why I chose to have natural births {and would do it again too!}

Each woman has many, many decisions to make when pregnant…

who will be my doctor?

would I rather have a midwife?

what tests should I put my body through?

what should my birth plan look like?

wait…what on earth is a birth plan?

what should I eat today?

where do I find cute maternity clothes?

when should I begin my maternity leave?

do I want to know the gender?

Honestly, no one person call tell another what to do.  Each woman is different and will make different decisions based on what is best for her.  Something I came to realize through my pregnancies is that people suddenly become very nosy {maybe curious is a nicer word?} when it comes to a pregnant woman.  They want to know why you’re doing what you’re doing…why you’re not doing what you’re not…they want to tell you all the time that you’re getting “so big” {shouldn’t I be?  I AM growing a human being inside me!}…and those who have been pregnant before want you to follow all of their advice.

I simply try to be excited for those lucky pregnant women, be supportive, and answer questions honestly if they ask.  It is not my place to force my opinions or beliefs on them or even to bombard them with all of my experiences: “well, when I was pregnant I…”  This does not mean I don’t have my own opinions {because, of course I do!}.

One, if not my strongest, opinion is that I want childbirth to be as natural a process as possible {which to me includes a labor that begins naturally and a vaginal delivery without the use of pain medication}.  I think the Bible verse, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me {Philippians 4:13} comes into play here!  Just because I want my childbirth experiences to be as natural as possible, doesn’t mean everyone has to, or that it’s the “right” way…it’s simply my way, and I’ll explain it to you.

First, even thought I desired natural childbirth, I still wanted to be in a hospital, with an experienced doctor just in case something were to go wrong…

DSC_0595

Now, I have to be very honest up front: I was blessed with wonderful child birthing genes, because I had three safe, uncomplicated, and very quick labors & deliveries {about six, four, and two hours of labor respectively} that made all of my hopes for natural child birth possible.  Any other circumstances may have caused me to alter some of my “birth plans”, but fortunately, I never had to.

With that said, let me explain my main wishes for a natural childbirth and WHY I chose to go down that path three times:

I want to go into labor naturally and on my own…even if I am on or past my due date {unless induction is deemed medically necessary by my doctor}.   Why?  Simply because I believe the baby will come when it is ready.  I also based this decision on stories I read about women, and experiences of acquaintances and friends who induced “just because”.  Some common themes I noticed in these situations: longer labors…the use of Pitocin…necessity for an Epidural…higher chance of delivery by C-section…  No thanks, not for me.  I will enjoy every moment of my last uncomfortable days of pregnancy and wait for my body to decide when it’s time.

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{8 days until due date}

I want to deliver vaginally if possible.  Why?  I believe this is the way God intended for women to give birth, so I want to experience it {I do understand that there are many reasons and circumstances that make it impossible for some women to give birth this way, and that’s okay!}, there is normally a shorter recovery time with a vaginal birth than with a cesarean section – sounds good to me, and lastly, a c-section is a major surgery.  I would rather not put my body through that if I do not absolutely have to!

I want to go through labor and delivery without pain medication.  Why would anyone ever choose to go through excruciating pain without medication?  I know, it does seem a little crazy, right?  As crazy as it sounds, I decided that I want to feel what my body is doing during labor and delivery.  Because of this decision, I was able to walk around during labor…I was able to let the nurses know when I needed to stop and lay down…and I knew EXACTLY when it was time to push.  It is amazing how you instinctively know what to do…your body just tells you!  Honestly, for me, all of the pain was bearable up until the very end.  I probably went through a total of ten to fifteen minutes of unbearable pain in each of my first two labors, and five minutes or less in delivery number three.  That’s only about half an hour TOTAL of horrible pain, and in the grand scheme of my whole life, is really nothing!  Because I declined pain medication, I was able to get up and walk around right after giving birth.  I did not even have an IV in two of the three births.  I was not at risk for side effects of an epidural.  My babies all entered the world with no side effects of any kind of medication.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely, without question, yes {but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be a little nervous about it!}.

Although my wishes for a natural childbirth were fulfilled three times, there were parts that were not so “natural”:  During one labor, my doctor broke my water, I had to have an episiotomy each time {I suppose that is to be expected when delivering an almost 10 pound baby!}, and I did accept pain medication to deal with the pain after delivery {can you blame me for wanting to enjoy my first precious moments with my baby instead of cringing with pain from my uterus contracting back down to size? 😉 }.

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{enjoying precious first moments with baby No. 3}

When it was all said and done, I was happy with the decisions I made.  I loved my doctor and the fact that he helped me to have the birth experiences I hoped for.  I felt very blessed that I was safe and my babies were healthy.  Honestly, in the end, no matter how our little ones enter the world, isn’t that all that matters?

Jenny

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3 thoughts on “why I chose to have natural births {and would do it again too!}

  1. Pingback: 37 weeks

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