The following comes of my sick, terrible habit of hanging around birth-junkie websites in the weeks before my due date. GOT to stop that.
The main reason I wanted a med-free birth with our first baby was curiosity. I wanted to know what it was like. Not everybody gets to find out.
Now I know, and I haven't wanted one since, but I keep getting them. Lucky me. As I've said here, there are some valuable lessons in the experience, but the most valuable one for me has been learning that it wasn't really my choice. It was my preference the first time around, and it worked out. I didn't have any complications, so I got my curiosity satisfied. (In a hospital. Yes.)
Then all my friends and relations started having babies, and I started seeing that childbirth isn't any different from breakfast on a busy morning. You can't always get what you want. Some wanted to go "natural" for whatever reason, and they couldn't, honest. 2000 miles or 150 years from here, something bad would have happened to mother and/or child, no matter how ideal their birth ideals (and why the ideal would be anything other than an experience which does not induce terror upon its remembrance--which for a few of us weak-minded people would involve pain relief of some sort--is beyond me). Some decided along the way that hours of voluntary agony weren't worth the Natural Childbirth Award, which doesn't exist. Some regretted not having an anaesthetic in place when it came to the measures which had to be taken upon them after the baby's birth. Some wanted pain relief and it didn't work, or even made things worse. Some got what they planned, whether it was Interventionpalooza or a moonlit glade attended only by maiden wolves. Everyone had preferences and made choices, but not everyone got the birth story they wanted.
The only thing I feel like telling someone any more about how to have a baby is You can do it! Unless you can't. You won't know until it happens. If you get the delivery you think you want, thank God in heaven because that is the third cherry on the real whipped cream on the hottest of fudge on the Haagen-Dazs of a healthy baby. If you don't, don't feel bad AT ALL, because who cares? It is ultimately not something you can control. And however it goes, turn off the comments when you post your birth story because there is always going to be some fool out there who thinks she knows better than you what should have happened.
But I still want to lodge my major complaint about the NCB universe, and that is its ridiculous self-satisfaction. I cannot take pride in my deliveries, much as I would LOVE to after this many times, any more than I could be proud of surviving a lightening strike or bout of ebola. They prove nothing except that God dealt with me mercifully (which is pretty blasted hard to admit, considering). That first time when I got myself all educated and prepped, I was told I'd stride away with this incredible sense of strength and accomplishment. Instead I hobbled off feeling completely ruined and, moreunder (or is it lessover?), lied to. There's no buzzkill for that post-baby rush like the thought of earning it again, or maybe ten more times. I came with onions and left with garlic.
Unlike the farmer and the monk, I also left with six perfect babies. So that helps.
Update: the comments upon this post, while non-explicit, are frank. If that would trouble you, dear reader, do not attend.