speaks a lot of sense! I'm in very much the same boat as you and am doing this for the first time. I pretty much have to be in a hospital because - I dunno, maybe it's because I'm in Texas - my insurance doesn't cover independent midwives or home births, and midwifes don't typically have relationships with hospitals (there's one exception to that here in Austin but of course it's out of network for me).
Before i became pregnant, I assumed I was going to go full-on hippy route - have it at home, in a bath, with a midwife, yada yada. Cost made some of that preventative, and once I was actually pregnant, I realized that there is A LOT of stuff to figure out - I decided not to stress that the birth couldn't really be precisely how I'd thought I'd wanted.
Then I started even questioning my long-held presumption that I would go the all-natural route. It started to seem to me that most people I knew who'd gone unmedicated attributed a bit of self-righteousness to it. Same as with breastfeeding to a certain point, or attachment parenting, or other parenthood choices. It suddenly seemed silly for me to go all-natural unless I could articulate a better reason to do it than simply, well these 5 friends did it, and I want to be able to say I did it too.
So I talked to a lot of people I know about their experiences. Actually, a lot of the women I know who chose a medicated birth are some of the more rational, self-reflective women I know! The women I know who went all-natural seemed to have chosen that course for reasons that just didn't resonate much with me.
Ultimately I think my reason for attempting a natural birth is primarily the same reason I wanted to have a kid in the first place. I want to experience the thing that has been fundamental to humanity for thousands of years! Some would say, childbirth pain can
be avoided, so why would you not avoid it? But I don't think all
pain necessarily needs to or should be avoided - that there can
be a kind of strengthening from it. If it wasn't something that billions of other women had done already, I promise you I wouldn't be quite so eager! So every time I feel a little surge of fear about it all, I just try to think about embracing the experience with eagerness - to try to look forward to it instead of dread it. The way one might look forward to running a marathon they've trained for (not that I'd know!) It works pretty well - although we'll see when I'm 8 months along
Oh, and one of my friends happened upon an unmedicated birth accidentally with her first, and then got it "right" the second time. She much preferred the medicated birth. BUT, I think the obvious caveat there is that, like
said, going unmedicated takes preparation, and she had none of that. I had another friend who wanted to "see how it went" - well, once she experienced a contraction she was like, well, now I know, so give me the drugs. Again, she didn't go into labor planning for unmedicated so there was no built up willpower - I wouldn't be able to do that either! I think whatever we do, we gotta commit!
And lastly, I think whatever we plan, we should try to also prepare ourselves for it all going haywire. A friend of mine gave birth 8 weeks early and she's the ultimate planner. I picture as she was being rushed down the hallway in a gurney, saying something like, "But -- my birth plan!!!"
I really dislike doctors and hospitals. I find most doctors I interact with tend to be all in a rush, condescending, and do not treat to the individual patient
. I may not have a medical degree but I'm not an idiot, and I know how to educate myself to an extent. I like my actual ob/gyn but had a substitute ob last time I was there and found her to be as described above. I told her I was having really bad drainage and sinus headaches, and before I'd even finished describing how I felt she dismissively said it was probably allergies and that I should just take claritin. Well, I don't even like to take drugs of any kind when it's just me, so I really want to try and resist if it's me and a fetus! Plus, I've had enough seasonal allergies in my lifetime and read enough about post nasal drainage as a common symptom of pregnancy to know that these are not the same!
Anyway, that is a small, stupid story as an example of how I think that you know yourself and your body better than anyone...even if they are a doctor! We live in such a wonderful age of access to knowledge - I say, just read up, take classes, prepare, and you will have that natural labor in the palm of your hands!
sorry that was so long
I'm just thinking about all of this a lot too!