Natural birth trend may cause tears

After considering homebirth for the whole 5 minutes my chicken nature won and I just made sure the hospital was nature-friendly. But I let myself believe in the power of natural births. I was imagining no meds, vertical 2nd phase, minimum interventions, maybe some time in the water.

Instead I ended up with the opposite. Many interventions, no dilation, epidural, few doctors and crowd of midwives. Not so natural..

When was the first time I felt guilt? The moment I scream “E PI DU RAL!!!!!!!!”. I let myself down. I let my baby down. I let my mum down. I let freaking Mother Earth down. Me, who can stand any pain, me who advocated for natural births. I took the freaking devil epidural.

Weak, useless looser.

It lasted few MONTHS. Not weeks, not days. Months. That horrible feeling of shame, regret and guilt. So many nights I cried. I would cry each time a friend of mine gave birth without epidural.

A part of me was certain all the complications were due to my inability to stand the pain of efing powerful twin contractions every 1-2 minutes for 12h. My inability to deal with the pain like I should. After all, as a woman I was destined to feel it and deal with it!

Because of the natural parenting trend I felt like a failure. I felt guilty. Tears and tears. Postpartum hormones did not help. I felt disgusting. How could I ever be a good mother, how could I ever take proper care of my daughter, if I couldn’t even give birth like nature programmed me to? I mean, nature would make it pain-free if it should be pain-free…

In those desperate moments I completely forgot about the times when epidural, oxytocin and maternity wards were not yet invented. Before births were moved to the hospitals, women died and babies died. Years ago, me and my daughter would probably be a part of that dark number.

It took me time to straighten out the facts, to realize that what made my labour complicated existed before administration of epidural and oxytocin. These drugs didn’t complicate anything, they didn’t slow down what was already too slow. Those drugs didn’t make my labor less natural, they made it safe. They helped.

Because of medicine, thanks to pharmaceutical companies, thanks to science, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The only thing I had to deal with was an awful episiotomy scar and temporary loss of bladder control.

Why is fighting with pain a bad thing? How many of us have our teeth done without some kind of anaesthesia?

So remember, a birth plan is not a bible. It’s just a guide that may need to be changed, adapted to the situation. No matter how it goes the only important thing is to welcome a child into the world. Epidural, medicalization of births, oxytocin and all the rest, were invented for the reason.

The natural, attachment, back to the caves trend can be so dis-empowering if you ‘fail’ at it. The pressure we put on ourselves because other women ‘can/did/do’ what we couldn’t is awful. Don’t let it do to you what it did to me. Just give birth in the most comfortable way (whatever it means). Trust your body, breathe, push, relax. Don’t expect anything, go with the flow and see what every minute brings.

And as for the epidural – it’s freaking awesome!  Take it if you can and want! Peace! #reluxmum

PS: It was originally titled “Natural birth my ass”. I still like it better. Can I change?

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