Saturday, February 07, 2009


I've been thinking about this one for almost 24 hours and... it still doesn't make sense to me. So, I'll put it up to you people and see if it works any better in your better, non-pregnant brains:

Yesterday when I was at the hair place, conversation turned to childbirth (go figure). The lady next to me asked if I was going to "go natural" and I stifled my immediate response which is usually to giggle wildly and say "you must be joking." I mean, anyone who knows me knows I have no tolerance for pain. Past instances of extreme pain have, in fact, usually ended up with me passing completely out cold. And while I have a lot of respect for those who do have that tolerance and who are planning to give birth without any pharmaceuticals or other help, I am very aware of my limitations and I can tell you with all certainty in the world: THAT ain't happenin' here. But to this woman, I just simply said, "No" and went back to reading my US weekly. She looked at me for a moment and gave me a sad face then said, "Aw, you really should."

***At this point, I'm going to jump in and warn you that this is not the exciting part of the story where I strap on 10 inch acrylic nails, leap across the room and shred this woman's face as I explain to her in excruciating detail how telling another person how to handle bringing one's child into the world is INAPPROPRIATE at the very least and downright tacky at best. For one, I like to think that I've conquered my violent tendencies in preparation for motherhood. For two, I can't move that fast right now.

So, I (very nicely, I think) told her that I had given the matter some thought--which, I had... it was 10 seconds or less of thought, but the thought process did occur. And even though everyone knows that at some point during labor, regardless of whether you decide to have help or not, you WILL feel pain and I was willing to deal with that, I had decided that once it got to be more than I could handle, having an epidural was the best course of action for me and for all involved and that's what our decision was going to be. Now, at this point, you'd think she'd drop it. It's not like we're friends. Or hey, even KNOW EACH OTHER, but what do I know?

She then says to me: "BUT, by the time you have an epidural, you've already felt the worst of the pain, why not just go all the way through it?" And really, despite the weirdness of this whole encounter, THAT, what she said right there, is what puzzles me the most. Let me summarize what I'm hearing here: OK, you're going to be in a state of the MOST AWFUL PAIN OF YOUR LIFE and she's saying: hey, why not ride that for a while?? What the?

OR hey, you know, you could get something to take that all away. Just a thought.

I mean, it's one thing to feel excruciating pain--who hasn't slammed a finger in a door or broken their toe by kicking a coffee table, right? But in general, you feel that pain for a few seconds then it starts abating for a bit. To me, her argument is like saying, hey, take that moment right when the door has shut on your fingernail, and then lets streeeeetttttchhh it out for, I dunno, TWELVE to FOURTEEN HOURS. You've already felt it once, so you can handle it right? Go Natural Childbirth!

It just.. makes absolutely no sense to me. To be clear, I'm not trying to slam on natural childbirth, just her logic here. I'm still kinda confused.

But I just smiled at the crazy lady and pulled the hair dryer helmet down over my head so I couldn't hear her anymore. All you amazingly strong pregnant women who decide to ride the pain, more power to you and I wish you the absolute best, I truly do. My wimpy ass is going to be over there in the corner with the big needles and the ice chips.


Mel Francis said...

Yeah. That makes no sense to me. At. All. She needs a little less Fruit in her Loop I think.

Allison said...

In a perfect world people would respect however you wanted to give birth. The end result is the same. Yet people get really worked up about it. I say whatever works for you, go for it.

Maybe her thought was that by the time you are eligible for the epi, so to speak, you're probably through early labor, maybe in the second stage, and so all you have left is transition and eventually pushing. I got the epi because I was already in pain and didn't want to continue for "only" another 3 hours (assuming it's 1 cm per hour dilation).

also, I commend you for not going off on her. Were you ever tempted to say, "Wow, you're right! I'm changing my whole birth plan! Let me call my husband and let him know!" She probably would have thought you were serious, though.

Long comment. Sorry.

Jenny said...

There are things in life called OPTIONS, maybe nutter butter at the salon should look into it.
Kudos to you for not going off on her :)

Steph said...

Are you sure this woman had kids? I thought I might try to go natural, just cause I didn't want to be strapped down to a bed and I'm scared of needles. But it only took a few real contractions for me to change my mind. And then I had a mostly pleasant experience, instead of the "body ripping in two" kind of experience that I've heard about from other people...

But in any case, what is it about being pregnant and having a baby or young child that makes everyone in the world feel the need to tell you how you're doing it wrong?

Robyn said...

From someone who's first epidural DID NOT WORK and the second that did I will honestly say, go for the drugs! Go for the drugs! And by the way, do they serve wine at your salon, maybe she was drunk?