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why did you/do you want to go natural? - Page 2

post #21 of 92
I did have a little narcotic relief early in labor with #2. I was worried about the side effects, but it was the best option at the time. Mostly, I've avoided pain relief because of concern about the side effects. They are a valuable tool, but are SEVERELY over used. The concept of an epidural has always scared the cr@p out of me. Then I learned that they don't always work!!! It would take an immediate danger to me or the babe before I would consider one.
post #22 of 92
My mom had all 3 of hers without interventions (hospital-based midwife practice), so that seemed like the 'norm' to me to start with.

Also I am an MD and during my Ob/Gyn rotation in med school I saw a LOT of highly managed births and not a single intervention-free one. I was horrified at the powerlessness of the laboring women - eg they'd be pleading to walk around and were told sternly to stay in bed with the monitor on. It seemed so dumb - obviously the women's bodies were telling them how best to get the baby out and the hospital staff were throwing up hurdles left and right. No wonder the hospital had a 40% section rate. So yeah, I *also* saw a lot of C-sections and I learned from that experience that I never, never, never wanted a C-section (or any surgery really).

I'm not strongly opposed to epidurals - eg if the woman is really tired and sapped by pain I think an epi can be helpful in giving her a 'second wind' to finish the delivery - but on balance I think if you can do without, that's a little better. And personally, I'm definitely eekier about a needle in my back than about labor pain.

Overall the best advice I got was from my mom - stay home as long as you can! I showed up to the hospital already pushing and way past the option for an epi or anything else. Worked out perfectly. Hope I can pull it off again next time around!
post #23 of 92
My first births weren't especially natural. I do tend to have a "don't mess with it" approach to medicine anyway - I don't, for example, believe in bringing down fevers unless necessary. So that is also my attitude to birth. But, I am a bit of a chicken - I can't easily relax into the whole birth thing, and with my pregnancies I didn't know enough.

I know a lot more now about the details of birth and how interventions affect them, and if it was available I would be having a home birth this time. Since it isn't, I have been doing hypnobabies to teach myself to relax and let my neocortex be a little quieter.
post #24 of 92
Originally Posted by poetesss View Post
I don't believe in that "feeling the experience" stuff that people talk about when discussing natural birth. I'd rather NOT feel the pain. .
I was one of those women genuinely interested in the experience. Not in the 'one with your body' 'bond with your baby' 'be empowered' sort of way, just 'OK, let's see what the big deal is!'

Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
For me, a big part of it was women have been doing it for thousands of years, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.
Yeah, me too

And I have to admit to a certain 'macho' streak that is so frowned upon for some reason - I wanted to know I could and would deal with the pain of a normal childbirth.

I don't necessarily view epis as evil or even all that risky. I fully support any woman's right to choose an epidural for her birth, especially if it's difficult. For me it's about the aesthetics of it, the idea behind it - I like accepting challenges that are naturally presented to me.
post #25 of 92


Edited by GoestoShow - 1/4/11 at 8:53am
post #26 of 92
I didn't know anything til I was pregnant. My mom had births without narcotics, but with plenty of interventions not by choice and it always occurred to me that birth is horrible and archaic...
Then I started research, cause I wanted the best for my baby and for me too. I came across all the studies, the websites and decided natural is better. It was then I decided I want to nurse my baby and so on. I literally was clueless before my research!!!
I used to think women who choose natural births are crazy and people who nurse longer than 6 months must be weird... I realize our mainstream society doesn't talk about these things so I am never offended if a non-parent tells me how weird I am... they just don't know and have had no reason to research it!
post #27 of 92
Originally Posted by GoestoShow View Post
Yeah. I wanted to go natural because I was led to believe it was possible, that it was the best for me and for the baby, and all the other lies we get fed. Well guess what? It didn't freaking happen.

The natural birth community led me to believe it would work out because if you plan, do this, do that, get your doula, etc., etc., birth will be a unicorns and fairies.

After what I went through trying to get a natural birth to fail miserably, I wish I hadn't known a damned thing about it. I'm sure now, a year later, I'd be a lot better off ignorant of what I missed instead of pissed off at everyone here who it did effing happen for.

Yeah, I'm bitter and angry and pissed off at natural birthers. I'd like to say more, but it would be filled with UAVs.

I'm sorry. I consider myself a cynical realist, and I can't buy into the unicorns and fairies stuff either. I do think it does a disservice to women to discuss childbirth in strictly glowing terms when it isn't that way for everyone. For a LOT of women, actually.
post #28 of 92
Honestly I think it has a lot to do with my personality and my tendency to want to go against the grain.

I didn't know anyone who'd had an unmedicated birth and I wanted to know what I would have been missing.

I also read a lot of birth stories and there was something so very different in how the story was told by moms who went natural or who had going natural as their goal.

It grew from there.
post #29 of 92
1. I wanted to be able to feel in order to push. I was terrified of the paralyzed feeling that friends had described to me from their spinal/epidural. I felt that being able to feel what was happening was pretty important, you know?

2. I wanted my baby's first moments to be clear. She came out aware, calm, and very focused on the people who were present at her birth. I didn't want her to come out doped up.

I never, ever thought that it wouldn't hurt. That is just silly to think that if you do all these things, that it won't hurt. In fact, I had heard so many horror stories and so many people trying to talk me out of natural birth, that I kept expecting it to get worse and worse, and it didn't. It hurt a lot, but was manageable by sitting in hot water, moving a lot, moaning, and using counterpressure. I kept waiting for it to get to this peak of pain, and then next thing I knew, I was pushing a baby out. So it does hurt, but it's not so bad as the horror story tellers will make it out to be (then again, I didn't have back labor or an breech or anything like that).

ETA my mom and other women role models had classical medical/surgical births. I had been a support person for two natural births for my sister, so I did have an idea of what I was in for, although my sis' experiences were very different than mine (she was in the hosp the whole time, mostly flat on her back, whereas I was the squatting, moaning queen of my home til I went to the hosp 30 mins before dd was born). So I don't think that my mamas had a lot of bearing on my choice. I just wanted to trust my body and let it happen.
post #30 of 92
My first two were fully medicalized hospital births with epis and pit. Then, when I became pregnant with dd2, I felt very strongly that I should go natural. I couldn't get away from it. I prayed about it a lot and got a doula. My mom was very pro-hospital birth (her easiest was a scheduled C-section) and dh didn't believe I could do it, but I knew I had to.

We labored at home until I was at 7, went in to the hospital and labored another hour or two until I was ready to push. Then the OB and nurse went completely white and got very, very scared. Turned out that until my water broke as I was ready to push, they didn't realize that she had a prolapsed cord. The waters had been cushioning and protecting it, and her heart rate had stayed fine. She was out in four pushes, and the L&D nurse, who had never seen an unmedicated birth, was amazed. Dd2 was perfectly fine. My OB told us that if I had had the regular epi/pit cycle it would have been an emergency c-section, but probably too late to save her.

This time around, not only are we going natural, but also having a homebirth (as soon as dh is persuaded, anyway ).
post #31 of 92
For me it has very much to do with the connection to my body and baby.
If I am going 'natural' - then I will be better connected to my body during labour and this will leave me better connected to my baby. This all adds up to a more probably peaceful and natural childbirth (less likely for something to go wrong) - the way it should be for both our health and attachment when baby is finally here.
post #32 of 92
Hmmm...thanks for this thread. I'm 39 weeks with my 4th and planning my first natrual birth. Sometimes I think "What am I doing?? This is nuts!" I'm a little scared and have no idea what to do...having all the choices is a little overwhelming. It was so much easier to nod along with the Dr. and let them make all the decisions.

So now I get a chance to read all your responces and go back to remember why I did chose this path.

With ds2 my epi didn't work, the dr. didn't make it. I discovered birth wasn't that bad. There was lots of chaos in the delivery room. No one ever showed me my son, there was yelling (okay some was from me) and equiptment falling apart and it was not what I wanted for teh first moments of ds' life. I thought right then "I dont' need anything this hospital has to offer."

Then I got pg, decided to homebirth, I'm a little weird anyway, so I've really only gotten support, some stupid questions but none of the horror stories I've heard. People expect it of me.

It also really fits my family. I homeschool, we do everything together, we are very close. When a baby is born, it's not Mommy's baby, it's everyone's baby, I couldn't imagine going away from my family for this huge event and my kids not being able to experiance it.
post #33 of 92
My family has a weird response to pain meds- we need a LOT of them (and I mean a LOT) in order to feel any affect from them. And by the time they've kicked in I start to feel weird and weepy (my sister is the same) and wish I hadn't bothered to begin with.

I also hate not being in control. I don't like feeling foggy or like I can't make my body do what I want it to do- which is why alcohol and drugs (like, say, marijuana) are so horribly unappealing to me, even at the stage in my life where EVERYONE was doing it. The idea of being numbed from an epi or cloudy from stadol is terrifying to me, not to mention that when it kicks in I'd probably panic and start bawling.

Of course, this didn't occur to me when I was thinking about birth options. I'd watched a few episodes of A Baby Story, heard my SIL and other relatives birth stories (hospital births, they thought they went GREAT) and was horrified and knew I could never do that. I have authority problems, I like forging my own path, I don't want anyone to tell me what to do, and hospitals give me panic attacks at the best of times- so for me, the hospital sounded absolutely revolting.

I knew my mom homebirthed with my youngest brother, though I don't remember it, so I knew the second my little pee test came up + that we'd get a midwife, no if's, and's, or but's and nothing DH said would have dissauded me (lucky for him, he didn't care so we didn't need to fight about it!)
post #34 of 92
For as long as I can remember I've always wanted a natural birth. I wanted to be able to feel my child being born. To me it just didn't/doesn't make sense to want to miss such a huge part of my child's life, her birth. I'm sure others don't feel they missed out, but I would have.
post #35 of 92
My short answer: Someone mentioned something about getting a medal?
post #36 of 92
Because being in a hospital, numb, "tied" to a bed by half a dozen wires, with perfect strangers sticking their hands in my vagina sounds like it belongs in a horror movie. I'm slightly claustrophobic and don't like strangers touching me. And I don't like hospitals.

And a hundred other reasons
-- a friend had her daughter, unassisted, in her bath tub at home.
-- I don't like taking medicine / pain killers.
-- I didn't want to go down the cascade of interventions.
post #37 of 92
It was all because of my dh.

At the beginning of my first pregnancy I was convinced that I wanted to get an epidural at the first contraction. My dh convinced me to take a natural childbirth class so if there were some reason an epidural was delayed that I would have the skills to cope with the contractions. This seemed to make sense. So I reseached different methods. We ended up taking Bradley classes. I'm sure the instructor had me pegged for a c/s when I mentioned at the first class that I didn't care whether I used drugs or not. By the end of the series I felt confident and prepared for a natural birth.

Through fighting tooth and nail, I had a natural birth in the hospital. It totally blew me away how great it was. I wanted to tell everyone about. The problem was, nobody wanted to hear it.

I've since trained to become a doula and I've attended a few births, but couldn't deal with the on-call work.

Six years ago I never would have imagined that my second child would have been born at (gasp) home.
post #38 of 92
I guess I just always figured that if I could do it, there was absolutely no reason I shouldn't. I knew that drugs have side effects and there's simply no way that it can be as safe to do it with drugs as it is without. The difference might be small, but really...all drugs have side effects and for some people they're really dangerous. I'm glad interventions exist for when they're needed or even simply wanted. I just don't think that I should rush out to use them simply because they exist.

Additionally, it goes against my whole nature to let people do things to me, which is the best way I can describe how I feel about drugs - they change it from a situation in which you're doing something to a situation in which people are doing something to you. They're giving you medication, hooking you up to monitors, telling you when you can move, telling you how to push and when to push and so on. It's like you take your personal power and hand it over to someone else. I value you my autonomy way too much to relinquish it for the sake of comfort. For the safety of myself or my baby I would do it. For the relief of pain I would not.
post #39 of 92
I don't really know. I never even considered doing it any other way (which makes my five c-sections just that much more frustrating). Some of it was probably that I was absolutely horrified at the idea that I'd been cut out of my mom. I don't ever remember being anything but horrified by it. Part of it was probably that I don't really like drugs and medications (notwithstanding my teenage drug use) and don't even use anesthetic for dental fillings. But, those are only pieces. It just never crossed my mind to think of pregnancy or birth as something that required any kind of medical intervention.
post #40 of 92
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Additionally, it goes against my whole nature to let people do things to me, which is the best way I can describe how I feel about drugs - they change it from a situation in which you're doing something to a situation in which people are doing something to you. They're giving you medication, hooking you up to monitors, telling you when you can move, telling you how to push and when to push and so on. It's like you take your personal power and hand it over to someone else. I value you my autonomy way too much to relinquish it for the sake of comfort. For the safety of myself or my baby I would do it. For the relief of pain I would not.
Oh - and this, I think. I'd never really thought it out, but this is also part of it. I find medical procedures (most emphatically including having a needle put into my spine!) really hard to handle from this perspective.
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