Friday, October 14, 2011

C-Sections, Epidurals, and Doulas! Oh My!

"It's my body. It's my choice."

I guess you could say I'm "pro-choice" in the arena of birthing plans? It's been drilled into my head for years and years that a drug-free birth is best for the baby. I've also heard several friends talk about how home births are the ultimate form of a happy, healthy birthing experience. I don't doubt that these are great options for mama and baby, but I don't think there's one option that fits all births.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and am a product of His grace and His healing. I know He has equipped women to handle the pain and amazing process of pregnancy and birth. I also believe that God has equipped man with ingenuity, creativity, and the materials to make this Earth a better place. This includes medicine and medical advances.

I give mad props to women who have natural birthing experiences. On the same token, I don't want to be painted as an enemy for not wanting one. My mother had three natural births and my mother-in-law had four. My grandmothers both had natural births (they didn't have much of a choice). All of their childrens' birth weights range from 7lb to 10lb. I know it's possible for me to deliver Joanna naturally - but that doesn't mean I have to or even want to do it. I know its possible for me to walk across a bed of hot coals, but that doesn't mean I have to or want to do it. I'm not using my birthing experience to try to prove something to myself or anyone else. I'm not saying that mothers who choose natural births are martyrs or gluttons for punishment. I'm saying that it's okay for a woman to choose medical advances to help them give birth. Epidurals do not make bad or weak mothers. The "C" in C-section does not stand for "cop out".

On a related note, doulas are great if you want one. Not everyone wants one. It's okay if you don't want a doula; it doesn't make you a bad mother.


Thus ends my soap box.

3 comments:

  1. Do you find that you have to defend your choices of birthing plan a lot? I'm sorry if you do. In my family, one sister-in-law had both children at home with a midwife, and the other found a hospital and doctor she liked, and chose to get an epidural. Polar opposites, but they both have healthy, happy babies.

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  2. Unfortunately yes!! When people ask about my birth plan and it doesn't comply with their views, I often get looks of shock, disappointment, or just judgment. I'm thankful to have developed a strong personality that doesn't have to comply with others' opinions of what I should do so it just rolls off my back. I'm still pretty surprised at some friends' reactions in general though.

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  3. We got judgment from the other direction. I chose to go all natural (except for the induction at the last minute because Allison probably would have stayed in me forever) and we had a doula. Most people laughed when I said I was going natural and bet that I'd take the epideral. (Thanks for the support!) We only told a few people we hired a doula. Most people didn't understand why, which I get. I probably wouldn't have either before getting pregnant. But several people told us we were wasting our money and that if I had an epideral I wouldn't need a doula.

    Ultimately everyone wants to have a happy healhty baby. People get so tied up in the 'birthing experience' that they forget the end result is more important than how you get there. So who cares if you choose a home birth, epideral, c-section, or just natural in the hospital.

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