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.