Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why Natural Delivery?

Day 16- "Don't be a martyr."

Martyr: (noun)
1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
4. a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

There are many arguments for and against delivering a baby without drugs. I have heard them all, or I thought I had, until I finally heard the one last reason to get drugs that no one had yet brought up: to avoid martyrdom, the definition #4 type of martyrdom.

Um, what? I don't... what do you... um, what?

I will not be discussing any of the medical studies for or against epidurals. I will not be discussing any of the political or social issues relating to epidurals. You can read about them; they are everywhere. I am only going to discuss my reasons for wanting to try to go drug free and the one reason I never thought would enter into the equation-- and the one feeling toward a natural delivery that I never thought anyone could possibly have.

As stated, I would like to try going drug free for my delivery. Let me preface my reasons by stating the following: I have no moral objection to epidurals; I do not consider asking for an epidural a failure on any laboring mother's part; if I find that it no longer seems humane to continue my own labor without drugs, I will be asking for an epidural; there is a reason they were invented, and I do not judge those who choose to go that route.

With that said, here are my reasons to try to do without:
- It's a unique opportunity to challenge myself and see what I'm made of.
- It's a chance to use one of my favorite statements: "Look what I did!!!"
- Endorphins, they sound fun.
- Being able to move about during labor; pacing, rocking, walking, running for dear life? Preferable to laying in bed, if you ask me.
- Feeling like myself when I first meet my daughter or son.
- No catheter, nuff said.

When people ask me about it, I give them the above reasons, and they proceed to shoot them down with whichever corresponding counter-arguments they have prepared for me (I think that's why they ask, to tell me what they think, not to hear what I want). But yesterday I got this new interesting one: Don't be a martyr.

Now, I ask you, do you think there are actually women in the world who choose natural labor solely for the purpose of bitching about it later? If it hurts, I plan to say so, but only by way of explaining how proud I am of myself or how relieved I am that it's over, not to garner sympathy or place guilt on anyone. It would simply become part of my life story. "When I was 30, I accomplished this."

The weird thing is that I gave this woman the list of reasons that I listed for you above, I said it in a cheerful and enthusiastic manner, and I even prefaced it by saying that if I need an epidural I will ask for one... and she still warned me not to be a martyr. How did she get that impression of me and my intentions?

Drug free is not a cause for which I am sacrificing myself.

I don't ever plan to hold this temporary pain over my child's head in order to bend them to my will with their guilt. That's what the rest of the pregnancy was for-- Muah-hah-haaa...

I hope to revel in the experience, and I hope that I too will experience the "worst pain you'll ever forget" version of natural childbirth. Or I will learn my lesson. Or I will get an epidural. I won't be commissioning statues in my likeness or building shrines. This is just a part of life that I would like to experience.

I'd also like to experience punching that woman in the neck.


senor fuerte said...

Note to would-be advice givers: pregancy is NOT a democracy. It is a very tightly controlled monarchy, and you'd best not mess with the Queen.

Senora Fuerte said...

All Hail!!!

amanda said...

I love you so much, I can hardly stand it.

word verification - Chenerl - another girl name option!

Anne-Marie said...

I totally concur!

For me, I would want to at least have a go at 'drug-free' just to prove that I could do it.

Millions of women have done it, I am sure you will be fine.

Also - 2 weeks!! EEP!! I am very excited for you :)

(can you try and hold it between the 12th and the 16th? I don't want to miss it and I will be internet-less :P )

David Haight said...

And hey,

You did read the news about naturally achieving orgasm during childbirth (not a joke)... now THAT would be a great outcome eh?

Hail the Queen Indeed. :-)

viejo fuerte said...

Let's see...Senor birthed using drugs, Amanda birthed without drugs. Hmmm...I'm glad you are going no drugs.