I’m reading this really excellent little paperback called “Easy Labor: Every Woman’s Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth“. It’s not so much about how to avoid pain during labour as it is about the available ways to cope with that pain, and it includes sections where various women (including ob-gyns, midwives, doulas, and anesthesiologists) relate their own childbirth stories that I’m really enjoying.
And moreso, I’m grateful to be reading it because it’s making me think. My stance right now is that I’d like as natural of a childbirth as possible, attempting to avoid medication — but now I want to understand why I feel that way. I’ve always been kind of a pansy when it comes to handling pain, so why do I feel like I need to experience labour pain? I’m the type of chick who, on her period, pops a Motrin with her breakfast, inhales peppermint tea all day, has a heating pad ready to go at the least sign of cramping, and still bemoans this unpleasant state of being while thinking it’s really not funny that only women have to suffer this way.
Maybe I’m just incredibly stubborn and feel like I need to prove something — like I’m a tougher woman if I suffer labor pains (my mom tells me that I always take the hard way through life, which is so true it’s scary). Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure whether this will be a homebirth, and if it is, there’ll be no such thing as an epidural, so I might as well not get used to the idea. Maybe my deep-rooted hatred of needles paired with Chris’ aversion to the thought of one being inserted into my spine (he is seriously icked-out by that thought) can be blamed. Or maybe I’m just trying to fool myself into thinking that I will be a superhuman while in labour, as if I won’t take the very first opportunity I can to soothe my pain.
Anyhow, rethinking things, I just don’t know. As far as I understand from a friend who also used the same group of midwives as I am, the midwife will encourage me to undertake the majority of labour at home before heading to the hospital. Her husband works with mine and when I called one day to talk to Chris, this guy answered the phone instead and was like “You wouldn’t even believe it — there wasn’t any time for an epidural once we finally went to the hospital, the baby was literally RIGHT THERE waiting to come out and putting in the needle and waiting for the medicine would’ve taken longer than just delivering him.” It actually makes me kinda happy to think that might be the case for me, as well, if that’s the philosophy that this group follows. It’d make things vaguely easier. I just re-read their website and it says that the midwife will be in contact via phone for the first stage of labour, then will attend me once I reach active labour, which I guess is when I’d go to the hospital? Dunno. And the website also says that they can get me out of the hospital as soon as 3-4 hours after giving birth, pending no complications, which would be just phenomenal and make me very, very happy.
I think I’ve gotten a little off-track here. It’s too bad I can’t just take a few shots of vodka for “pain relief” and deliver that way, eh?