Yesterday, we hired a doula, aka a labor and delivery coach. She is also a L&D nurse. We met her when she taught our 2nd childbirth class. Casey and I both really liked her perspective and outlook on the whole process and decided to hire her. Women who have doulas generally have shorter labors, less need for pain medicine or other medical interventions, and I think that's the way we want to go.
The whole time I've been pregnant, I've been on the fence of the Natural vs Medicated philosophies. There are die-hards in both camps among my friends and co-workers. I am certainly no childbirth snob, but I don't want to have to have a c-section if I can avoid it. It's major surgery, and if it's not absolutely necessary, why would I have surgery to do something my body is built to do on it's own? Seems perverse.
The more I read, the clearer it becomes that medical intervention can become a slippery slope. If you get an epidural, it can slow or even stop the labor. It can also lower the baby's heart rate, so you have to have wear a constant heart rate monitor. If the epidural slows down the labor, they might want to give you pitocin to speed along the contractions. Of course, this can put the baby under distress with increasingly strong, fast (and painful!) contractions, and if his heart rate lowers because of the epidural or the distress, which they will be watching for now that you're constantly monitored, so you might have to have a c-section. Or if your labor doesn't progress once you've been given with the pictocin, you might have to have a c-section. And I don't want to be pressured into surgery when the baby and I were perfectly healthy to begin with.
And even if you don't get into a critical situation, you're numb from the waist down, stuck in a bed for an undetermined amount of time...and I've never liked being immobile. I pace around my classroom the entire time I'm teaching, even now 37 1/2 weeks pregnant. And needles are creepy. And the epidural can have nasty side effects.
Of course, the side effect of no medicine is pain. And...I might not be able to handle it. Running the marathon was painful, and took a lot of encouragement from Casey for me to be able to do it, but that was 4 1/2 hours. This will probably be more like 18 hours.
I'm going to give it a try, and we'll see how it goes.
Side note/a bit of a Rant:
Pregnancy books warn you that you will be assailed with mothers, even strangers, telling you the war stories of their labors. This has not been a problem for me. But a certain segment of the population, the "just you wait" people are really getting on my nerves. "Just you wait"...it's going to be so hard, you're going to be so tired, "just you wait" until they're older, they're so much a bigger pain, blah, blah, blah. And usually each one of these Negative Nancies has not one, but many, negative predictions about how horrible my life is going to be once we have the baby.
Seriously people, I appreciate your "kind" intentions of preparing me for the worst...but take your negative mojo elsewhere. We didn't decide to have a baby because he'd be fun and cute. We want to be parents, to watch this little person that's half Casey, half Virginie and help shape him and watch him grow into the man God has him to be. It'll be work. I know that. Everything that is worthwhile in life is work. Bring it on. But don't rain on my parade, folks. I think a grand total of one person has spent time telling me how wonderful motherhood and how rewarding it is. Thank you, Brenda Monk.