Friday, August 6, 2010

Going natural

{Mommy and Helena}
"Going natural" has a lot of different meanings nowadays.
Even if you say you are having a baby naturally, that can mean different things to different people.
Going natural = vaginal birth
Going natural = no epidural
Going natural = no pain medication at all
Going natural = no drugs to induce labor (Pitocin)
Going natural = no interventions at all (IVs, broken water, stripped membranes)
When I say I had Helena naturally, I mean that I had no pain medication, but I did have Pitocin and my water broken, so it wasn't a totally natural childbirth. Hopefully this time around, there will be no need for manually broken water or Pitocin and I can have a truly natural childbirth.
I used to think women who forgo the pain meds were C-R-A-Z-Y.
But after actually having a baby and getting an epidural, I changed my mind.
For me, getting an epidural resulted in some pretty major tearing, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and a much longer recovery.
If I could be promised the perfect dose--where I feel the contractions, the pressure, and the urge to push and to stop pushing--would I be more likely to get an epidural again?
I don't know. I think I am one of those C-R-A-Z-Y women. Having Helena without any drugs, feeling everything and being completely in control of my body and what I was doing, was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
{Not to mention the recovery was one bajillion times better than my epidural birth}
This is obviously just my decision of what is best for me. I have been blessed with incredibly short labors*, a very high threshold of pain, and small babies. I have been cursed with a low tolerance of anesthesia. I would much rather have a few hours of intense pain and then be able to hop out of bed and run a marathon the next day (ok, feel like I could run a marathon, not actually run one), than have a pain-free labor and need help getting off the couch for a month, not to mention dozens of stitches in a place you don't normally get stitches.
So maybe in about 4 months I will have a much harder, longer labor and get an epidural after all. But I hope not. After all, I've done it once--I can do it again, can't I?

*Side note about the length of my labors: with Tempe, I was in labor for 13 hours and with Helena, for 2 hours and 13 minutes. According to that, shouldn't my next labor be.... nonexistent? Will I just wake up one day with my baby in bed next to me?


Lora said...

I hope you get the birth experience you want! I had my 4th child at home, with a certified midwife (totally LEGAL in the state where I live, it isn't everywhere) But it was the most awesome experience of my whole life. I had epidural/hospital births with al my other three and I wish I could go back in time and do it differently!

Mrs. Davis @ The Carolina Housewife said...

I don't have any children (as you know), but when I do we are going the homebirth all natural route. After looking at statistics, I think it's the best way to go and I am not sure why all women feel is absolutely necessary to go to the hospital and have a million interventions (which lead to more interventions). Maybe I'll change my mind when I'm pregnant, but I highly doubt it.

With short labors like that, I imagine you'll have the next baby in record time, no matter what type of birthplan you choose :-)

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Hehe, wouldn't that non-existent labor be wonderful?

I'm really hoping mine is short with number 2. My first as 13 hours as well!

Kelli Nicole said...

I read in a book once that a woman DID wake up with a baby in bed once (I think her older child noticed and woke up the mom), but this was a couple centuries ago (and who knows if it's true?).

I've been to/photographed 6 (I think) births and only one had an epidural (after 40 hours at home and then 10 at the hospital with the epi she had a c-section). I have no children, but it's been incredible to watch every time. You mothers are amazing!

andrea said...

i hope it works out for you. I have been thinking about trying this the next time around, I had a pretty tough recoveryafter my daughter was born.
I think it's awesome that you are even thinking about it :)

Mom of 3 said...

I really hope that you get the birth that you are looking for next time. Out of my 3, all were epidural free (due mainly to an extreme fear of needles in my back) and the last two were the best due to no pitocin being used and I was able to walk around and let gravity do most of the work for me. I did have to use a bit of pain drugs to help take the edge off but I was still in control and felt ready to go home right after with no stitches.

Kate said...

Exactly, Mrs. Davis--interventions lead to interventions. Something as routine as an epidural can--and often does--lead to tearing and episiotomies from ineffectie pushing, forceps and vacuum deliveries, and even c-sections. I know it doesn't happen in every case, and I know that all those things CAN happen even if you don't have an epidural, but you are so much more likely to require more invasive interventions after an epidural. That's a part of the reason I am hoping to avoid one again--although if I had labored for 24+ hours, I would probably give in and get one!

Stephens Family said...

You go girl!! I had all 3 of my babies with no epidural because I'm a wimp when it comes to needles. But I agree - you get through the pain, which you CAN get through, and then it's over - no side effects for you or the baby. I remember thinking after having each baby how I didn't feel like I had just had a baby. I felt good!! It's funny how, when people hear that I've never had an epidural, they look at me like I'm crazy. But I think it's worth it! Good luck to you!

Honey said...

A midwife I did some training with told me a story where one of her moms DID wake up with the baby between her legs.