What to do: The Natural Choice or Drugs?

I heard on a friend's blog the other day a funny response about this when she asked her doctor what his thoughts were on natural delivery: "Most of my patients when they say they want a natural delivery they just mean they are showing up for their scheduled c-section with no make up on." It made me laugh. So you know that is the intended tone of this blog-- a light hearted, open-minded conversation.

I have realized since I've been pregnant that most (not all) women fall into two very specific camps:
1. Bring on the drugs (specifically an epidural)
2. Go natural (no drugs at all) (typically using the support of a doula or midwife)

Until a few months before I got pregnant I had never considered any of this. I guess I just assumed I'd get an epidural because... well why would anyone choose to be in pain if they didn't have to? On top of that most of the people I knew who went all natural were a little out there. Just being honest.

Well I started to reconsider when I heard several of my good friends (who, by the way, are totally normal) had natural deliveries and I also started to look into it more. I realized that yes our bodies were created to birth a child. I started to feel empowered that I could do this.

But then it hit... So I know I can do this, but do I want to? Yes I want a baby, but do I want to willing go through the pain of all that if you don't have to. I talked to tons of people, watching a birthing documentary, read even more and asked several medical experts their opinions and so on.

That left me still very on the fence.

On top of all that, my medical issues have to always been considered. I have had fears that my body would have a really hard time healing from a c-section (since my immune system is so low, it heals about 10 times slower than most people). So that encouraged my feelings that maybe, just maybe I was going to do this with no meds. Ahhh!

After finally deciding to stop stressing and reading, Chris and I decided to start praying about it. My prayer was that the Lord would really give us wisdom to go the path that is best for Karis and me. Y'all the fear dissipated completely.

I feel like a new person. I am no longer trying to prove a point or do something because I can or should or would feel guilty if I didn't. I am doing what is best for me, and more important, what is best for Karis.

So what is that? Well it still changes from week to week. But for this week, I am sticking with my beloved OB (I had considered switching to Midwives at St Lukes) and we will see where it goes from there. More than likely I will have an epidural once my labor has progressed past 5cm because the epidural doesn't slow down the labor to the point of increasing chance of c-section at that point.

But that is my choice.

The main thing I have learned from this whole process is WE NEED TO GET OUT OF OUR CAMPS. Motherhood is hard enough as it is. If we start judging one another before the baby even gets here, we are in for a rough ride.

To my "Bring on the Drugs!" friends: Support your girlfriends that are going all natural. They have decided to experience something that is very brave and they really feel is best for them and their baby. Just because you think they are ridiculous for going natural doesn't mean they are ridiculous. I am so proud of my friends that did it natural. They have proved to me that we can survive it and labor isn't something we should fear, but it's something we should embrace. My favorite thing is the look in their eyes when they talk about their labor and what all they accomplished.

To my "Natural is Best" friends: Support your friends who disagree with you and for them the best option is to have an epidural or c-section. The main thing I would encourage you to do is not talk all the time about how the way you are doing it is best for the baby and will allow you to better bond with your baby. I have known too many people that had an epidural or c-section and they are perfectly bonded with their baby. In addition to that I would also encourage you to not be discouraged if your labor plan changes. I have also seen too many people feel discouraged and like a failure if they ended up getting an epidural or getting a c-section. Don't let that ruin your experience if things change.

For all of us, at the end of the day the important thing is that our baby ends up in our arms.

With that said...

What did you do or what are you planning on doing: drugs or no drugs? Why? What advice would you give? And remember, kind words ladies. We are here to support one another, not judge or mock one another.