This week in childbirth class, Wendy (our teacher) used the term “medically necessary epidural” and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
That’s exactly what my goal is: to only have an epidural if it’s medically necessary. If I’ve been pushing for hours, just can’t keep going and my options are epidural or a c-section, I’m obviously going to go for the former. In class we had to do this exercise that had us lay out our entire perfect birth scenario. It was really cool to see everything exactly as I wanted it to go on a set of 30 cards. Midwife, birth center, natural pain management, being able to move around as I want, eat and drink if I’m hungry and so on.
The next step was to flip over three cards and change our scenario from perfect to ok. The first few things I gave up didn’t hurt much. Three things out of 30 wasn’t too bad. But it kept going. And we had to keep turning over cards until we only had three of our original birth goals left. For me, this was after transferring to the hospital, swapping my midwife for a doctor AND getting an epidural (so pretty derailed overall), all I had left were vaginal birth, baby to mother’s chest when born and healthy mom and baby.
After a bit of thought regarding my choices and personal reflection, I realized that it was my mother who inspired all of this craziness to begin with. She taught me that doing things the natural way usually leads to better outcomes than otherwise. She’s not super granola – though she is an obsessive recycler – but she definitely taught us about eating clean from a young age. Even though I HATED our morning breakfasts consisting of homemade cereal (raw oats, raisins, coconut shavings and sunflower seeds) and raw milk, the idea still stuck. She’s the reason I never took birth control – I knew better than to put artificial hormones in my body just to avoid getting pregnant. I knew there had to be a better, more natural way. (And obviously, it worked – we didn’t get pregnant till we tried!) She’s the reason that I don’t eat soy products, always buy real butter and avoid soda like it’s medicine. If you have to choose between convenience and doing things the natural way, natural is usually better. That’s what my mom taught me – not through words as much as through actions. That’s why I’m trying for a natural birth. It might not happen and I accept that. Hence the word try.
So here’s to moms who accomplish a hell of a lot more than we ever will, though we try, yeah?