Whenever I tell people that my plan is to have my baby at a Birthing Center with a Midwife I get one of two reactions. For some people they are excited and supportive. Many people say that they thought about that option as well or would have done it had circumstances been different for them. On the other hand, there are those who tell me I’m crazy to want to have a baby without meds. Or they say that it is not safe for me to do so. I’m always polite, and I smile and listen to their thoughts and opinions. But then I reassure them that I have researched this and that I am very confident in my decision. I have no intention to change my mind.
Since I don’t have time for a drawn out discussion when these conversations arise, I do not share that research. This is what brings me to this series of blog posts. I want to take some time to share with you why I chose this method for bringing my child into the world. My intentions for sharing this are NOT to dissuade anyone else from a hospital birth, a medicated birth, or a necessary C-section and it is NOT to try to put anyone down who intends to have one. All I want to do is share how I reached this decision. I also want to share some of my research so that more women know their rights. I want women to know that there is more than one path and more than one option when it comes to giving birth.
WHAT INITIALLY PUSHED ME TOWARDS NATURAL BIRTH
If you have read some of my previous blog posts, you know that I lean towards the more natural side of things when possible. This is how it’s always been for me. Through the years, when I thought of giving birth, I NEVER wanted an epidural. My main reasoning for this is that my sister had to have 2 c-sections and she has had back pain in the injection site after having her babies. Then as I got older I heard multiple stories of women who had epidurals and they didn’t work, worked partially, or wore off before the baby was born. Why would I want to take the risk of having a needle stuck in my spine in the hopes of alleviating pain when it might not work! Why would I do something to stop pain for a few hours that could cause pain for a life time? No thanks. My mom had me without any medicine, so I already felt as though it was something I could accomplish. Now that I think about it, this is probably another big contributor for wanting to birth without medication. Though she did not have an easy or pain-free birth with me, she made it sound so much more pleasant than her first birth.
I AM NOT TRYING TO WIN A PRIZE, EARN COOL POINTS, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT!
I remember telling a group of ladies what my intentions were for my birth. Mind you, I don’t run around saying, “look at me look at me, I’m going to birth in a Birthing Center!” For some reason, one of the first questions that you are asked when people find out you’re pregnant is, “Where are you delivering and/or who’s your OBGYN?” (Of course that follows, “When are you due and what are you having?”) Anywho these ladies immediately started to say things like, “Well you don’t get a special prize for doing it without medication.” I wasn’t particularly close to this group of ladies. So I held my tongue. But I wanted to tell them (in a not so nice way!) that that was not my purpose in doing it.
Let me make this point very clear. I am NOT trying to prove what a strong woman I am. I am NOT trying to see if my body can rise to a higher “astral level” or whatever hippie sounding stuff you may feel is associated with giving birth naturally. For some women, that is their motivation and that’s cool. For me, I simply want to let my body do what it was made to do by God. I believe that he created women (and female animals) to be able to give birth with minimal pain and discomfort in normal, low risk circumstances. Many, many, MANY women give birth outside of hospitals all over the world and they do just fine. Will that be everyone’s experience? Nope. Will that be my experience? Hopefully, but I know that if it’s not, that’s ok too. I trust my body and I trust that my body will know what to do when it is time for me to give birth to my baby. I cannot let my body do it’s own thing if I am constantly pumping different medications into it. More on that in my post on Why I am birthing in a birthing center and not a hospital.
Remember, just as one can “plan for the worst”, they can also “plan for the best”. I’m choosing to do the latter with the knowledge and acceptance of what can happen if thing do not go as planned.
THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN
I eventually heard about the documentary, The Business of Being Born. (You can find it on Netflix or Youtube.) I watched this before I was actually pregnant, which I think is the best way to go. That way you have time to do research and you don’t have to feel like a decision needs to be made quickly. If you ever plan to give birth, PLEASE check this movie out. This movie really helped to introduce a few things to me. Mind you, it is from one perspective, and of course it is biased in some ways. I couldn’t help but think that some things were presented in a propagandized fashion. Still, some of the concepts presented in this documentary are undeniably scary. I suggest that you watch it to just as a starting point. This will no doubt reveal some questions that you should ask yourself as well as questions that you should ask your doctor and hospital. After that, you can begin to read and do research of your own to find what rings true for you and your situation. In my opinion this will help you form the best plan for yourself rather than trusting others to do it for you.
SOME OF MY RESEARCH
I looked up videos on Youtube, I read books, I have also read articles on the internet to help me form my decisions for my birth. The information provides different perspectives on natural births and births outside of a hospital. In an effort to help you along the way, I am sharing some of my favorites below.
The Business of Being Born on Youtube
For more insight on my journey to my Birth Decisions, please stay tuned for the next two posts on Why I Chose a Midwife and Why I chose a Birthing Center.