Monday, September 14, 2009

Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth: Open Season

As many of you know, when you are pregnant the public feels as though they can do or say anything they want to you. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? The unexpected tummy rubs…the rude grandfather welcoming you with “Wow! You really do look like an fat cow.”…the stranger telling you that the name you love reminds them of a sleazy girl that they used to know…or even my beloved mother stating that it must be a boy because my rear was getting bigger.

When I was pregnant with our first child, I spent a lot of time and energy researching my options for childbirth methods and pain control. I had also had some interaction with patients that were negatively impacted following an epidural. Although I was aware that the odds were that the epidural would work wonderfully, I decided to prepare myself for an un-medicated birth, using hypno-birthing techniques.

Wow! The response was usually not supportive. Some people openly chided me for my naivety and some even laughed. It was as if they were personally vested in my birthplan failing. I even knew that many of the doctors that I would come in contact with were skeptical. The negative responses completely surprised me. To this day, I still can not understand why this choice caused such a dramatic response from some. The last time I looked, it was my uterus we were talking about. Frankly, my husband and the medical staff were the only ones who would have to deal with me and my crazy decisions, right? After all, I have never found myself judging those who wanted the epidural.

I now realize that this may be one of those situations when others criticize in order to justify their own choices. Just because you can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing doesn’t mean that it is wrong. That is why we have options, right?

Did it work, you are asking yourself? Yes and no. At ten centimeters dilated, I was still able to walk out to the waiting room to talk to our parents without cursing or screaming. I also never threatened to kill my husband. However, after pushing for two hours, I needed a stinking c-section due to the baby’s head positioning and change in heart rate. At that point, we jumped right past the epidural to the spinal block but I’m not bitter. When all was said and done, the goal of the birthplan was achieved…healthy mom and baby. After all, we all had this goal in common.


Dana said...

Love this quote better, "The last time I looked, it was my uterus we were talking about."

Tricia said...

I did think you were crazy then...but look at me now! I think a lot of people just don't get it until they are pregnant.

Krista said...

Here's a shout out to all my friends who gave birth without an epidural, full epidural, and God bless those with only 1/2 an epidural.