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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not so natural

Okay, so I saw something this week that got me thinking. My sister asked on Facebook about prenatal classes and whether or not they're worth it. One of her friends said they would be good prep if she was going to give birth naturally. I think it was her sister-in-law who said something about how birth is natural whether or not you use medicine. That got me thinking about the whole "natural" terminology. Is this like the term pro-choice for abortion, which implies that if you're against abortion you didn't make a choice? So I've decided that calling birth without medication "natural" is definitely a misnomer.

(*Rebecca~ You are hereby released from reading the rest of this blog. Just go about your business and have a wonderful day off! :)

I feel like I have a good grasp on the matter now considering my delivery of Austin was unmedicated. It wasn't planned that way -- the epidural worked wonderfully until the end of labor and the delivery. Turns out the epidural had slipped out of my back, and we didn't notice until it was too late to put it back in for the last part of labor and the delivery. I felt everything. Even the midwives were surprised that I could feel everything that was happening, and therefore told me that I had given birth naturally after all. Here's the thing: My delivery of Austin felt anything but natural -- definitely a lot more unnatural than the previous three deliveries.

In fact, I've decided there's nothing natural at all to want to feel that pain! No offense to those who choose it, but I do not understand it in the least bit!!! It's like an extreme sport -- people who do marathons in the Sahara, those who compete in the Iditarod, or those who attempt to climb Mount Everest. Sure, people have done it, but I don't get it.

I know there are those who have legitimate reasons -- medical concerns, allergies, etc. But I believe our epidural cavity was created by a loving Heavenly Father who knew what relief epidurals could and would provide. Just as I'm grateful for -- and use -- cars, microwaves and other modern medicines and conveniences He's inspired, I'm extremely grateful for epidurals and the chance they gave me to enjoy my prior deliveries. All the women I've talked to who were around before epidurals wish they had been given the chance to have them.

Mind you, I survived. But I didn't enjoy -- not in the least bit. It didn't feel natural, it didn't give me a rush, it didn't give me any connection with my ancestors, and it didn't make me proud of my strength (even though they all commented I had done so well it was like I had planned "natural" all along). Nope. It made me sad to know how much I disliked this delivery in contrast to the wonderful experiences I had been blessed with during my prior three deliveries. I was hot, sweaty, in pain and didn't even care to see my little guy after he was born because of my pain. If that's natural, then I'll stick with unnatural and advise every woman I know to do the same!

(And Rebecca, if you actually read this blog against my advice, then just know that I'm praying for your platelets to stay up so you can have an epidural, too!)


the Rowleys said...

Ok, of course you know I have to comment. My opinion, take it or leave it. I say yours wasn't natural. If it is natural your body kicks in endorphins on it's own, and it hurts, but then your body compensates for it. Truely it is like you are on a kind of drug, a "natrual high" as you will. But from all my research and study, what you felt was way worse than what I felt with my two natural (non-medicated, you choose the term) births because you didn't have your body kicking in the endorphins, because the medication was doing it for your body, thus it didn't see the need. I truely believe what you experienced was painful and not gratifying at all. I would NEVER want to experience that!
Don't get me wrong, it hurt, and after my first baby I totaly understood why women would want an epidural, and if that is what you want, you should have it! But don't think that natural (non-medicated) is all pain. It is not! It is wonderful!

Leslie said...

Must be the forth kid thing. My epidural slipped out to and BOY was it fun having Chase! Not! Ive never felt pain like that. Never want to again. And that thought will keep me from ever having another baby again. But I did think...well if I had KNOWN that it wasnt going to work, maybe I could have prepared better. But I was stupid and kept thinking..ok, its going to work...its going to work. It didnt. So let me tell you. I LITERALLY FELT YOUR PAIN!

Lizzylou said...

I know your pain! My epidural needle slipped out too. The doctor couldn't find a spot to stick the needle so he stuck it in extremely lateral and then it slid right out, which I didn't know 'till after the delivery. I wondered why the little button to give a medicine boost did nothing, but later found out why. I couldn't wait for the next contraction so that I could push again and get him out! Very painful!!!

Brown Family said...

I knew someone would stand up for unmedicated birth since it seems to be such an "opinionated" topic. :)

I really don't think this birth was any worse than other unmedicated births. It's just that I've experienced medicated where I enjoyed EVERY minute, and I don't believe it's physically/emotionally possible to enjoy every minute when you're in pain. (Maybe I'm just baby, but I really don't like pain!)

However, I do believe my body kicked in endorphins, because bodies do that under ANY stressful condition -- child birth, extreme sports, trauma, etc. -- as a coping method. However, if it truly compensated for the pain of child birth, I don't believe women would ever opt to use epidurals. As it is there is MUCH pain involved, even with the endorphins. Like I said, I know people have their reasons, but I'll never understand it!

Stacey said...

I agree! My twins were "natural" not by my choice and though the birth went quickly times two I didn't enjoy it! I didn't hold them either...I was exhausted. My first child the epideral wore off somewhat but I at least wanted to hold her. My 2nd and 5 children's birth was very pleasant. Ironically those children were very calm babies too! My twins (3 & 4) on the other hand were born quick and their birth was chaotic. They were fussy and not very content babies! I don't get the stay at home and have my baby option though either. I guess it is a personal choice and I'm glad I don't have to think about going through any of it again!

Bruce & Sylvia said...

I had a epidural with my last 2. It was wonderful. When I had Ryan, I thought-how did Lila Davies have 16.

Melissa Basua said...

Epidurals slipping out?! How horrible! I have never heard of such a thing! I have gone through labors with and without an epidural and I will ALWAYS have one! I think the experience is so much nicer and more memorable! I would suggest getting an epidural to anyone.

Jennifer said...

It truly is a personal thing for everyone. I hated my hospital birth with an epidural. (I am glad the medical knowledge is there for when it is needed, but I would have preferred to have a natural one.) I sometimes wish that I could get pregnant again just to have the natural at home deliver I wanted. Yes, there is some pain, and you do get a little tired, but I still prefer that to not being able to feel it. My labors are also pretty quick, so maybe that is another reason I like it, and do not get overly tired and worn out.