This post is in response to a topic that has been bugging me lately. It is in part a response to a particular point of view of one of my dearest friends, which I admire (both the friend and her philosophy) but also and more pointedly in part to a general division that I think is ridiculously pandered by way too many people. I'm tired of feeling that the natural birthing camp in general thinks less of the experience of those of us who choose to have a doctor instead of a midwife, an epidural instead of pain, etc....
And it goes the other way too. Many others think our "natural birthing" sisters are totally crazy for the unnecessary pain they go through, but is it really painful for them? Not according to some of my best friends who fully embrace their ability to have a baby and get through it on their own.
Now I know that I'm no expert because I've only done one way and don't really plan to try the other, at least not this time, but it really gets to me when we inadvertently, or not, rob each other of the joy of motherhood and mothering. Unfortunately, it seems that the nature girls are often more outspoken in this regard and it drives me nuts. I don't mind how anyone chooses to deliver their children but it seems to me that a lot of "natural" birthing pros often discount or think less of the amazing experience the rest of us have in the delivery room.
Let me illustrate my point:
A while ago I was sitting in church and a new dad got up and shared the wondrous experience he and his wife had recently had in the birth of their child. It was nice to see a father so in love with his wife and their new baby. The Spirit was strong and tender until he topped it off with one of those nasty little cherries that seem so sweet but leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth..."I'm so proud of my wife for going through this experience the way nature intended so that our baby could have the most healthy chance at life possible. I know it was painful and trying for her but she did it for him, he couldn't have a better mother than someone who would put aside her own comfort for his wellbeing." Blah, Blah, BLAH!!!
Seriously people we don't live in the dark ages. Typical epidurals do not affect babies. They don't make the baby groggy, and as far as my baby's birth it didn't even take away the feeling of my baby moving through the birth canal. I felt everything except pain and I could still walk too!!!! I felt just as empowered, and spiritually connected to myself and to my husband and especially to Michael Anne as well as to Heaven when I gave birth to her as any mother who is having a child she has wanted and waited for her entire life. Why must we feel superior to one another at such a personal time? It is beyond me.
I also just spoke to a woman who adopted a baby and was there for the birth as well, taking him home with her straight from the hospital. She described the experience that she and her husband had with the birth of this child as an incredibly rewarding, miraculous, and spiritual experience (she & her husband have 4 of their "own" children too). It is a blessing and a true miracle to have a baby and no matter how that child enters our homes it is a glorious occasion and an amazing chance to love an nurture a sweet little spirit.
Anyway, I'm sure my particular friend didn't mean to sound the way her comment came across to me because I know she loves me and we've been friends our whole lives but it kind of did & I keep hearing other people say similar things so I had to say something.
The funny thing is though, that most of us don't try both ways because we are comfortable with how we've done things before so who are we to know and profess the differences if they even exist. I'm betting that moms who have done both love and cherish the birthing experience just the same for each of their children. I can't imagine feeling more in tune or connected to one vs another simply because of the mode of delivery.