These last few weeks have been plenty busy reading up about childbirth, attending preparatory childbirth workshops and seminars, and digging through several books about labor and delivery suggested by friends and family.
My head is a-whirl with all sorts of new vocabulary, folks. A few months ago I wouldn’t even have known what a doula was, or a birth vision guide, or an amniotomy.
And I cringe at needles during routine blood tests, so I wouldn’t say I have the world’s highest pain threshold.
But the more I read and learn about labor, the more I want as natural a delivery as possible (i.e. no pain medication use). Am I being unrealistic? Is this the starry-eyed naivete of a mother-to-be who has never undergone anything like the birth of a child? I’m guessing I will find out soon enough!
This got me thinking about all sorts of things, including marriage in general. Just the other day my husband and I gave each other a quick kiss, only to find it electrifying – in the bad sense of the word! Static had built up to such a degree that even before our lips touched, a spark had jolted through us that caused us to leap apart in shock. (I can only be grateful that no one was around to make a video of that moment – it probably would have gone viral in a few hours.)
But did that stop us from immediately trying again? Haha, not a chance! Because the pleasure far outweighed the pain.
That’s kind of what I’m thinking with labor.
All types of medicated procedures, even the ones considered safe like epidurals and such, come with complications and trade-offs. Apparently the mother is sluggish and can’t push as well, which can slow down the labor process. Apparently the baby is born with drugs in its bloodstream and is more fragile as a result.
It’s not just books like the “Husband-Coached Childbirth” by Dr. Robert Bradley that say such things; it was mentioned in the childbirth prep course we attended through the hospital where we hope to have our baby. I know at times that medication can be needed and I’m not judging people who have taken medication during labor – who knows, I may be one of them. But I have read enough to make me think it’s not the ideal scenario.
If you think about it, there are no shortcuts to pregnancy. I have already endured morning sickness, lower back pain, sleepless nights, strained muscles … and it has been more than worth it because I know there’s someone inside me whom I can’t wait to see someday. But try as I might, I can’t speed up these 40 weeks.
How much more will shortcuts not be allowed for such things as spending quality time with one’s spouse, training oneself to be more patient, or building a rock-solid marriage that lasts for the rest of one’s life?
Does anyone reading this have any experience with natural childbirth? If so, I’d love to hear from you – multiculturalmarriage at gmail dot com.