I’m still hoping science figures out teleportation before I have to decide
This is sort of rambling and vague so I apologize in advance.
Baby Evan’s birth was just the way I wanted it. It was fast and uneventful and pain-free. I went to the hospital without a formal birth plan (although I joked I was going to print out a dozen pieces of paper that just said “GET THE BABY OUT” in giant letters) since my requests were already written in my chart. I liked and trusted the OB practice I was seeing and with my totally normal, low risk pregnancy I was confident I could avoid the only two things I was horribly afraid of: a c-section and an episiotomy. And I did, thanks to a doctor who let me go home to labor, a very well placed epidural, some of the strongest pelvic muscles in the Western hemisphere and a lot of luck. I have absolutely zero regrets regarding my choices, especially since I ended up with the healthy baby every mom wants after 40 weeks of pregnancy.
But sometimes I feel that because I didn’t give birth squatting in a meadow surrounded by bluebirds and fawns and harp music and 100 of my closest friends chanting ancient birth rituals I have somehow failed. Because I don’t have regrets about trusting modern medicine and taking advantage of pain medication I am betraying womankind. Because I didn’t even try to do it naturally I am less worthy to call myself a mother.
Which is all ridiculous.
I think I just spend too much time on the internet, where the only two stories seem to be horrible traumatic c-sections no one wanted and all-natural wheat field births where Jesus himself was the midwife. If I had never heard a birth story other than my own I wouldn’t feel this way at all. Which is probably an indication I need to get away from the computer more often. But with every joyful, triumphant, glowing story about a natural childbirth I wonder…could I do that? Do I even care if I do that or is it a weird form of social peer-pressure and misplaced guilt?
This pregnancy is clearly to blame for all my thoughts about my last birth, since I hope to experience another one in the not too distant future. But do I want the same one?
(Sidenote: E thinks I’m a crazy person for even considering doing things differently. What kind of person decides their birth was too easy and too painless? A crazy one, that’s who. Which means any of the husband-coached pain management techniques are probably out – my coach is too skeptical to be truly helpful.)
p.s. As silly as this sounds, one of the reasons I feel I have to give this birth so much more thought is my day after Christmas due date. I have horrible fantasies of a doctor who doesn’t want to miss his kids opening presents and insists I get a c-section so he can be home in time for dinner. Not that I think that would ACTUALLY happen. Probably not. Right?
p.p.s. And THEN I start thinking of the mothers who didn’t end up with a healthy baby in the end and think I’m being totally selfish for spending so much time thinking about trivial details. I imagine those mothers would sign up for unmedicated c-sections if it meant they could have their babies back.
Regarding comments: Please feel free to share your experiences and birth stories. I love reading them, especially the good kind – and by good kind I mean any that you were happy with. But if you use the phrase “women have been giving birth for thousands of years” or “your body was designed for birth so of COURSE you can do it naturally” you’re going to get some epic eye rolling on my part. I’m not looking for a bunch of “you go gurl!!!” support. If I DO decide to do things differently this time I will let you know I am open to all the womanly power affirmations you can think of.