This Runner's Trials
22Aug/1147

Why I want a natural childbirth

Posted by runnerstrials

Below are my opinions on childbirth and what I think will be best for me. I am not judging anyone else's birth plans. All moms are so hardcore, no matter how your baby came into the world. However, I've always been a big believer in goals, hence why I'm sharing this.

I've never had a baby before, so I have no idea what labor and birth will feel like.

In our society, we're taught to fear birth. We're told it will be the worst thing we'll ever go through. Pain like nothing else. And we certainly won't be able to do it without the use of medication.

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This has never made any sense to me. I expect childbirth to be painful, but perhaps not completely unbearable. After all, women have been doing it for centuries and our bodies were literally made for it.

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(source)

My goal is to have a natural childbirth. Of course, I know these things often don't go as planned. I could very well need a C-section or beg for an epidural. As long as I get a healthy baby at the end, I'll be over-the-moon happy.

Why go natural? I've heard a lot about a natural childbirth being better for the baby. While that's a huge perk, I'm semi-embarrassed to admit that's not my main motivation. I want a natural birth because:

1. I hope it won't be that bad. I've always thought of giving birth is like running a marathon for the first time. You prep for many weeks, try to picture what it will be like, and hear all kinds of advice. (Marathon training and pregnancy are quite similar after all.) But no matter how well you train- and how many tips you hear along the way- nothing can quite prepare you until you experience it yourself.

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The most striking similarity: you're aware that it will be painful, but you also know that it will eventually end. Knowing there is an end point (albeit unknown) really helps me mentally. Just like a race, giving birth seems like just as much a mental battle as a physical one. I hope mental tactics and a positive attitude go a long way in the delivery room.

2. I kind of like pain. Like many endurance athletes, I like pain. Ok, I really like it. Speed work and tempo runs- arguably some of the most painful workouts- are my favorite. I love the feeling I get after overcoming something so painful.

I want to know what childbirth feels like. I want to know if the pain is truly unbearable or something I'm capable of overcoming. Believe it or not, I'm actually excited about this new challenge.

3. I've felt horrible pain before. Maybe my endometriosis pain compares to childbirth, maybe it doesn't. I've been physically crippled with pain on the bathroom floor before. It killed like nothing else, but the worst part was not knowing what was causing it. I'm guessing I'll have a pretty good idea what's causing my pain during labor and birth ;)

4. I hate pain meds. I loathe them for two reasons:

  • I never understood the point of pain medication. Why take something to mask pain when pain is your body's way of telling you something's wrong? I used to take pain pills in college for a herniated disk in my back. The pills made the pain go away, so I worked out hard, and then my back hurt more after the pills wore off.
  • Pain meds make me vomit... a lot. Sorry, but it's true. I know there's a good chance I'll toss my cookies during labor anyway, and I really don't want to do that more times than necessary.

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Not an epidural. Still made me puke.

5. My mom did it, so why can't I? My mom gave birth to me- at 9 lbs, 10 oz- and my 10 lb, 1 oz brother naturally. And she was a few years older than I'll be when I deliver this baby. It seems silly, but knowing my mom was able to do it reassures me that I'll be able to handle it, too.

So there you have it. As for how I'm preparing, we are taking a childbirth class at our hospital, I plan on studying the Bradley Method, and I'm reading lots of birth stories and taking notes. Hopefully it's enough.

I can't wait to see what really happens on my baby's birth day. I promise to fully divulge every little detail- and eat my words if need be- after the big event :)