thoughts on childbirth

thoughts on childbirth

In 4 months, give or take a few weeks, I will be giving birth to a little baby girl. (Hopefully!)

The thought of that – of childbirth, of labor – absolutely terrifies me. It has terrified me from way before I got pregnant, and it continues to terrify me as I draw closer to the day. It’s like walking into a torture chamber knowing what they’re going to do to you. I know in my head the cliche “it will be worth it”, but I don’t feel right now that it makes it better. Perhaps because I don’t feel a crazy love already for the little person inside me?

I’ve been thinking now about the old question of, do I accept pain relief when I’m in labor? I know I need to make the decision now before I let the wave of pain make that decision (cuz you know what choice THAT will be!). I feel pressure from both sides: from the side of me that wants to take relief, to the outside pressures I get from friends who think natural childbirth is the only way to go.

My mother had me naturally, and she said “never again!” She had a really bad experience, and much preferred the births of my siblings where she was able to cuddle with the newborn instead of being so tired and in pain that she didn’t want anything to do with the baby. My mom, who knows me inside and out, suggests that getting an epidural might be the best option for me, knowing my extremely low tolerance for pain.

No matter what decision I make, I want it to be an informed decision. I want to have done my research, and have come to a conclusion that I feel comfortable with. I do not want to refuse medication just because someone else is pressuring me. I know that it probably is ideal for the baby to have no medications, but let’s face it – I’ve gone through an entire bottle of Tylenol plus half a bottle of Phenergan so far this pregnancy, it’s already too late for that. ;-)

I plan to take a childbirth class… And that, combined with my own personal research on birthing methods, will hopefully bring me to a conclusion about what to do, which I may or may not share with you before the birth. And I might ask those of you who have given birth, why you chose the method you chose, but if I don’t ask then that’s okay. :-)

If you look at me and my two siblings today, you could not tell which one of us was birthed with the help of an epidural, which one of us used disposable diapers, and which one of us was fed (*gasp*) FORMULA. We’ve all grown healthy and strong, happy little babies to successful adults. So I know that as long as I do my research then I’ll make the best decision for my baby AND me. And I’m praying that no matter what I decide, that God will give me peace four months from now! Because I am still terrified.

7 thoughts on “thoughts on childbirth

  1. What ever you choose to do just be assured that you chose the best option for you and your baby. There is no shame in needing meds just as there is no shame in formula feeding or disposible diapering. These options are there to help us feel more reassured we are doing our best. And whatever you do don’t let people scare you with horribly detailed birth stories. Remember your story is going to be diffrent from mine or anyone else’s. And that is good. God made us all diffrent for a reason. God bless you in this season of change and I pray he gives you His perfect peace.

  2. Well, in 2 months I’ll let you know what I did. :)
    I have lots of plans, but I do have one ultimate plan: that all the plans can be chucked in an instant if I change my mind. Oh the beauty of getting to change your mind! Just remember, this is YOUR body and YOUR baby and YOUR prerogative to do this how YOU want to do it.
    All I would suggest is not being “married” to a birth plan, because obviously things can change in an instant while giving birth and you don’t want to set yourself up for being disappointed in yourself. The end goal? Healthy baby and healthy mama. It does NOT matter how this is achieved!

  3. You can do it! I’m here to answer any questions you might have about my experience.

    As long as you educate yourself about what is normal and not normal in labor (there are some things that really surprised me), and are fully educated about all the possible meds and interventions they might need to do before you’re full-term, I think you’ll be in a great position to make informed decisions.

    No one but you will understand the pain and other sensations you will experience. It might be hard on you, it might not. You won’t know until it’s happening, and who is anyone to tell you that you should not have an epidural? It’s not for us to say.

    It’s not likely that you’ll have a lightning-speed fast labor with no time to have an epi, but if you do, it’s helpful to practice relaxation methods to make it easier on you (and Paul!). Epi or no epi, I think the relaxation and focus I learned from my Bradley course was pretty helpful.

    I do know that the anticipation of labor can be a little daunting. Your body is about to do something it NEVER has done before! And yet, it will know what to do.

    I wish I could sign up to do 10 hard contractions on your behalf. Wouldn’t that be something? :)

    Childbirth is one of the craziest things I’ve ever done and I’m looking forward to doing it again someday! Ashley, you can totally do this.

  4. :)We’ve talked about this, but I wanted to share anyway. Although I am all about natural births, like Beckie said, you need to do what you feel is best. I know you are going to research and decide, it’s not like you’re going to blindly go into things. Millions of babies are born to medicated mommies and they are just fine. :) I am proud of you for not just following the “crowd”. (even if I am one of the people in the crowd.)
    want to know a secret? I know processed foods are bad for you and can cause health problems, but guess what? I EAT THEM!! :)

  5. The answer definitely is not the same for everyone, but it sounds like you are more than ready to do the research and make an informed decision for yourself and your family and that is the most important thing.

    I’m more than willing to share about my first experience and how that affected my choices and I what I am hoping for this next birth. I also have several book suggestion on the subject, but I definitely have a particular bent so I understand if you prefer to dig in and find stuff on your own. Just let me know if you’d like me to send along my reading list ;)

  6. It’s good to be honest with yourself and it’s normal to be fearful of the unknown. I was actually more stressed before my second labor than I was with my first…ignorance is bliss at times! :-) I’ve had both of mine (and intend to have this next one) at home without drugs and with a midwife. If you have any questions feel free to ask! In my opinion, natural childbirth is a wonderful option! I know that home birth is not for everyone but I DO think natural childbirth is something MOST women CAN do. I highly suggest watching “pregnant in america” it’s a documentary regarding birth and what’s great is it’s the FATHER that’s doing all the documentation! I think you’re starting out right, making your decision NOW before you are actually IN labor :-) Just keep thinking about the millions of women that don’t HAVE any other choice and have done it over and over again over thousands of years :-) You can TOTALLY do this!

  7. Realizing that I am not pregnant nor have I been, I know I don’t have much room to talk, but I thought I would share my 2 cents worth. AJ and I have talked about staying home as long as we can in labor, but also going for the epi. Which is really odd coming from someone with the major fear of needles (those things are HUGE!), but I have had enough pain and problems with my reproductive tract that at this point I think I want something not to hurt for once. Also, I think it is odd that a baby is the only thing that doctors allow you the choice of having a pain killer for when they do things down there.

    My only really worry about the epi is that I have a REALLY REALLY low pain tolerance and also pain killing drugs do NOT work on me. My body just ignores them, and I am not talking just otc pain killers but some heavy duty stuff. The worst was having a double dose of morphine and lots of others in my system and having them wear off in 10 minutes and not even taking the edge off at all.

    I know that you will make the best decision for you. Also, you can try one thing with this one and if it wasn’t “right” by you, then the next one you can change it. Every baby is different, every delivery different, and every time you will be different. There is nothing saying you have to do all my nieces and nephews the same :) Besides, no one should criticize you for your choice, they aren’t living in your body and knowing what feels right to you and Sparkleberry.

    *hugs* You are going to make the right choice, I know that.

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