People thought I was looney when I told them I was choosing natural birth. But after six healthy, gorgeous babies, people finally kept their opinions themselves concerning my decision to opt for natural birth.
And even though I chose a natural birth for every single baby, I am in no way telling moms they are wrong to ask for an epidural or other forms of pain medication. Labor is difficult! The pain is immense and staggering! And I truly believe that the main focus should be to help mommy and baby have a healthy and happy delivery.
You won’t catch me giving another mom a dirty look for calling out, “Bring the anesthesiologist! I need an epidural NOW!”
My heart goes out to every single mom that begins to experience labor pains. And no, I don’t believe I’m a super mom or a natural birth hero just because I chose the natural birth route. But, I do focus on having a scream-free natural birth as well. You can read all about a scream-free n natural birth here.
However, I often get the question “why” many times.
Why choose to face the pain?
Why choose to endure such physical stress?
If you take pain medication for migraines, why not take available medicine for labor pains?
I totally understand those concerns and questions. And yes, I have an answer to those questions. I’ve had to face this decision six different times, and five of my labors were filled with excruciating pain. I had to decide before I entered the labor and delivery room what my choice about pain relief would be.
And here’s why I chose natural birth — six times.
Why I Chose Natural Birth — Six Times
- I want the least amount complications during labor. Any time medicine is administered there are always possible risks. Yes, I know sometimes the situation is more risky without medicine, and in those dangerous situations I would follow the doctor’s recommendations. But in a normal, low-risk labor and delivery I would chose to avoid medical pain relief due to the risks of blood pressure drops in the mother and fetal distress in the baby. I am very careful about eating healthy and not taking unnecessary medications during pregnancy. I don’t want to throw caution to the wind during labor just to receive temporary pain relief.
- I know there’s an end to the pain. Unlike some painful diseases or health issues, I know labor is a temporary one with a very happy outcome (most of the time.) I have chosen to endure the pain (with God’s help and mercy) in order to avoid long-term complications that could result from medication.
- I don’t need a catheter after delivery. I’m sure one day I will have to deal with using a catheter, but I’ve never needed one after delivery. After the birth of my first child, a nurse was preparing a catheter when I blurted out, “I didn’t get the epidural!” She was surprised and said, “Oh! Well you won’t need a catheter then!” Yay for that perk — wink, wink!
- I enjoyed the final relief of pain immensely. There’s nothing like the feeling of instant pain relief when your child is finally born. All the pain, breathing techniques and nausea were worth bringing this tiny life into the world. I truly treasure the gift of immediate joy of knowing a child has been born. I can look at my tiny bundle of joy and know that it took work, sweat, tears and prayers to welcome my child into the world. After my first natural birth, I knew I would continue to choose natural birth over and over again. I have never regretted that decision.
- It’s what my body was created to do. I’m a firm believer that God created a special process for babies to enter this world. I choose to trust His process and not fight it. Yes, if something dangerous happens, I’m all for taking necessary steps to relieve pain and stress. But under normal circumstances, I don’t desire to intervene with the birth process any more than absolutely necessary.
- I’ve learned to trust God more. There’s a point during each of my labors that I can no longer communicate with people. I can’t manage to talk through the pain. However,during those excruciating painful moments, I can still bring my pleads for deliverance to God. It’s a comfort to know He is still there during my difficult journey. He’s still there to listen and answer — even when it’s impossible to verbally communicate with others. And yes, He has always brought comfort through those times. He’s always been there to help me focus and not give up.
- It brings my husband and me closer. My husband just told me about a year ago how much he appreciated that I chose a natural birth for all of our children. He appreciated me choosing to endure the pain so they could have the healthiest start in life. And I’m thankful that we were able to hold hands and breathe together through those long hours of waiting. My husband was there to hold the shower head on my back to help relieve pain. He was there to help me rock back and forth to gain a few brief moments from back labor. He was there to communicate my wishes to the doctor and nurses when I was unable. He watched me wince, cry and pray until I heard my child’s first cry. And yes, that made us appreciate each other more. Those intense moments made us stick together until someone announced, “The baby’s out!!”
- I don’t view labor as an illness. Some people have mentioned that if you take medication for migraines or infections then you should consider pain relief in labor. Like I mentioned before, I think labor is something God planned for a woman to endure when it’s time for her child to be born. I do not consider this an illness. I do not consider it a disease that needs to be treated. Instead, I choose to beg God for help to endure it until I hear my baby’s first cry. Then I celebrate this new little life with tears of joy and exhaustion!
Though my reasons my be different than others, I want every mom who is considering a natural birth to at least read someone else expressing what they may be thinking or feeling. May your birth experience be an amazing one — whether you choose a natural birth or not, I cheer you on for bringing a tiny, precious life into this world! <3