Welcome to the October 2013 Carnival of Natural Mothering! This article is part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlower, Every Breath I Take, I Thought I Knew Mama, African Babies Don't Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month's topic is Natural Birth Choices. Be sure to check out all of the participants' posts through the links at the bottom of this page.
From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to have a 'natural birth.' My mom did with me. My older sister did. And I just knew that I could too, and that I would. I don't know how to describe it really, but for me there just wasn't another option. I didn't even consider the idea of getting an epidural, and I thought about a c-section with dread. I knew it wouldn't be the end of the world, and I was thankful the option existed in case of an emergency. But man, the thought of it scared me.
If I were to list out the specific reasons why I wanted to give birth naturally, it would look like this:
1. because breastfeeding was very important to me, and avoiding pain medication results in baby being born more alert and active.
2. because the idea of getting an epidural was scarier than the idea of not getting one (that needle. a catheter scary stuff to me!)
3. because I wanted to avoid a c-section at all costs, unless it was truly a medical emergency
4. but most of all, because I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to feel the contractions, to feel my baby moving down the birth canal and closer to being in my arms. I wanted to know how bad it really was. And no matter how bad it was, I wanted to conquer it.
When I think of my own experience giving birth, I feel so very blessed. I truly cannot look back and say that I would change a single thing. In the end, it was both harder and easier that I thought it would be. It wasn't as painful as I imagined it to be, I never once thought that I wanted an epidural, or anything to relieve the pain. But it was emotionally harder than I realized it would be.
It was the beginning of labor that was hardest for me, since my contractions were very strong and close together from the very beginning, and since my sister had labored for over 24 hours with each of her kids, I just thought I would too. I didn't handle the contractions very well because I didn't imagine how they could get worse. But once I realized that I had to stop worrying and just be in the moment, my experience changed immediately.
I felt my body doing what it was meant to do, and it felt good. I felt empowered, and it gave me the strength to continue on and reach my goal of giving birth naturally. You can read my complete story here. I found that reading natural birth stories and watching videos was very inspiring during my pregnancy and I encourage any pregnant woman reading this to do the same. Read about the experiences of other women and feel empowered through their success stories. Watch videos of natural births. Trust your body. And after all is said and done, even if your birth doesn't go how you envisioned it, accept your experience, learn from it and be proud of whatever you were able to accomplish.
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We hope you enjoy visiting all of the posts in the Carnival!