Sunday, April 11, 2010

Birth Matters: Part III

Part III: The Desire for a Natural Childbirth

***Post disclaimer: I have never been through natural labor and have no idea what it feels like. I have never felt a contraction or any labor pains. Many people will think these views will change once I have been through labor, and perhaps you are correct. But until then, these are my thoughts and feelings towards birth. Also, I am very aware that these are my own personal beliefs; I have no judgements towards those who do not hold these beliefs, or towards women who choose to have pain medication during labor.

1. Desire for a natural birth: Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my son, I desired to have a natural labor, and the same holds true in this pregnancy. I have thought long and hard about why I want such a thing, mostly because people always ask why I would want to do it. To be honest, I really have no answer to their question except to say it's just something I really want to do. I want to know that I at least tried to work with my body and the way God created it, and this is why I must go into birth with the attitude that it will happen naturally. Other pluses that make me want to have a natural labor: the natural adrenaline release that I have heard only comes to a woman who has not been medicated, keeping control over my body during labor, trust in my body and the way it works, and, of course, the desire for as little intervention and chance of a c-section as possible.

2. Women have done it for thousands of years: My husband always used to tell me this and it made me angry. I wanted to tell him, "oh yeah, well then you try it!" But after a lot of thought I came to think of this as another reason to at least attempt natural childbirth. When did birth become a medical procedure and not a natural event? We trust women's bodies for nine months to grow a human being from two cells. We trust her body to give this baby everything he/she needs, but when it is time to deliver, the doctors step in and say, "good job growing a baby, we will take over from here." (Again please keep in mind I am talking about normal, healthy pregnancies). Oh! And God forbid you don't dilate 1 cm/hour! That must mean something is terribly wrong with you and need Pitocin. Please excuse the sarcasm, but needless interventions that can lead to more women having c-sections really do bother me.  I also find it kind of ironic that most women's labor will slow down or stop progressing after being given an epidural. When this happens, in comes the Pitocin. Basically what I am saying is that it seems that one intervention to the natural process leads to another and I would like to try to avoid all of that if possible.

3. Parallel between Christ's sufferings and labor: Ok, so some of you are going to think I am off my rocker with this one, but this is the way my mind works and the way I try and think about a lot of the things in life. As stated in this post, I think motherhood and pregnancy is pretty special because of our unique vocation to physically sacrifice our bodies. I don't think this analogy stops in childbirth. Christ walked the most torturous, painful path known to man on His way to Calvary. His body was beaten, swollen, fatigued and at some point He asked for the suffering to be taken away. But He endured it, because it was the will of the Father. At Calvary He was hung naked from a cross, shamed and humiliated. What relief must have come when He stated, "It is finished." And what lies at the end of Christ's suffering? New, beautiful, glorious life for all of us sinners. It is my thought that I am once again called to walk with Christ to calvary during childbirth. I am sure it will be the most painful and altogether hard experience in my life. But at the end, when I can state, "It is finished" new life lies in my arms. And I don't even have to wait three days to experience this new life, I get to hold her in my arms and kiss her sweet face as soon as the worst of the suffering is over.


  1. If somehow through all of this I become unwittingly convinced to have a natural childbirth, I will faint, and maybe stop being your friend. Seriously though, the parallels with Christ that you make in this post and the other post are very convincing. It is hard to not want to feel that close to Him. That being said, I loved my medicated labor and delivery with E, and I think I'd love another one. :) As crazy as I sometimes think you are to want this, I pray every day that God grants you this. I pray and pray. I know you will make it through another c-section if that's His will, and I will be here for you if it comes to that, but I soooo want you to have the birthing experience of your dreams. And then 3 or 4 more of them. Love you!

  2. Yes, yes, yes. The parallels between Christ's suffering and a mother in labor are there and amazing. We get to look at our new baby and say "This is my body broken for you so that you, a stranger to me before this and now a member of my family, may have life." It's beautiful.

    I've had unmedicated births twice. I always want the drugs, but I still recognize the beauty in the pain.

  3. Katie: Please don't stop being my friend...I love you too much! LOL! And you should have the birth you want! Thank you for the prayers. They mean so much!

  4. It's been beautiful to read your thoughts and reflect on YOUR birth. In fact, I'm going to start blogging about that day :). You are an amazing mom and we're praying every day that God is with you in your delivery room. I love you!

  5. Getting close, one way or another it's coming soon! Thanks for giving me so much to think about, and for being such a good example of a Godly mother!

  6. Joanna's a blog groupie! Tell your friends! I love her. :) I very much miss you. I look forward to your labor cause you have always been a CHAMP with pain.