Just to put this out there, I am NOT at all penning this post with any sort of a desire to argue natural birth vs. epidural and which is better and which makes you a better mother/person/citizen. I am just hashing out my thoughts on the various birthing ways and thinking thinking thinking about how this one is going to go down all the live long day. I try to steer clear of controversy round these parts of the web. I'm a middle child, I like peace and harmony and donuts.
Here's a prior labors recap, for fun:
+ we had an all natural, un-medicated, accidental tub birth (not accidentally natural, just accidentally in the water), after being adequately schooled in all things Bradley and evils of the epidural and how all doctors are out to slice and dice you to get your baby out.
+ we had a c-section. Yes, after all that, little Bernadette proved to be our most stubborn child in the uterus as well as out and would NOT flip from her comfy breech perch. We tried the version, and everything else under the sun and on the "spinning babies" website but to no avail. Sooo slice and dice it was, because I am just not at all ok with the risk of a vaginal breech birth.
+ we successfully VBACed with Lucy (vaginal birth after cesarian, sorry I just used the work vaginal. 3 times). While I would have liked to try the natural thing again, after 2 full weeks of being a very full 4 centimeters and timing contractions for hours in the middle of the night, every night (again, for 2 weeks) by the time my water broke I was just done. So epidural it was. And it was a glorious, glorious thing.
So my question is, what now? And yes, that a serious question. Even though every time I mention the natural birth thing to Mike he looks at me like my head is on upside down (because I praise the epidural to the high heavens!), I am still of the Bradley mindset in a lot of ways, except that I really, really like doctors and will never say a bad thing about them.
I get a leetle worried about tempting the epidural gods, lest they let me know that not every epidural is as awesome as mine was with Lucy. I've had plenty of friends that they don't work for, or they fall out for and then have to be re-administered, etc... and I wonder if I shouldn't take a break from it this time or something.
So let's go over some pros and cons of the birthing ways, because I'm 36 weeks and it's just not possible to NOT think, talk, and breathe all things birth and baby right now. Just bear with me.
- interventions often lead to interventions (or so they say)
- it's not fun trying to stay still while they put it in, while you're in hard labor
- sometimes they don't work
- sometimes they come out and you have to get another one
- you have to get an IV (I didn't even have to have a port with Naomi's birth and I am going to go ahead and say that getting the IV was the very worst part of Lucy's birth experience. I hates it)
- there can be other complications which I won't even look up and type out because they freak me out too much
- it gives you the chance to rest. REST while in labor.
- I don't buy that relaxation techniques actually help with pain management, so what other option is there?
- most anesthesiologists are completely competent and they go just fine
- you don't feel any pain...
- you don't feel ANY PAIN......
- YOU DON'T FEEL ANY PAIN
Alright, some people still say they feel some level of pain or "pressure"- though I didn't at all- but really, compared to actual transition contractions and " the ring of fire" (gross! sorry!), if the epidural is working even a little you are still in a much better place in my opinion.
And now for the pros and cons of the non-medicated, all natural birth, as I can remember them.
Non-medicated Birth Pros:
- no worries about interventions going wrong
- possibility of not getting an IV
- makes you feel awesome about yourself
- I've heard you bond better with baby or nursing goes better, but everything was the same with my epidural birth as my natural one
- you're "really present" for every single aspect of the birth, though I could probably go ahead and list that as one of the...
Non-medicated Birth Cons:
- you're totally present for every aspect of the birth, every square inch of the pain. yikes.
- it is really flippin painful
So that about sums up all the pros and cons I can think of for now. I know everyone says that "your body is meant to do this work" and what not, and while I agree, I also think our bodies sometimes have exhaustion limits. As soon as my epidural was in with Lucy I went from 4 to 10 cm in like 2 hours, after being at 4 cm for 2 weeks, and I attribute that to my body being able to relax and let the uterus do its thing. I don't know how things will go this time around. Who knows? Maybe I will actually give birth during the day, which would certainly change up the exhaustion factor since the 2 vaginal (4 times!) births were smack dab in the middle of the night.
Any extra pros and cons that you seasoned birthers care to share? I am all ears, or eyes in this case. I by no means feel like I am a pro at any of this and tonight Bernadette asked in all seriousness if "I am scared to have baby Joseph come out?" And while I answered "no", I kind of lied because birthing a baby is crazy hard work and OF COURSE I am scared!
In the end, I just want baby J to come into this world in the most healthy and peaceful way. (And in the end, I will probably get an epidural :)
And on the birthing note, a big, huge, massive CONGRATULATIONS to my little sister Christina and my bro-in-law on the birth of their first sweet little boy, William! She is a rock star of the highest caliber and I cannot wait to meet his royal sweetness!