better/stronger mothers than other women.

Honestly, for me, it all started with my sister.  I have an older sister who is a truly incredible mother.  When I got pregnant, she sent me a book about breastfeeding by Dr. Sears.  I was concerned that I may not be “good at it,” so I started reading the book as soon as it arrived.  I expected to read about positions, latches, advantages of nursing, etc.  I didn’t expect so many comments throughout the book to advocate natural birth. It occurred to me to look into it, but then I thought, “nah….”

Some time went by and I got tired of people asking me if I’d seen the documentary “The Business of Being Born” so I rented it on iTunes and watched it.  It was (like many documentaries) EXTREMELY biased.  I thought it was actually a little bit annoying to watch, because I felt like it made the medical profession look really evil and painted most obstetricans as insensitive, money-hungry, knife happy jerks.  But, there were a few points made in the video that resonated with me.  I didn’t watch the entire video, but I did remember a few quotes/scenes that made me wish I could have a natural birth.  But… I couldn’t possibly do it.  No way.  Girls like me don’t do that.  I wear deodorant, buy my makeup from a department store, and have a CHI flatiron.  Not for me.

Then one day I went into Starbucks and saw an acquaintance of mine… actually a chick that I was friends with on Facebook who also has a blog that I find quite hilarious.  You know how sometimes you meet another girl that you sorta kinda already know but not really?  Like you see her at your friend’s wedding shower, and then at another friend’s baby shower, so you know her name and have heard she’s really nice, but she’s not really someone you know much about?  (Other than what you know from reading her blog like a cyberstalker?)  Well it was awkward seeing this girl because I knew enough about her to say hello but not enough about her to say much more, and yet somehow we ended up talking.  She was really cool, and I knew enough about her sense of humor from her Facebook and blog to get that she is witty and funny and socially normal.  She mentioned she had a natural birth.  What?  You?  Really?  You seem like such a normal girl!  She even pulled it off at the hospital I was going to use.  She mentioned a Bradley Method class.  Okay.  I’ll look into it.  And I did.

Several months later, we went to the class.  I was really apprehensive.  Oatmeal was even more so.  It was a 12 week course, 70 miles away from our house, at a home in College Station.  Meaning that once a week we’d drive for an hour to get there, spend 2 hours in class, and then drive an hour home.  I expected to see the instructor breastfeeding a 10 year old when I walked in, I was just certain it would be THAT weird.  But it wasn’t.  The teacher was a girl I’d be friends with.  Everyone was really nice and good humored, and we spent each Sunday learning WAY more than I’d read in any book.  It was pretty darn fun actually.  It gave me a lot of peace of mind, and made me feel prepared.

I still didn’t really tell anyone I was planning a natural birth.  I felt like doing so would jinx me.  You all know the girl who swears she is going to go au natural but then she ends up with an emergency C-section.  That wasn’t going to be me.  I kept my mouth shut.

So why’d I go natural?  Honestly, because I felt like I could.  I felt prepared.  I’m also religious enough to believe that my body was created to do things like have a baby.  Childbirth isn’t dangerous, our great grandmothers all gave birth naturally and so did every woman before them.  In fact, most things that I read actually showed me that less than 6% of births actually require medical assistance such as cesarean.  Once I read it in enough places and talked to enough people, I started to buy into it.  I don’t have a “high pain tolerance.”  I don’t just ENJOY pain.  I signed up for natural childbirth, not to have my fingers chopped off one by one!  Again, I just felt like I was made to do it, and eventually I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t try.  Sure, there are people and studies out there that will tell you that the babies born to unmedicated mothers are healthier, breastfeed better, etc.  I have to admit though, I have enough nieces and nephews born in a variety of different ways to make me think that no matter how a baby is born, chances are they’ll be just fine.  So while I’m glad that I had a natural birth, I wouldn’t have beat myself up had it not worked out.

So…. if you want to read the birth story, then the password to the next post is just simply the word “birth.”


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