Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I read a lot of posts by a lot of people that I really like about how awesome natural child birth is. How great their experience was, and how that is the right way to do it.

And I feel cheated.

I was born at home with a midwife, my brother was born at home with a midwife, while I watched and lived in horror of the "it burns, get it out!". However, I still wanted natural. Except, I was OK if it didn't go that way.

I picked an OB for convenience to my office so that the multiple appointments were doable and I picked one because they delivered at Abbott, which was affiliated with Children's. I had worked for them and I knew that if there were complications or early arrivals, they were the best to deal with it.

When things started to go south and my blood pressure, my normally so low I can't donate blood blood pressure started to go up, I was great full for a Dr. who still wanted me to have a vaginal delivery. She wanted as few interventions as possible, knowing that the female body usually has a clue. However, she took my health and M's health seriously.

As it happened, things got serious, but my body had a clue and was already in labor. It got a little help speeding things up, but at least it wasn't forced into anything. It was going easy, and I wanted to still have as much of that birth experience as I could. Sure I didn't get to labor at home at all, but damn it I was going to walk the halls. Until they told me I couldn't. Until my blood pressure got so high that they were wondering why I wasn't have seizzures or blacking out. Until the best thing for me was to get an epidural. It worked, we were all safe. The other complications were things that could have been dealt with by an experienced midwife, but given all I had been through, I was glad I was where I was.

So there I am, torn between appreciating and valuing the non-medicated old fashioned way to do things and loving that I'm alive to see my daughter figure out pooping in the potty. So many people write about how awesome the natural way is, but not many people write about how glad they are that interventions happened, that they got to walk out with a live baby on a live mom. So while I do feel a little cheated, I also feel like I need to share. Things don't always go how you planned, and sometimes that's a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Both my kids could've been dead without intervention. One had the cord around her neck and I was lucky enough to be enjoying an epidural when the doctor very seriously told me to stop pushing so he could cut the cord before she suffocated. I don't think I could have stopped with the second, when the epidural didn't work. And that one? Meconium in the fluid when my water was broken. She was immediately taken after delivery for suctioning so it didn't get in her lungs when she went for that first breath. We hear that's bad.


Mugsy said...

Life lesson: "Things don't always go how you planned, and sometimes that's a good thing."


The Fritz Facts said...

I have read so many stories about peoples natural births, and I know that I could do it, but I didn't feel that I wanted to. I am glad I had the epidural, as the longer labor I had would have been horrific without it.

However, I am also very glad that my dr. was open to any option I choose to take. If I wanted to go without pain meds at all, she would have supported me 100%. She even went over both options, and any other option that Ridges did to make sure that I had the birth that I wanted.

My next one, not sure what I will do, but I do know that I will be having it at Regions.

Birdie said...

I think you make a great point- childbirth experiences are incredibly important and while I think its ok to allow yourself to grieve the things that didn't go as planned (for me, its being induced) you should also celebrate the things that went right- healthy baby, healthy momma!

Rebecca said...

I love this post, Amelia. I think so often people feel pressured to have a certain experience with birth. For some it's the natural thing, for others, it's the epidural thing. If you're pregnant, it seems that other mothers are telling them what to do. "You GOTTA get the epidural, honey. Don't even bother trying without it." Or the opposite message gets pitched, and mothers feel ashamed if they are planning an epidural birth. I wish people would let women make their own choices and take their own path with pride and confidence.

I think your post is a prime example that birth is personal, and birth is unpredictable. A woman's choices & actions during birth are as personal as her actions during intercourse. Nobody can tell another woman exactly how to do it. And, often birth goes very differently than she had planned or hoped. Women who want a completely natural labor can have medical issues come up during labor that change that, which seems to have happened in your case. Or, she may find that her labor is different than she expected, and she finds during labor that pain medication is the right option for her. The opposite can also be true. Some women go into birth planning for medication or planning for heavy reliance on medical care even if mom and baby are healthy, and sometimes the way labor plays out forces the mother to have a "natural" birth. (That happened to me.)

I don't think you were cheated. I think you gave birth in the way you needed to give birth. And I think you should value the experience you had as much as you value that "old fashioned way to do things."

(Sorry for the rant.)