Oh natural childbirth. Been there, done that. But it wasn't voluntary. In fact, I would have preferred to NOT know about this subject. I am no wild woman who felt the need to prove my strength to the world, in fact, unless pushed I rarely admit to natural childbirth. Mostly because it wasn't by choice. I had my first child when I was 27 years old. Exactly 27 years old. My birthday is the 3rd, his is the 4th. I was only 34 weeks along. I wasn't ready to have a baby yet (hello! 6 more weeks....I suddenly knew how that dang groundhog feels every year!) and I knew in my heart he wasn't fully baked yet. I knew he wasn't ready. But when one's blood pressure is 210/110, you find your choices limited to trusting your doctor or possibly having a stroke. I swallowed hard and placed all my faith in the firecracker of an OB I had chosen. She induced my labor and within hours I was miserable. Really miserable. So the nurse called for the epidural. I had always planned on the drugs. I have no interest in being the hero. Nope, not this girl. But my son sat super low on my hips and while I had thought about the chiropractor, I had not ever made it that far. Too busy with moving and bedrest. You know, the basics. So here I sat in labor and delivery and I was laboring hard in my hips and back. Ouch! Now I have a pretty good pain tolerance. I have had elbow surgery that involved scraping the muscle off my elbow and re-attaching it. I know pain, and this was horrifying. The anestheologist tried multiple times to place an epidural. It was not a lot of fun. He even tried a full spinal block, like you get for a c-section. Nada. Nothing. No relief at all. That pretty much was a huge disappointment. I remember wondering how in the gravy I was going to get through having this baby. It was not fun. But 13 hours and 32 minutes later, my son was born. And really, the pushing was the easy part. The 13 hours before were no fun at all. I will save you descriptions of the pain...after all pain is entirely subjective and what I consider to be horrid might be peachy keen with you.
So why am I think about this random subject? After all there will be no more babies birthed from this body. Two was plenty thank you very much. I have had a baby every way possible. Natural childbirth, check. Vaginal delivery, check. C-section, check. Epidural (thank the good Lord!), check. Because I see a lot of women lately who seem to wear it as a badge of honor. And I guess if that is what you are after by all means go for it. I am not going to tell you that you are not awesome for pushing out a baby without drugs, but I am not going to give you any more congratulations then someone who had an epidural. But I think that those women who are busy polishing their badge of honor ought to realize that those of us who like a good shot to the back are not bad people. We are not unaccomplished. We sure aren't wimpy. After all motherhood is not for wimps. And really the epidural you get during childbirth is the only chance during your child's life you can completely tune out during the hard part.