I routinely get asked if I'm going to get "the drugs." When I respond, "nope, trying for a natural birth," the responses I get the most are "you're crazy" or "good luck with that." While I respect other people's thoughts and experiences on the subject, I'm starting to wonder why it seems like such a radical choice to most people, so I did a little digging.
A little more than three out of five of women chose an epidural (see this CDC study). Medical advances mean that getting an epidural is a fast and effective way to block the pain of labor for the mother. As the CDC report puts it, "this can lead to a more comfortable labor and delivery experience when compared with other forms of pain relief (e.g., systemic or local analgesia, Lamaze)."
|What getting an epidural looks like.|
Aside from all of the rather frightening information about epidurals, I have never been the type of girl to take the easy way out. I totally understand that there are some situations where having an epidural/other type medical intervention can be life saving to both the mother and child, for instance with a medically-necessary induction. In that case I absolutely understand the decision to have an epidural. However, as my pregnancy has so far been low-risk, I'm not anticipating that I will need such medical intervention (knock on wood) and therefore it seems to me that asking for an epidural would be taking the easy way out.
I just wish I could explain my reasoning for wanting a natural, unmedicated childbirth to people without feeling like Sasquatch or some other ridiculous freak of nature.
- I am not afraid of pain.
- I actually want to experience childbirth (yes, pain included).
- I survived and recovered from a brutal emergency abdominal surgery when I was 20 (and the subsequent life-changing diagnosis). I did not die or even experience an extreme amount of pain when I was 17, despite the fact that my appendix had been ruptured for a week.
- Because of my experiences, I believe in my body's natural ability to be awesome, despite extremely difficult situations.
- Based on the above, I also know that I have an extremely high tolerance for pain.
- I enjoy things that are difficult, because the payoff is so much better than things that are easy.
- I believe that I will be able to perform better during the labor and therefore have an easier experience, if I am not numb from the waist down.
- I believe it will allow me to have an intense and amazing bonding experience with my husband and my son.
- Believe it or not, I am actually excited to experience the birth process, and I want to be as fully present as possible.
- Seriously. Experienced a fair amount of physical pain in my life. Really doesn't scare me.
In the mean time, I truly hope that I get the opportunity to experience birth the way that I want. But whatever happens in the end, as long as my son and I are both healthy, I will be happy.
Okay enough seriousness, here are this week's pictures. Figured we might want to include Patrick in these since they might be the last baby bump pictures we get to take (fingers crossed!).
|Our best Christmas gift ever is on his way!|