Lately it seems that I relate everything in my life metaphorically to the process of birth. Maybe it is because of all the reading, studying, and training I have been doing for my career as a doula. Maybe I'm just strange that way.
My twins are off to college this year. One has already flown the nest and the other leaves in a few days. I find myself feeling very similar to those days just before the birth of my babies. Anxious, excited, irritable, and, to be frank, ready for it to be over. Yes I know it will be painful to let go. To have an empty nest. But this limbo we've been suspended in this summer has worn thin. I need some action. Patience with myself had never been my strong suit. I'm ready to Do....anything but sit here waiting to get my last one out the door. The suspense is killing me! He's ready to leave and I'm ready to let go.
Much like in childbirth, mother nature prepares you to let go. Childbirth is painful, but at some point toward the end you are so uncomfortable that the idea of labor pain looses it's hold on you and you're ready to dig that baby out with a blunt spoon if necessary. It's happening once again as I stand with one foot on my son's backside ready to push him out of the nest. I didn't think I would be able to endure the pain of letting go but I have my blunt spoon in hand ready to dig if necessary. It's time. I take a deep breath and I push.....
Many of us want to have children of our own, but would like to skip that whole labor and birth part. It hurts and we don't like pain. Why would anyone subject themselves to that intentionally? Especially when there are alternatives like Epidurals or C-Sections! If they weren't safe methods then doctors wouldn't offer them, right?
While I definitely understand where you're coming from, and I don't pretend to be a hero, (I had an epidural with my twins) most people are not adequately educated about the risks these procedure can have to the well-being of both mother and infant. It is assumed that because it is offered and used frequently that the risks must be fairly low. Hmmmm are you certain? Wouldn't you like to know more about something that may run the risk of creating more problems than they fix? If I could only turn back the clock. I definitely would've done things differently armed with the knowledge I have now.
There is a time and a place for everything including Epidurals and C-sections. I'm not saying never to have one but rather don't take them lightly and make informed choices. You can only weigh the pros and the cons if you know what they are. There are alternatives out there that you may want to consider first.
You have the internet at your fingertips. Use it. Look up the statistics. Or make it easy on yourself and get a copy of Heni Goer's book, "The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth". She states openly that she is in favor of the midwifery model of care and natural childbirth. However, those decisions are based on extensive research and is all documented. She cites her sources and has an extensive index of resources. If you doubt her conclusions the sources are there for you to refer to.
Other books I have found informative are:
Birthing From Within,
by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
Gentle Birth Choices, by Barbara Harper
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
A Good Birth, A Safe Birth: Choosing and Having the Childbirth Experience You Want,
by Diana Korte and Roberta Scaer
REMEMBER to check with your local library or local doulas who may be able to loan out the books you need!