On Natural Childbirth
Natural childbirth is something I am passionate about. I know that many women would love to labor naturally, but they are told many different reasons why they shouldn’t, can’t, or were never meant to.
The #1 reason I chose to follow through to the end with a drug-free, natural childbirth was because I studied, prepared, and decided ahead of time that it was the best choice for my baby and me. My doctor called it self-educating; I carefully read 4 different books on how to do it. Like I mentioned in this previous post, my favorite book was Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
by Susan McCutcheon.
The second reason was because I had Andy’s full support. He spent hours practicing mock labor scenarios with me. He had to study up too, because he had to know what was going on when I couldn’t answer questions anymore. At the end of labor, contractions are intense and close together, and a woman cannot make decisions at that point. Andy had to know what to say to me when I started asking for drugs–pain relief.
My sister also read the book so she could coach me when Andy needed a break. After all, a “texbook labor” is about 14 hours from when contractions get serious (serious meaning you have to be lying down) so it is helpful to have two people take turns coaching. Because I had the support team I needed to succeed, I had more faith that I could do it.
Third, it really helps to have a mentor who has succeeded with natural childbirth. Another one of my sisters had given birth naturally before me. I figured if she could do it, I could do it. My mother-in-law also encouraged me with her stories of natural childbirth for her 2nd and 3rd babies.
I also had a few ballet teachers and dancer friends who told me it’s especially easy for dancers to give birth without drugs. We are accustomed to enduring repetitive muscle contractions in class, breathing through them, and smiling nevertheless. It is as much a mental skill as it is a physical skill. If they could do it, I could do it.
Finally, I just couldn’t bear the thought of my baby’s first breath of life being full of drugs.
Everyone has the freedom to choose what they think is best. But my mind was convinced–I did not want my baby to be drugged when I first met her.
It didn’t go perfectly, but it went well.
Check in tomorrow for the story of my 1st baby’s labor and delivery. To be continued…