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So one of the more common questions I've been getting in recent weeks has been "Are you going to have a natural birth?"

When I say that yes, I'm planning to, the response has nearly invariably been "Whew! You're braver than I was!"

This boggles my brain a bit. I am absolutely terrified of the idea of NOT doing it naturally. I do not react well to situations where I am out of control or don't know what's going on. I'm very good at channeling pain if I am in a good mental place; but put me in a hospital, make me feel ignored or pathologized, tell me to put my feet up and not ask questions, and I become a weeping, quivering wimp. Why would I put myself in that kind of situation unless I absolutely had to?

(And, for disclaimer's sake: no, I'm not opposed to drugs or medical intervention should it become truly necessary, and I've quizzed my midwife on her procedures should that happen; but I also firmly believe intervention is not necessary nearly as often as most people think. I also know full well that my conscious self will not be 'in control' of the birth; but I will have the psychological illusion, at least, of being in control of my reaction to the process, and that will make a *very* large difference in my state of mind.)


Apr. 25th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
Most of my friends have had their babies naturally, and most, within a hospital setting. That is, no drugs for pain, a quiet birthing room, and they dealt with it like troopers. Giving birth is painful, no two ways about it. My friend, V, is due in July and plans on a natural birth.
What boggles my mind is women who schedule c-sections when they could otherwise have a natural birth. Those of us who have had c-sections due to medical emergencies would have rather had our babies naturally! The c-section isn't painful it is the recovery from a c-section that is painful.
I had planned to have my baby naturally, via the Bradley Method, but had to have a c-section for medical reasons.
That was a lesson for me. I had to relinquish "charge" of my body at that moment, or else lose my son. I was glad the head nurse was also a midwife. Not mine, but at least there was one present.
Continue with your plan and just remember to be open to any changes that might occur.
This is a precious time indeed!
Apr. 25th, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
My mother says giving birth to me wasn't painful.

Of course, I was a fifth child. So, the secret seems to be to have four children before giving birth. :)

I was born at home, as were the two next youngest. She had the first two in hospitals, and it went okay, but there were some mild problems. My father had to intervene to stop them from treating my mother. They thought she was dying because her blood pressure was so low, when it was her normal blood pressure (which was, at the time, ridiculously low, but that runs in my family and she was young then). With my second sister, they wanted to hold her as a premie. She was premie by weight, but everything was fine, and if she'd been born in a different city, she wouldn't have been deemed premie, since she was right at the borders for the judgement. So, they had to insist on taking her home, since she was fine.

The third was born during a snowstorm and they couldn't get to the hospital. My mother then realized she really preferred giving birth at home.

Of course, there were no complications with any of these. I also know of people who had horrible complications. But when all goes well, birth at home seems nice. And it's not as if she didn't have a medical expert nearby so if stuff did go wrong, people could be brought in and people knew what they were doing.

All of which is really kinda pointless, but I wanted to point out that I was such a good kid that I wasn't painful to give birth to. :)


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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