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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. 26th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
I hear ya, though I don't plan on offspring yet, so I haven't really done any serious thinking. The idea of an epidural freaks me out, and I really don't like hospitals. Pain I can deal with, especially when I know it's temporary. I was there when my little sister was born (she's ten years younger), and my mom had her in a birthing center with a midwife, which was a nice compromise between home and hospital -- it was like a nice hotel with the hospital next door. And my dad caught her and I cut her umbilical cord, and there were no painkillers involved. (It was a pretty easy labor, from what my mom says. And she was 38 at the time.) My grandmother had nine kids at home, and my mom in a hospital (since she was over 40), and she was all right.


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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