After two months of being Lucy’s mom, reflecting on my pregnancy, thinking back on our natural birth experience, and hearing lot of friends ask me, “why on earth would you do that?!” I’ve come to an interesting answer: I still don’t know why. What I do know is this: I wanted a natural birth more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. It was a deep and very emotional desire. I can also say with confidence that I have zero judgement for the way any woman chooses to birth. It is an intense and life-altering experience and I would never judge another woman’s decision or path during labor, just as I hope people don’t brush me off as a crazy hippie. ;)
While I can’t answer the question of “why” with an easy, one-liner, I do have a few thoughts about how I became so emotionally attached to a natural birth…
My body was beautifully created by God to bring life into this world. I wanted to allow my body to do what it was meant to do.
I was afraid. This one might not make much sense, but I felt more confident facing my fears of childbirth naturally than with medication.
Depression. Rational or not, I was afraid the mix of medication and synthetic hormones would significantly affect my body’s natural postpartum rhythm, enough to cause a bout of depression. I was afraid being depressed during those precious days immediately after birth would alter my perception of new motherhood and negatively affect bonding with my sweet baby. I wanted to do everything in my power to clear my mind and prepare to welcome my baby into this world.
I wanted to feel it. When I first started telling people I was pregnant, I got a lot of wonderful congratulations and all the stereotypical questions people ask a newly pregnant woman – questions she likely doesn’t know the answer to yet. Chatting with one woman in particular, I mentioned that I was interested in a natural birth. She was surprised and gave me the whole run down of why I didn’t want a natural birth. When she finally paused to ask me why, I answered sheepishly, “I don’t know, I just want to feel it.” She laughed. One of those I’m-looking-down-on-you-laughs that makes you feel completely embarrassed for whatever foolishness just came out of your mouth. I decided that day I would find better words to describe why I wanted a natural birth. I worried if I couldn’t answer the question confidently, maybe I couldn’t tackle the real thing. I tried, unsuccessfully, for the next six months to find those words. Toward the end of my pregnancy, when asked about natural birth, despite my efforts to find a confident, eloquent answer, I went back to my initial, instinctive description: I wanted to feel it.
And I suppose my that’s my one-liner now: I wanted to feel it. And you know what? It felt great.
Photo by Katie Oblinger Photography
Read Lucy’s Birth Story here.