I would say I want to "try" it, but I'm afraid going in with a "try" attitude won't cut it. I think I need to be resolute. And I am.
I have no huge agenda. I have no bias. This decision is one that is simply based on experience. Behold: I was dilated to a 7 with Cub, feeling great, and was totally sure I could go all the way without an epidural. I initially thought for sure I would get one, but because the pain was manageable, I was okay without. Then the doctor told me that Cub (who was sunny side up) had not flipped over and that maybe I should consider that epidural. So, I did. And Cub slowly flipped while I pushed, which resulted in a four-hour pushing marathon. Whee! I'm glad I had that epidural (or whatever was left of it by the time he was actually born).
Then there is the birth of sweet Naomi. I chose to be induced because I was Strep B positive and had been dilated for two weeks (I was a three the week of my induction). It was "easy" in the sense that we simply packed up, went to the hospital at the scheduled time, enjoyed a sleepover in the hospital, and by 1:00 the next day (after only five glorious minutes of pushing), there she was! Easy!
Both of the experiences were precious and perfect because they resulted in the birth of our children. I do not regret any decision and would not change a thing.
If I had to compare the two experiences physically, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my experience with Cub was the better physical experience (the labor, not the pushing). I knew what my body was doing and I was able to respond, with lots of help from my husband, and it was incredible. Don't get me wrong--any birth decision is a highly sensitive, completely personal choice and women have the right to choose what they want to do, including induction. I'm just saying that in my own, personal experience, going into labor naturally was the better experience for me. I think, too, that women have different pain tolerances--just because I "made it" to a 7 with Cub doesn't necessarily mean I handled pain better--maybe what I felt was the equivalent of what some women feel at a 3. It isn't fair to compare experiences. I don't believe that because you want to have a baby naturally that you are trying to prove anything. I'm not. I think the parenting that follows childbirth is enormously more important, with more to prove. Being a good Mom is a challenge all its own. I would not be doing this to prove anything, except that I can do it. Does that make sense?
Now. There are so many variables. Lydia is still breech and if she remains so as her due date draws nearer, it will present all kinds of different issues. I am completely open to whatever needs to be done. Only if she has flipped and everything is normal, will I do natural childbirth.
I have a friend who has graciously offered to be my doula. I'm beginning my research and my reading. My husband is having a harder time because he hates to see me in pain, but he supports the decision and has agreed to be in the trenches with me. I will give birth at my hospital, with my doctor (or whoever is on call).
So, that's it, friends. Those are the thoughts running through my head.
Now, I would love to hear the opinions of my readers. If you planned and experienced natural childbirth, what did you think? I want to clarify, too, that by "planned and experienced natural childbirth" I mean that you went into it with a plan and followed through. If you accidentally had the baby naturally because there wasn't enough time to get the epidural, I can imagine that would be completely horrible, since you had no time to prepare for the experience! You can definitely share that, too, if you'd like, but I would think that going into it with a plan would be a different experience than having it happen on accident. But, maybe I'm wrong!
I am imagining lots of pain, lots of begging for my epidural, possibly some naughty words, and, well, a healthy baby. That's the end goal.
Have a lovely day.