Saturday, November 1, 2008

A little Saturday Evening Controversy

So an old friend of mine recently had a baby and I noticed one of her other friends whom I've never met comment "I'm so proud of you for going natural." That comment always hits a nerve. I know a lot of you have delivered babies that way, and I know a lot of you have strong feelings that it is the best way. I respect that, and I can understand the reasoning. I also know that it is very difficult work and you deserve lots of praise and credit for making it through. Labor hurts. A lot.

But doesn't a woman who has an epidural deserve the same kind of praise for going through a tough labor? Was her experience less meaningful because she chose pain medication? Isn't the end result still a beautiful miracle from God?

With Addison, my water broke reallllly early in the morning (4 am), but wasn't having any contractions. They started at about 8 am at the hospital and it hurt! Bad! By 3 or 4 pm, I was still only dilated to a 3 (for those of you unfamiliar with birth jargon that means practically nothing) so I was discouraged and it was just hurting too bad. I was done. I had the epidural and it was such a relief that I can't even explain. Just look at pictures at my old blog @ (June 2006). Check out those before epidural and after epidural pictures! In that situation I did what I could and just couldn't handle anymore. I want to make it really clear that not one single person who reads this has ever said anything hurtful to me personally, so please don't think "oh no! Did I say something to Marie when Addison was born?" You didn't. I promise!

I also want to make it clear that going through labor naturally is a beautiful thing. It's awesome for a woman to get to a point where she thinks she literally cannot continue, but somehow manages to overcome it. That's amazing, and a definite triumph for someone. But then there's also people (like me) who literally can't. It's just too much and it's too discouraging to think you might have to continue that way for 10 more hours.

I guess my point in all of this is not to dissuade you from saying "I'm so proud of you!" to a woman who labors naturally, but to remind you that those of us who have taken the medication deserve to hear it too.

End of rant. Thank you for your time!

Comments are welcome (whether you agree or disagree)!

P.S. Leigh Ayn, I don't know how your mom chose to give birth to you, but I'm so glad she did! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you and can't imagine the past 10 years of my life without your wonderful little self right there with me. You are more special to me than you'll ever know. Enjoy P.F. Changs!


Leigh Ayn said...

I love the P.S. part, thank you Marie!!! And just so you know, my mom went into labor at a Halloween party in New Olreans dressed as a giant bumble bee (all good stories start this way), 12 or so hours later I was born with the assistance of some forceps. We aren't sure if it is the forceps or the bee costume that made me come out so weird.

And I am totally understand what you are saying in this blog... so many people act like having a c-section is some kind of second-rate birth. Oh and don't you love when people act like the bigger the baby you birthed out the more of a woman you are?

Kira said...

All I know is that I thought I would be able to go natural, but it definitely didn't turn out that way! My water broke, contractions didn't start, got the pitocin (good night the pain was HORRIBLE), lost my mind, got the epidural, got my mind back. Loved birth on drugs! Can I be honest? Even if I am able to start labor naturally next time, knowing how wonderful birth is on drugs...I might choose the comfort! And lets just be honest, my baby is just as beautiful as those who were born "naturally," and I was even sane enough to enjoy the process.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I never had any intention of "going natural". I intended to take full advantage of modern medicine. My birthing plan was always "Epidural and a margarita thankyouverymuch"....I didn't get the margarita, not even water, but the drugs were awesome!!!!
Natural or drug-induced, we all ended up with babies in the end.....
As I recall Edi saying at my shower "It isn't a pissing contest!" (Thanks Edi!!!)

Marie said...

That is the best line ever! Edi you rock!

H.E.A. said...

I agree. Its too early to worry about all that!! Besides, when we all go out into the real world...its all in who ya know anyway ;)