Choosing Natural Childbirth

Well, here is the part where I explain why I chose to try and have a natural childbirth. First of all, let me say that this is a very personal decision and I don’t for a moment think that everyone should do what I did. As was explained in my childbirth options class, you need to decide what you are comfortable with and whether that means you want to have your baby in your own bathtub with only candle light or whether you want the epidural in the parking lot of the hospital you should be able to have the birth experience you want.

I have been fascinated by childbirth for years, and even continue to be now. I love (LOVE) reading birth stories, reading birth books, watching birth videos, etc. It is a truly miraculous happening and I am enthralled with the whole process. I found that over the years, I was drawn to the stories of natural childbirth. I loved learning about women’s experiences when they let nature take over. I also enjoyed “The Business of Being Born” and it made a lot of sense to me, even though it is slanted toward a certain perspective.

So once we found out we were expecting, I made an appointment with an OB to check things out. Through the first half of my pregnancy, I started researching my options while still seeing the OB. I knew from the start that I would not stay with this practice since they had stated before I even made my first appointment, “There are several partners in this group and regardless of who you see for your prenatal care, whoever is on duty is who will deliver your baby.” This made no sense to me. Why see one doctor throughout your pregnancy only to roll the dice when it came time to deliver? I may as well walk into an emergency room and tell them I am in labor. No. I wanted someone who had gone through this experience with me to know my preferences even before my first contraction hit. I wanted to know the person advising me through the biggest challenge I would face as a woman.

So I began asking around and researching online to find a new practitioner. I was open to the idea of a doctor or a midwife, as long as I felt this person could respect my preferences and advise me. That didn’t seem like too tall an order, but I suppose I was wrong. At this point, I still wasn’t dead set on a natural childbirth, but I was considering it heavily.

I researched and took the recommendations and basically came down to 2 possibilities an OB and a midwife. Then I gathered some questions from some of my favorite pregnancy/childbirth books and set up “Meet and Greet” interviews. Both were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. When I told the OB I wanted to have a natural childbirth, she sort of chuckled and said, “Well, I think that’s a little crazy. Everyone thinks they want a natural childbirth, even I did, but it hurts more than you think.” While I appreciated her honesty, I was a little disappointed that if this was the path I chose she wouldn’t encourage me. The meeting with the midwife was at her birth center and I just fell in love with her and the facility. Afterward, I did a lot of thinking and came to my decision based on the following:

  • I’ve always wondered if I could have a natural childbirth.
  • We are only planning on having one child, so this could be my only chance.
  • If I wanted to try to have a natural childbirth, it only made sense to go where I would be supported in that decison.
  • I don’t like hopsitals, so if I could have my baby without going to one, that would be great.
  • Natural childbirth was going to be enough of a challenge without having to try to go against the hospital system.
  • I loved the midwife and her experience was considerable.
  • I loved the birth center.
  • There was a hospital right across the street from the birth center in case of emergency.
  • My husband and parents understood where I was coming from and supported whatever decision I made.
  • Childbirth was a natural process that my body was capable of going through without IV’s and medical intervention.

Again, this was my process, everyone has to decide what is best for them.


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