It can be a tough decision to decide between the birthing options available to women today, and as a woman who has done both, I am here to offer yet another opinion. With my first daughter I wanted to be able to bring her into the world in the old-fashioned way. In fact, I wanted to do it sans drugs, as well. You would be surprised at the resistance that that garnered at the hospital. I had nurse after nurse ask me about it, and assure me that I “wouldn’t be able to do it” without drugs.
As I was taking myself through contractions, I wondered about what that meant. Were they saying I was going to die without the drugs? Weird. Either way, with the pressure from the staff, the anxious concern of my husband, and the insane pain, I eventually succumbed into accepting the epidural.
To backtrack a bit, I should tell you that my doctor wanted me to have a C-section. He was convinced that my baby was too big, and that based on my size (I am not a tiny person, but I now realize that was not what he was talking about!) I would not be able to deliver her safely vaginally. I, however, had my own ideas. I’d just read a magazine article that said that doctors all over the U.S. were pushing women into unnecessary c-sections to pad their bottom line. Add that to the fact that I was determined to experience the “real” birthing experience, and I was firm in my decision.
We induced labor two days after my due date. My doctor was actually supposed to be on vacation, but he came in to break my water before he left. It took many, many hours of waiting—sixteen hours of labor, two of pushing. Afterward, I had God knows how many stitches (the doctor said he had lost count because there were so many) and a pronouncement from a too-helpful nurse who told me that I would never be able to deliver vaginally again.
Indeed, we planned a C-section with my second daughter to avoid the difficult labor I’d had the first time. The second time was completely different. I went in at a set time, got my epidural and listened to my doctor and nurses talking behind a blue sheet they had in place. I was calm, relaxed, and waited, pain-free, to meet my little girl. I was taken back at 7:00, and she was born at 7:49. How’s that for service?
After having been through both, I have to admit that I prefer the C-section. I was scared of them initially because of the things I’d read and been told, but truthfully I had to suffer through an unusually long recovery from my first birth because of my naivety. I found the pain more manageable after my C-section, though I did have to have help for the first week afterward.
Whatever your doctor suggests, make sure you do research, and focus on the facts more than people’s opinions. After all, everyone’s experience is different!