Monday, October 1, 2012

Write me a song...and a little rant

First a rant:

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the birth process. The pain, happiness, problems, successes, overwhelming love and everything in between.

I have been lucky to talk to a few strong, inspiring women who had natural births with out the use of pain medication (one even had to have Pitocin and birthed without meds...I don't know how she did it!)

 When I express my desire to have a natural childbirth, women look at me like I have a third eye. Their eyes get round and they exclaim one of many statements:

"You are crazy! You just wait, you will be screaming for pain medications!"
"Oh...well...good luck. IIIIIII (emphasis on the I) wouldn't do it."
"You can have a pain free birth...why not?"

But it is the one thing that they don't say that bothers me the most. It is their implication that I am ignorant and dumb for not taking the IV to my arm and shooting up with the "serum of the gods".

At first, I found myself making excuses for myself as to why I was choosing to forgo the big E (epidural). I blamed it on my fear of needles...which is true. But I then realized that my fear was not the only reason I was choosing to go natural. It's better for baby Gwen to not be pumped full of the medications that would make me comfortable, there is a greater risk of cesarean section when you are induced (and believe it or not, c-sections are major surgery) and most of all: God made my body to give birth, to work with baby Gwendolyn in a way that will never happen again and ultimately to bond with her.

Just a little statistic: in 1965, the national cesarean rate was 4.5% and  raised to 32.8% in 2010.

So this is where I state that I am not ashamed of my choice for a natural childbirth and I will no longer make excuses. Yes, I am aware that it is going to hurt and Cash's song, "Ring of Fire" will take on a new meaning for me. But this is an experience that I choose to have - to feel alive - to feel what it is like to bring a baby into this world and not fear it.

If you go for a medicated birth or have to have a c-section, more power to you.
Now, I am not going into this expecting everything to be peachy and easy. I know that I will probably go through the most pain I have ever been through before. I remember the pain I experienced when I miscarried with Lord Volde so I can only imagine that it will be exponentially worse.

I am also not going into the labor and delivery room thinking that the birth is going to go the way I want it. I know that sometimes c-sections are necessary but I also know that some doctors tend to push c-sections so they can make it to happy hour or can protect themselves from lawsuits. Not me, pal.

Second, the music:

One method I will use to ease the pains of labor (or at least take my mind away from it) is music. I have ready that you should have a soft, relaxing play list and a more upbeat play list for the times when you are pushing. I tend to rely more on soothing music when I am in pain so while I will make a play list of pumped up tunes, I will focus on the softer side.

Through the Floor – Edwin McCain
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Wild Horses - The Sundays
American Baby – Dave Matthews
Poison & Wine – The Civil Wars
How He Loves – David Crowder
Carolina in My Mind – James Taylor
Fill Me Up – United Pursuit
Running in Circles – United Pursuit
Color Blind – Counting Crows
Fire & Rain – James Taylor
The Funeral – Band of Horses
Tequila Makes Me Crazy – Kenny Chesney        
Fast Car – Tracey Chapman
Worth It All – Rita Springer
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Johnny Cash
#41 – Dave Matthews
Soon – Hillsong United
We Found Love – Rihanna
First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
Windows Are Rolled Down – Amos Lee
Your Song – Elton John
Gravity - Sara Bareilles
Can’t Help Falling In Love – Ingrid Michaelson
I Have to Believe - Rita Springer
Ho Hey – Lumineers
Gotta Have You – The Weepies
Part One – Band of Horses 

Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa – Sigur Ros

I am sure that I will need many, many more songs (I will probably add the entire Civil Wars Album and some additional Edwin McCain songs...)

So, that is my list thus far. Is there anything I should add or delete from the list?


  1. I think you realize that things may not go perfect and that's the biggest thing to know when giving birth - no matter what your plans are. Know that it will hurt like nothing you can imagine (but you will be fine) and know that sometimes c-sections really are needed. I wish I could have had Rhiannon and Konnor without an epidural, I wasn't even really feeling my contractions let alone in pain (but I also wasn't pushing yet so who knows how bad it might have been) but it was the hospital's policy since it was twins. It didn't bother me so much at the time, because I was mostly upset that Brian didn't get to cut the cords and we didn't get to see the babies at all until 16-18hrs after they were born. With Ainsley and Lorelei I was determined to have another successful vaginal twin delivery, but I didn't. I had to have a c-section and not because of their positions but because the placenta was coming apart, if I continued vaginally both girls could have died, me too. I did need a blood transfusion due to all the blood I lost. You could say I had an unmedicated c-section however... only the surface of my body was medicated so once they cut into my uterus ... it's nothing I can even try to explain. I started to faint from the pain before they could get the mask on my face to put me to sleep. But once again, the worst part was not getting to see my girls for several hours (although Brian got to see them shortly after - although they made him leave the OR during all the "problems" with me).
    I tell you all this because anything could happen, you might need a c-section, try not to let it get to you. And also if in the moment you really can't handle it, don't be ashamed to ask for the epidural or be mad at yourself if you do. My sister, Kaitlyn, had her son unmedicated, but not by choice, he just came too fast. Then when she had her daughter she wanted the epidural but felt like we would think less of her if she had one, so by they time she finally said she wanted it, it was too late. In the moment anything can happen and whatever happens and however you handle it, isn't as important as having a healthy baby girl. Trust me, Ainsley stopped breathing, Lorelei needed surgery, etc... I could care less how they were born, right now, I just want them home, happy and healthy.
    (sorry that was so long)

    1. I remember reading what you went through during these births and what a strong woman you are/were through them!
      That is one thing that I am keeping in mind - sometimes c-sections cannot be avoided and I don't want to feel like I failed. So I am definitly praying abou tit!
      I am so happy to see that your babies are doing well and I am sad to see that Kaitlyn felt that way. Us mommies need to encourage one another despite our choices in birth/breastfeeding/fill-in-the-blank.

    2. Even after already going through childbirth, It was so important to me to have another vaginal delivery (more so since it was twins - I hear about moms letting their doctors talk them into a scheduled c-section, when they weren't planning something else, just because its twins and it upsets me). That's why I completely agree that moms need to be there for other moms. But after each pregnancy, it didn't matter how they got here, just that they were here.

  2. Oh but I completely believe you can have a successful unmedicated birth and you are not crazy for wanting it that way.

  3. Jessica, you can and will totally ROCK childbirth, no matter what your choices are about pain management. You know how I know that? Because you are a driven, soulful, self-aware, intelligent, strong woman. We all have our own special path to walk as we become mothers, and I'm sure you know by now that sometimes mommies can be a tough crowd to run with. Sometimes people will look at you like you're nuts - well, girl, I do NOT think you're nuts. I think you're so smart to look into the options, research things, and make an educated choice for yourself. When the time comes for baby Gwendolyn to be born into the world, I can promise I will be sending up big prayers for all three of you for an easy, happy, wonderful birth experience. God bless you guys! :)

    1. Thank you Becky :) It is hard to talk about birth/pregnancy/ everyone has such strong opinions. My goal is to build up women, whether they choose a medicated birth or natural, whether they decide to breastfeed or not.
      We have our own paths, as you said, but we also need to encourage other women on theirs. It is tough though :)

  4. You are awesome! You are gonna be a wonderful Mom!!! {big hugs}

  5. should talk to my friend Anna (the one who had the same wedding dress as you)...she's done it all natural twice now, and hearing her talk about all her thoughtful preparation inspires me for the day when I get there. :-)

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  8. So sorry for my comments...I keep posting them and they are not posting the whole Anywho. This was beauitful girl. Of course you knew...I desired to have a natural child birth so much just like you. Of course it ended up with me having a c-seciton. I went into delievery with way too many high expectations...and wanted full control over the whole process. God always has a funny way of showing me who is in control. The pain took me into an outer body experience and I just couldn't relax. I am thankful that I did have an epidural because I labored way too long without one and I was actually ready to rest a bit before I could start pushing....of course God had other plans. The pain is something that can not be described...but you can do are right are bodies were mean't for us to have the pain!

    I wouldnt of wanted it any other way looking back on it now. Seeing John and the way he smiles and looks at me makes however he entered this world a miracle in itself and minute compared to him being here now. It doesn't matter how they get here as long as they get here safely. Although I was pumped up with pitocin...spinal block from c-section and epidurals...John was wide eyed and bushy tailed coming out. He latched on to breast feeding immediately in the recovery room. He ...not drosy or anything...he was perfect...not a blemish...not a scratch...not a broken capillary from coming down the birth canal...every birth is different because not all c-sections end up perfect like mine did and not all vaginal births end up great either. Its the way God chooses to bring them in this world....and there is nothing we can do about it, but aid in delievery. Every womans body is so different and carries differently and handles things differently. I am so happy for you! You will be an awesome mother and you will do great in the delievery room! Praying for yoU!

    1. It is really comforting to hear your birthstory (I read it on your blog too :) ) Going into the unknown is super scary and as you said, as long as they get here.