Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why I Went Natural

I researched the pros and cons of having an epidural and decided to try a natural birth. I promised my poor, scared husband that if the pain was too horrible I would get an epidural.

We both expected the delivery to be a lot longer and more dramatic than it was. We thought that when women said, "Oh, I was in labor for 14 hours" they meant that they were sweating and cursing for 14 hours. We thought the deliveries shown in the movies was for that entire time and that was why women needed such a strong pain killer.

I think this misconception really made the whole experience a lot easier for us. I sat on my phone and played Candy Crush for the first 8 hours while Brandon snoozed in between visiting anxious relatives that were waiting outside. After they had confirmed that my water broke and I was in labor my husband remarked to his mom, "She seems to be doing fine. She's not acting like any woman in labor I've ever seen."

The other thing that helped me go natural was how quickly things progressed. It was slow up until the Pitocin, but after that, I didn't really have a chance to even consider getting an epidural. I delivered less than 3 hours after it was administered, making for a pretty short time to endure the pain.

Lastly, my husband helped me through it. He was completely amazing. He was supportive of me going natural even though he was afraid of the pain I'd experience. He was selfless and helpful in any way he could be. He held my hand, held me, and made the pain in my back bearable by faithfully pressing a pressure point through every contraction. When I was dilated to a six, he left for a minute to go update the family and I very nearly asked for an epidural then. Without him there to support me and hold my hand, I never would've made it.

Okay, so now that you know how I survived it, I'm sure you're next question is why. These are some of the pros to natural child birth that I read about and clung to throughout the painful contractions and delivery.

Without an epidural...
1. You can still walk around and use the exercise ball to help with the contractions.
I wanted the freedom to get out of the bed and help the labor along. Plus, I hate sitting around waiting and I wanted to be able to do something to make the time pass.
2. There is a faster recovery time to women who don't have an epidural.
Like I mentioned before, I was walking around right after my delivery. I was able to get up and take pictures of the weighing and first bath of my baby. This motivation was even more effective thanks to my hate of sitting still.
3. The baby is more alert and therefore easier to breastfeed after delivery.
I knew that breastfeeding was no walk in the park and wanted to help it along in any way possible. The hospital I delivered in has this wonderful policy where the mom gets the baby for the first hour after delivery. They didn't take her away to wash her or poke her, they just wiped her off and gave her to me. This way, I was able to feed her as soon as she came into the world and she was awake enough to start learning right then.
4. The baby is more alert so mom and baby bond better.
Without the grogginess caused by the epidural, the baby is able to better understand what's going on and get to know Mom right from the get-go.

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