Ok so I really haven't touched on the fact that my husband and I are trying to start a family. Just to make a really long story short, I had some medical problems for the first 2 years of our marriage, so I can't count that as really "trying." I finally got to a doctor and after some debating we figured out I was severely anemic and needed iron pills along with a 10 day hormone pill. Anyways now things are coming back to "normal" and we have been trying for about 4 months. Which now brings us to the present.
I have had many of my friends give birth, all in a hospital using as much pain medication as they could. I always thought this was just how it was supposed to be. A woman in agony, rushed into the ER, poked and prodded with needles giving her all the pain management she needed. This was until I started learning from a friend (who had this kind of birth) that this wasn't the truth.
There were other options, no medication, no screaming "PUSH", heck not even being at the hospital at all. This was news to me, and of course finding this out I ran straight for the internet to do some research of my own. I found so many women that had beautiful births, some in their own home and in their bed, comforted by loved ones while she labored in peace. This is what I would want, I thought, this is how birth should be.
So I kept learning, and talking to people. Of course labor is painful and there is always the chance something could go wrong, but wouldn't that pain be quickly forgotten when you reach down and take your child in your arms? I would think so. So after all the reading I decided that even though I am not pregnant yet, this is what I wanted for us. Me, my husband, and our child.
That was at least...until last night.
On Monday's my husband and I go have dinner at my family's house. This Monday was no different until the topic of children came up. I honestly don't remember how we got on the topic, but I know I didn't expect it. We finally got on the topic of birth, and I had mentioned I didn't want pain killers at all, I wanted it to be safe for both me and the baby. When I said this my mom and sister just laughed. "You're joking right?" my sister laughed, "Not me, I don't want to feel anything, just pull the thing out of me." My mother just shook her head.
"Why would you want to do that when they have safe painkillers for you?" I then told her about the Pitocin and Epidural circle. She just shrugged it off, and said "Well you'll probably have to have a c-section anyway. I've heard that plus sized women can't have a regular birth." I told her that wasn't the case and that most women could have a totally normal birth if they wanted, which my sister responded "Uh normal is with painkillers stupid." I tried ending the conversation many times, each time someone would keep it going. And at one point my husband even joined in! My sister had said, "Can I get this on paper? I want to show it to you when you're screaming in pain." Then my husband joined in saying "Yeah while you're at it you might want to find me a plastic hand. That way she can squeeze it instead, I would rather all the bones in my hand not be broken." Then of course...more laughing.
I couldn't believe it. I was totally shattered. My family, who I thought would be supportive, was laughing at a choice I had made. Even my husband who had seen the reading I had been doing, was laughing at me. I was so upset I just wanted to leave.
When we did finally leave I asked my husband to be totally honest with me. I wanted to know if he thought I was just wanting to be brave by choosing to not take the painkillers. He said yes...I honestly was crushed at that time. He went on to tell me that the women in the clips I had been watching had a much higher pain tolerance than I did. He said, "How do you expect labor to be? Easy? Quick? How do you think you can deal with a contraction when a period cramp kills you. You'd never be able to do it."
After that my mind just went blank. Do I really not have what it takes? Should I just go to the hospital like a "normal" person and take the drugs? Do I want to meet my child for the first time groggy and drugged up, not being able to nurse him/her for a few hours while I wake up?
Part of me thinks I should just give in and be normal. I mean hundreds of women give birth that way every day, why should I be special? They have healthy, happy babies and that's what really matters right? It shouldn't matter what I want, I'm just there to make the baby. I don't know how to give birth, only a doctor would...right?
I can't believe I'm honestly debating this... I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I knew what was best for me and my baby. Now... I'm just not sure. Would it be easier to just go with the flow, and not have to deal with my family saying i'm stupid? Probably. But is it worth risking the health of my child... or mine for that matter? Is it worth having an "emergency" c-section because of the Pitocin/ Epidural circle?
I just don't know anymore.