The Choice of a Natural Birth

The Choice of a Natural Birth

Ever since I could remember thinking about having children, I had always known that I was going to give birth to them naturally. It was not because I wanted to be a hero. Whenever I had mentioned this desire to other people it was always greeted with some laughter and discouraging comments. “Wait until you are there, once you are going through the pain, you’re going to want all the drugs you can get!”…“I thought that too until I started to feel the pain, and I was only two centimetres by then”… “Don’t be a hero, just take the drugs, that’s what they are there for”… ”What are you trying to prove anyway?”. Bla, bla, bla.

I think one of the biggest reasons why my desire to want to have a natural birth had brought on such negative comments in turn, was just because of what it would say about those women who had chosen to have an epidural; if I am brave enough to have a baby naturally, that indicates to other women who had not had a natural birth, that they were not brave enough to do so themselves. If I had been able to tolerate the pain, that meant that they have zero tolerance for pain, and I was just some crazy freak who probably doesn’t feel pain or cannot possibly have experienced it the way others have. As much as I understood that the discouraging remarks had nothing to do with me but more about how other women had felt about themselves, I still had felt that my desire to have a natural birth was looked down upon.

The only person who I could turn to was my own mother who had birthed all her three children naturally. Whenever she had talked about her experiences, she had never romanticized it with pretty flowers, nor did she ever deny the amount of pain that she had felt. She told me that giving birth was indeed painful. But she had also told me that she had never focused so much on the pain as the experience itself. But even my own mother had said to me that it would be easier for me to take the epidural rather than to fight the pain.

But you have to understand that I am very stubborn and very persistent. The truth is, labour pain wasn’t really a scary thought for me. Women have been birthing babies naturally forever, without medical interventions or any drugs, hence why would I be unable to do so. I kept thinking about this epidural. This big scary looking needle going deep into my back with the potential possibility of it causing me paralysis. The thought of me being at the mercy of this needle, without any control, without really experiencing labour made me almost sad. I think our society focuses too much attention on pain in labour, rather than looking at it as an incredible experience and a hard working journey that would bring you the most wonderful gift of all. I had known from the beginning that the epidural was not for me. It wasn’t because I thought that I was much braver than women who had chosen to have the epidural. I wouldn’t even suggest that I had a higher pain tolerance, or that I am somehow better or stronger because I had given birth naturally. I will say this; to give birth naturally was something that I had wanted to do and had made the choice to do so.

Why did I want a natural birth? I don’t even think the needle itself had been the real reason. I have been wanting to have a baby all my life, and I guess I wanted to experience absolutely everything with that, including the pain that comes with the birthing process itself; for the pain of giving birth was essential and meaningful in my experience. I felt that I needed to feel the pain of child labour so that I could understand in my mind all of the sacrifices I will have to make for my child, including my comfort and my lack of sleep. I think for me, the pain was like an awakening to the beginning of the rest of my life.

Regardless I fought the pain with every ounce of strength that I had, both times that I had laboured my children. With my older daughter Alyssa, I came into the hospital well prepared, where my husband and I had meticulous a plan of how to deal with whatever came our way. With my younger girl Emma, we had decided to wing it and had a much longer and more difficult labour than anticipated. But nonetheless, I was fortunate to have had wonderful support from my husband and loved ones, and had my two girls Alyssa and Emma naturally, just as I had wanted.

Giving birth naturally is just as empowering as asking for an epidural. It is a choice that a woman has a right to make and not have people around her make her feel like she is a freak show for wanting to do so. Women should not discourage this choice just because their births did not go this way, but rather congratulate her for wanting to make a decision to birth her baby the way she would like to.

 

 

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About Malvina Beker

Malvina Beker is a Mom, a teacher, a writer, and a sociologist. She has a Masters degree in Sociology, a Bachelor of Education, and a background in child psychology and development. She has taught high school Family Studies, Parenting and Music courses, and has research experience through interviewing as well as surveys. She is a mother of two little girls that inspire her the most, and is always excited to share and exchange experiences and opinions with others.
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10 Responses to The Choice of a Natural Birth

  1. laura says:

    Very cool malvina

    • Jan says:

      do you think it is a “MUST” to induce or would you rocmemend the mother to go into labor on her own…….no matter how long it takes?? Or does it really get dangerous for the baby to stay in for too long? I do not think it is a must to induce because of dates. Due dates don’t actually mean too much. 40 weeks is based on pregnancy lasting approximately 10 moons. The average pregnancy is actually 40+3, average first time is 40+8. This still doesn’t mean much. The average means that if you take all women and average them that is the number. It does not mean we are due to have our babies by that date. It is simply an estimation where you are most likely to have your baby 3 weeks before or 3 weeks after. The other problem with dates is how we calculate them. Ultrasound is very inaccurate and using the first day of your last period does not factor in different length cycles and when you actually ovulated. If you know when you ovulated/conceived that is the best date to use add 38 weeks and know it will more likely go longer than shorter. Unless there are clear indications that there is a danger to the baby, babies should be left to come out in their own time. It is the baby that triggers labor when it is ready to come out, forcing it out sooner can lead to a baby before born prematurely, even if it is 2 weeks post dates. Just kept thinking, what if something goes wrong? What if the cord is around the neck and he/she needs oxygen right after coming into this word? If you have midwives they are fully equipped to deal with these things at home. The cord just needs to be unwrapped and the midwives carry oxygen. Also if you don’t cut the cord the baby doesn’t need to breathe right away because it will still be getting oxygen from the cord.

  2. Malvina says:

    Thank you so much Laura!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I realised that some people are bothered by others’ comments. Yes, they are indeed annoying when I told my mom and sister about having water birth, they both objected. Whose birth anyway? Your birth, your right to choose. Good job and be brave!

    • Malvina says:

      Thank you so much for posting. I find that our society has turned birth into such a risky business that the idea of birthing outside of the hospital or without any medication seems almost crazy. It’s kind of sad really. It puts a lot of pressure on women who do want to make a decision for a natural birth, to be able to do so with full support from their loved ones.

    • Khachatur says:

      I was the calmest mom she had ever wekrod with. Childbirth was intense, no doubt, but I ended up with an unplanned home birth because I thought I had a long ways to go (it wasn’t *that* bad) by the time my doula arrived at my home (I was alone at home), and when she looked, she could already see my son’s head! Going through transition is supposed to be the worst part, but I hadn’t realized that I had already gone through it!A friend borrowed my Hypnobabies and she said that while she did get an epidural (during hour 28 of a 30 hour labor), it really helped her, too. She felt very calm and relaxed throughout the childbirth process (which took place in the U.S.). Later, another doctor (in Taiwan) said he was amazed she had a natural birth because apparently she had some pelvic injury and he wouldn’t have expected her pelvis to open that much during birth.

  4. Lina says:

    My dear, I always knew that you are strong girl

    • Malvina says:

      Thank you Mama, I am so grateful for your constant love and support :)

      • Juanvi says:

        I’m very torn about whether or not I’ll end up wnitang an epidural. On the one hand, I’m looking at my mother who gave birth to four children naturally, sans epidural. The first two were twins, born vaginally. So I don’t want to seem like a wuss compared to her. But as I’m not really sure what my pain tolerance will be. Ideally, I’d like to go as long as I can without any drugs, but I don’t want to end up going so long that I can’t get them if I really want them. But I’d really like to be able to walk around and labor in different positions than just lying down, and I know that you can’t do that with some epidurals. But since I’m just now in my first regular cycle post MC, it’s all pretty theoretical at this point. If DH had his way, I think I’d be walking around with an epidural throughout my entire pregnancy ;) . He hates to see me in any type of pain.

    • Teresa says:

      WOW, amazing vieods I just have a few comments/questions. I’m a mother of three (13, 9, 5). All my kids were born in hospitals. No medications or epidural with any of them. First was a 24 hours labor. Second, was induced b/c I was 14 days late. My question here, would be, do you think it is a MUST to induce or would you recommend the mother to go into labor on her own .no matter how long it takes?? Or does it really get dangerous for the baby to stay in for too long? My third one was really fast, we hardly made it to the hospital, he was born at the ER, b/c they had no time to take us upstairs. I do like the idea of home birth and did think about it, but I just got nervous for the baby .Just kept thinking, what if something goes wrong? What if the cord is around the neck and he/she needs oxygen right after coming into this word? Which actually happened with my second child. He was 9lb 3oz, big baby, 14 days old, yet he had a hard time breathing on his own! In cases like that, can’t a home birth put the child’s life into danger? One of this vieods show, when the baby seems so lifeless and the mother is so calm and keeps breathing air into the baby! Took her a few tries before the baby took his/her first one on it’s own!! I would just freak out!!!!!And I agree! The video with the Elephant is just amazing!!! Nature just does it job so well .thanks for posting all of this! Good luck in your birth, hopefully coming soon!!!

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