Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Moment I Knew

I remember laboring in a hospital bed, feeling like I was about to die, when the anesthesiologist finally showed up with the pain medication. I don't remember what I said, probably something really short like, "Not happening!" but I do remember the general gist of what I was thinking: "Get that idiot out of here, I'm about to have a baby!" And then I had a baby. I was totally unprepared for my fast, no-pain-meds labor. It was really a traumatic experience, and amongst all my mixed up post-partum feelings I felt betrayed by the friends and relatives I had talked to who had given birth naturally. I felt like they tricked me. Did they just leave out the part where they wanted to die? Maybe I was just a weenie with no pain tolerance...maybe my pain was totally different from theirs since I had all my labor contractions squished into a couple hours...maybe the pain was my own fault since I hadn't prepared at all, and we all know that fear = pain.

Don't ask me why I was drawn to a natural birth again after all that. I'm not a masochist, I don't have anything to prove, and I'm not superwoman. (All my common misconceptions about natural birthers.) In any case, the moment I knew I absolutely had to have a home water birth was when I was talking to this gal my parents know about her recent water birth. (Mentioned her in previous post.) She had an epidural with her first, then went natural on purpose with her second. "I wasn't prepared for how painful it was," she said. "I felt like I wanted to die." I listened in awe. Finally, someone I identified with! For her third she had an epidural again. I have asked myself on various occasions why I shouldn't just go get induced and have an epidural since it went so well the first time, so I identified with this too. Then with her fourth, she decided that she really wanted to go natural again, so she did and kept doing so until baby number seven, when her husband got on board with the home water birth thing.

"It was amazing. After I got in the tub I was just having these really short contractions so I asked my midwife if my labor was slowing down. She said no, that the water was dulling them so I only felt the most intense part of them." "Did you ever feel like you wanted to die?" I asked eagerly. "No," she responded. "It was way better than my other natural births. I never felt that level of pain where I wanted to die, except right there at the end for a couple pushs I remembered what the prevous labors had felt like."

Can I get a hallelujah!?! The heavens parted. If I could only bring that natural pain level down one notch, then I absolutely knew that home water birth was my number one option. I'm banking on the water, people. If nothing I try with this next birth helps alleviate the "I want to die feeling" of natural birth, then it's back to the epidural for me.


K La said...

I loved my water birth. There was a point when I got out of the water, to see if I liked the birthing ball better, but as soon as a contraction hit it was NNNOOOO!!!!!!! And I got back in the water, and the pain instantly eased up.
Disclaimer; it still hurts. It actually hurt a lot more than I thought it would. But there was never a moment when I thought I was going to die. I'm not sure if that was the water, or the preparation, or my body, or the baby, or what.

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