Thursday, November 10, 2011

why we chose a natural birth

i've gotten A LOT of comments about our choice to do the Bradley method. Most involve horrific stories of traumatic births and emergency C-sections, followed by lengthy lectures about why I will want an epidural "for sure" and how I can't possibly know how horrible birth is. The worst have been people asking if I "think I am better than them because I am choosing natural birth". So i'm here to set the record straight.

I most definitely do NOT think I am better than any mama who has chosen an epidural, a c-section, or a medicated labor. I respect any woman who has put her body through carrying these tiny babies, and getting through any kind of birth should be celebrated! I do not think I am a better mama, a more educated person, or holier-than-thou for choosing an unmedicated birth.

Next, I love modern medicine. Unlike a few other natural birth aficionados, my husband and I have nothing but respect and admiration for our healthcare team. As a nurse, I respect others who have chosen the healthcare field, and definitely do not think all of modern medicine is full of conspiracy and evil. I know these things happen in healthcare, but we have been very blessed with a healthcare team at Providence who are WONDERFUL, gifted and supportive. We have not chosen a home birth, nor do we feel that is the right choice for our particular situation. I have a number of health concerns including asthma, potential for a repeated eye rupture, and previous cardiac complications that necessitate me being in a hospital setting. It makes us feel very comfortable knowing we have a capable and caring team of individuals around who want the best for Emmersyn and I. I am thankful for oxygen, IV pumps, the ability to have a C-section in 5 minutes, and the ability for monitoring of our sweet girl.

I also love my doctor (in a non-creepy way). My husband and I have found a wonderful, Christian doctor who cares about our family and prays for our daughter. He takes time to make personal calls to us whenever Emmersyn has new scans or appointments, and we have never felt rushed, or hurried out the door. I think choosing a doctor is very important, and we feel great about our choice. I certainly trust his judgement. If a complication arises, we know he will give us the best, most appropriate options, and his openness to my birth plan is reassuring. I feel confident that, if I were unable to make medical decisions for myself, that our doctor would choose the best option with my husband.

I love the Bradley. Eating healthy, exercising, and learning to relax through the pain is incredibly inspiring and makes me feel calm and collected going into labor. My husband has been incredible supportive of this method and has done his part to learn the material and practice with me. That being said, we are not dead-set on a drug free birth. We want a healthy baby. If something happens and we can't have a natural birth, I will be sad but not heartbroken.
I am not obsessed with the Bradley, nor do I center my life around it. I pray for our daughter and for my strength during labor, and the Lord will deliver her however He would like. We can work hard and learn the material, but overall, the Lord is in control.

The absolute worst thing that I have heard involves speculation about how awful it would be if Emmersyn had special needs. Me having/not having electronic fetal monitoring, having/not vaccinations, or particular types of labor and somehow linking that to the "horror" of having a child with special needs is incredibly tacky to bring up. We have many friends and family members who have been blessed with children with special needs. What a dishonor we do them when we assume that we know the cause/prevention of their "new normal". I have done everything within my ability to protect our tiny daughter, and I will for her whole life! But I cannot control her having or not having special needs. We will love and embrace her no matter what. We had an 18 week ultrasound to determine her gender and they were able to check for Down's Syndrome. Her ultrasound was negative for Downs, clubfeet, and other heart defects, and we were thankful. And I admit, my heart stopped for a brief moment when I realized she could have any sort of handicap. But we love our daughter. She is ours, she is precious, and she is perfectly made.

"Having a child with special needs is NOT a tragedy. The tragedy would be raising a child who is cruel to someone with special needs". -Unknown

1 comment:

carandavis said...

you don't need to explain yourself to anyone, but you articulated yourself very well. everyone has an opinion and unfortunately too many share it when it's not invited. you're doing great! keep it up!