Monday, January 26, 2015

On Natural Birth (Would I Do it Again?)


If you haven't already, check out Charlie's Birth Story.

So now that Charlie's birth story is published for the world to see (and sparing no detail), I thought I would talk about my experience having a natural birth. For a lot of people, my labor and delivery experience might have sounded like a horror story. I mean, 24 hours of labor was no walk in the park, but the truth is, I have zero regrets about the ordeal. 

Before Chuck and I even got pregnant, I had watched The Business of Being Born and I had read several blogs about natural birthing. As someone who is somewhat cynical of our healthcare system here in the U.S. to begin with, natural birth seemed like something I definitely wanted to pursue down the road. My road just happened to be a lot shorter than I anticipated. I went in to my birth plans with the desire for little medical intervention and a birth that mirrored what I thought God intended for women. 

In hindsight, however, I came to realize that my intentions for pursuing a natural birth weren't quite as pure and holistic as I'd love for people to believe. I would love to sit here and pretend I'm Mother Earth, but if I'm being completely honest (especially with myself), I wanted a natural birth because I'm kind of a control freak.

Labor pains didn't scare me. 

Having an induction that caused unnaturally painful contractions that could potentially cause my baby distress? That scared me.

Having an epidural that prevented me from working through my contractions, or using my legs at all? That scared me.

Having an unnecessary c-section that had doctors pulling out my internal organs? That scared the bejeezus out of me.

I realize that babies have a tendency to do what they want and no one can plan how their birth will go down, but I wanted to have some semblance of control over my labor and delivery. And I certainly did not want to hand over control to someone else. All this being said, I was fortunate to have an almost 100% ideal delivery and felt totally in control of my body the entire time.

My midwife and nurses always consulted with me before intervening in any way. I was left alone to work through my labor pains how I was naturally inclined to and really only saw them when it was time to get my antibiotics and during the transition/pushing period. After Charlie was born, we were mostly left alone to bond with our baby, figure out breastfeeding and get to know one another. At no point did I feel powerless. Rather, I felt completely empowered by what my body was doing all on its own (with Chuck's help, of course) and I was so blessed to have a medical team who supported this.

I am not one to look down on anyone's choice of how they want to give birth. On the contrary, going through the extreme pain of labor made me 100% support any woman's decision. Unless, you've gone through that pain, no judgments allowed!

And speaking of the pain? Yes, it was pretty much as bad as everyone says. Contractions hurt. Crowning hurt
. Recovery hurt. But at no point during my laboring did I feel that what I was doing was impossible. At no point did I feel like the pain wasn't manageable. And today, I wear the fact that I went through that pain drug-free like a badge of honor.

When Charlie was born, I wish I could say that my immediate thought was, "Look at this darling angel baby whom we created," but it wasn't. Real talk? My very first thought after his squishy little body came flying out of me was, "I can't believe I just did that. I AM A BADASS."

All this aside, I'm now 4 weeks out and with the exception of some pesky hemorrhoids, my body has bounced back really quickly. Obviously, I think the fact that Charlie was a smaller baby definitely helped, but I also think being able to labor in the water helped tremendously in relaxing my lady bits and enabling my body to stretch easier. I walked away with one small tear and zero stitches, so I'm inclined to believe the birthing tub was a huge factor in my quick recovery. 

So to answer the question: would I do it again? 

Absolutely. 100%. YES.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful lady..I have just spent the better part of an hour reading Charlie's entire birth story and then this post and I am BOWING DOWN TO YOU. Holy cannoli--you are wonder woman to me. I am also a control freak, but I am not afraid to admit I'm terrified to have children for the pain factor alone. You inspire me! Thanks for posting this :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't heard of anyone who had a natural birth who wishes they hadn't. It seems like such an amazing thing for your body to do, and I'm sure it does make you feel super hard core!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had an epidural with my first....it didn't work and so I was in pain and felt stuck. The feeling stuck and out of control was the worst feeling ever. So with my daughter I went natural and I thought the process was so much better because I was as in control as possible! Now, if the first epidural had worked, I might be singing a different tune ;) I appreciated how you said we shouldn't judge each other for how our babies arrive!! Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. No judgment, EVER! "Just show me the baby!" Really...4 out of my 5 were natural and the 1 I had with an Epideral brought a breech baby safely into this world. Yes, my right leg was numb for 6 weeks (literally, I was dragging it behind me), but my thanks was in the safe delivery of my #3 baby boy. I've had NOTHING, I've had EVERYTHING and still I say, "Just show me the baby." I don't care how he/she gets here...just know that you are about to experience THE BEST THING ever in your life. Kaity...you ARE the Warrior Woman to me b/c you stuck to your plan. There was never any judgment. Some have C-Sections, some have Epiderals, some have nothing. END RESULT: a beautiful, healthy baby. THAT'S the Plan! So Thankful! MS

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so encouraging! I am 100% set on a natural childbirth for many of the same reasons you were. Every woman is different, and I support women getting the birth they want, but I just think that there is no easy way out of birthing pain. It is going to be hard no matter what, even with an epidural. To me, it seems like there is always a catch to those interventions that supposedly make childbirth easier. Of all the birth stories I have heard from friends, the easiest-sounding ones are actually the natural child birth stories! The ones that sound horrible were full of interventions intended to make the whole thing "easier". Bottom line is, I plan on trusting my body and hanging on for dear life. :-/ We'll see if my story changes after Violet is born. :) Thank you for sharing this post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so glad it could be an encouragement! I've had plenty of people look at me like I'm crazy when I told them I did it naturally, but if you're able, it's amazing and totally possible. Not easy, but definitely possible :) So excited for your little one- you're getting so close!!!

    ReplyDelete