Free advice all over the internet just there for the taking. Free information. Free samples, free printers, free encyclopedias and even religions.
I hate to rain on the parade, but I don't think there is a such thing as something for nothing. Sadly, on this one point, my hubby just might be right-
"You get what you pay for."
The recent reports of that gal Jessica Simpson and her elective c-section to "avoid" labor pain (this isn't about JS so please don't comment about her. Hold yourself back.) brought out the commentators. Lots of women pointed out that there IS pain with a c-section. It doesn't come at the time of birth, but it does come after during the recovery.
Then there is the epidural. It promises a magical way for women to experience birth without feeling any pain whatsoever. Then again, it does increase other complications and even trouble with breastfeeding. This most popular and effective form of pain management is also not without problems.
There is also a lot of talk in the natural birth community about "painless" or "orgasmic" birth. Of course, some women do experience a birth that is free of pain and that is euphoric and beautiful without any medications. In my own tiny experience I have had a birth that was relatively painless, one that was quick and all were euphoric at their close.
Still- I reject the idea that any of us can get something for nothing.
The idea is really....silly. And when it comes to the most important of life's events like birth, motherhood, family, and parenting, it is a stupid and dangerous lie.
Why is it stupid and dangerous? Because when we believe we can get something for nothing we make dangerous decisions. We think if we just choose X then we will have it easy. Everything will be perfect. There will be no pain. There will be no consequences.
This is simply false.
And I fear that if people think that things in life are SUPPOSED to be easy- what do they do when the going gets tough? Walk away? Run away? Scream like hell? Leave our kids? Our marriages? Our lives?
One of the hardest days of my life was the day I realized that life wasn't going to "get easy" for me at some magical point. I suddenly realized that life would always be filled with transitions, difficulties, growth and (here is the good part) BEAUTY. There would always be a combination of the divine and the hard, the difficult and the joyful.
It seems hard, this complicated life with pain and pleasure so intermingled. But it isn't. It is really a perfect design because none of us could really appreciate the good without the "other stuff."
Birth is no different than life. There is no such thing as something for nothing. We all have a road to walk to become mothers. For some of us it is an amazing home birth, for others an unexpected c-section and for others it is adoption.
When we get our babies though it is worth it- WHATEVER the price. Often, the more we pay, the more we appreciate what we earned.
Sarah Clark is a mother of four living in northern California. She trains natural birth teachers for Birth Boot Camp, has been published in "The Mother" and "Natural Child", and teaches couples how to have natural births. You can find her blogging at MamaBirthBlog.com where this post originally appeared in April 2012.