going natural

As freaked out as I was about our childbirth preparedness class on Saturday…it wasn’t all that bad! In fact, it made me feel more comfortable (if that is even at all possible) with this little shindig that’s going to have to go down come February.

Your juju must have worked!

At the start of the class, our instructor – who was like, 5’10 and 100 pounds (way to make a preggo feel even more insecure about her body) – made us go around and introduce ourselves to the other couples (12 in total) and give a little background on the baby, like our due date and sex (if we weren’t “Team Green”), etc. I felt like I was in grade school all over again but, meh.

(our instructor did mention at one point that she gained 70 pounds with her first child and had pregnancy acne. But I mean, she obviously recovered from that travesty)

When it was my turn, I did my little piece, introducing myself and Tim while half laughing because I had the exact same due date as someone who had already announced when their bundle of joy was scheduled to make an appearance – I mean, what are the odds?!


Then I realized, in hindsight (as in: the next day), that I had made a complete moron out of myself while I shared my biggest “anxiety” over the whole process (not knowing what to expect from myself physically, mentally, emotionally). I was all, “This is our first, so I have NO IDEA what to expect from myself.”


If there was another woman in that class who had already gone through the childbirth song and dance at least once before?

She must have done it wrong the first time.

(and no woman does childbirth wrong – ever)

So, yah. Go me. Staying true to form.

Anyhow, things ran pretty smoothly after my minor freak out over the childbirth video. The instructor was all, “The video is optional. You can move wherever you want [to see better].”

I looked at Tim all, “I want to move right out of this room.”

But…the video wasn’t all that bad…mostly because during the “money shot” (instructor’s words, not mine) when the baby’s head was crowning, you couldn’t really distinguish between the baby hair and the, um, bush. Even after we left for our lunch break, Tim was like, “Seriously. Chick needs to do a little maintenance work down there!”

(He already knows that if there comes a point where I cannot “maintain” – the job will fall to in his hands. It’s like he’ll get to know the female anatomy on a whole new level)

And – tangent – Tim and I walked into the hospital cafeteria and were all, “Oh…NO WAY are we eating in here” after we watched a security guard pour soup into a cup, taste it, make a funny face and then dump the soup back into the pot.

That just isn’t sanitary. At all.

Thank the baby Jesus the food that I’ll be served in the hospital comes from a completely separate location and entity and that we’re free to bring in or have any food we want delivered to the hospital. The only thing we can’t do is burn things in the room.

That seems reasonable.

Tim and I were late back to the class after lunch, laughing down the hallway like two bad school kids. I mean, technically, it wasn’t our fault since the security lady grossed us out and we had to go drive around and find somewhere to scarf down food in five minutes.

We ended up at Chipotle where I crammed down a salad and Tim ate a burrito in record time. Even he was all, “I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a burrito that fast.”

-End tangent-

Our instructor saved the c-section video for after lunch.

Note to future instructors: BAD. IDEA.

That video freaked me out to the point of only wanting to have a c-section if absolutely necessary. Your skin is…well, let’s just say it is cut and pulled into unnatural proportions.

What the class *did* do for me, though, is have me realize that I am – counter to what I thought before – 100% IN CONTROL of how this whole labor and delivery thing happens. I decide what I want, what I can handle and how I’m going to handle it.

We all know how much I like control.

The class also taught me that any form of “pain relief” that comes in flavors like epidurals or IVs?

It gets to the baby and the baby ends up with those drugs in their system.

This bothers me.


It bothered me so much to the point that I’ve decided (I still cannot believe I’m saying this in a calm fashion. My mom would be so proud) that my “plan” is to go totally natural, unless something happens where medical interventions need to occur.

I know! What happened?!

I went from wanting to waltz into the delivery room all, “Give me the drugs” to the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

However, the instructor explained how *I* can decide how I’m going to handle contractions and pain and the whole process from start to finish.

Me. I decide. Not the other way around.

I never really thought of it that way.

I didn’t realize (or maybe I did and just didn’t think about it) that the actual “pain” part of labor is intermittent. I’m not dealing with a constant contraction for 20 hours. I have to deal with a contraction for – at most – about two minutes before I get a small break.

I’ve trained for and run THREE marathons.

There is no break in the pain during a marathon. You hurt the entire time (sorry, Jess…) and part of the marathon training is learning how to put the pain in one box and your brain in another. You have to separate the two or else you’ll end up with a DNF (did not finish).

Obviously, the option of a DNF isn’t on the table in childbirth. That baby is coming, like it or not.

But, the option to have everyone there in their natural state, sans drugs?

(and sans scary big needle and cathรฉter for me)

Totally there.

Totally doable.

Totally the choice I’m 100% comfortable making.


27 Responses to “going natural”

  1. 1 becomingcliche November 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I’ve had three natural births, and they were each so different. No one actually fully knows what is going to happen, so don’t pressure yourself.

    Do make sure that your OB or midwife communicates your wishes to the nurses that will be working with you. If they aren’t told, your plan may work out differently than you had planned.

    Flat on my back was absolutely the most painful position to labor in. If I knew someone was going to be bed-bound, and especially if they were forced to pitocin, I’d actually encourage them to go for an epidural. Stay upright and moving around as much as you can.

    Good luck! You’re in for the ride of your life. Take lots of pictures. You can always delete them later if they weird you out.

    • 2 Jessica November 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Even the thought of “those pictures” weird me out…beyond anything I can even explain right now…

      I haven’t even talked with my OBs about what I want with the labor and delivery…I have no idea when that is supposed to come up? I’ll definitely have something along the lines of a birth plan written down, with the understanding that it could completely change depending on what happens…

  2. 3 supacoo November 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    You get a catheter no matter what, sorry to break it to you! :/

    I LOVED my childbirth class and cried when it was over because the instructor gave me so much information and encouragement.

    I have 100% confidence that you can do it, but keep in mind the end result is having the baby here – no matter what it takes! I was completely planning on sans drugs, sans big scary needle, but being induced and being bed-bound (flat on back) did not allow me to manage my pain how I’d mentally prepared, and it sucked. And I got the epidural, and I’m not ashamed. Whatever happens, happens. Don’t pressure yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 4 Jessica November 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Really? That’s not what they said at the hospital?…..strange?

      I’m prepared for whatever kind of labor I have to have…but I can have a goal, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 JessSutera November 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Put the pain in a box – noted. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But seriously, I honestly think I’d want to consider going natural too – it’s kind of scary to think of all those chemicals seeping into your newborn during that process. I mean, sometimes it can’t be avoided, but if you can prevent it, I’m for it. You can totally do this my friend, you are SO strong and you and Tim make a great team which is so important too.

  4. 7 Txtingmrdarcy November 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I know that making big mother-type decisions, you don’t care what people think. But this is smart and brave. And you rock. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (And the more AB and I talk about these big scary decisions, the more I lean the way you’re going too.)

    • 8 Jessica November 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you….and it’s hard to decide which way to lean…especially when you’re in the realm of the unknown…but I think something inside eventually helps guide you to the right decision for YOU.

  5. 9 jobo November 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Pain in a box. That’s a great way to put it. I think I would be tempted to ‘go natural’ too for the same reasons…but I guess the real decision happens when you are in the midst of it, right? Go with how you are feeling then, trust yourself! You got this (and um, gross about the soup – ewww, and the bush comment – lol that was hysterical.)

    • 10 Jessica November 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      YES! That’s exactly what will happen, probably. I won’t know what I’m definitely going to do until it happens. Which? Scary. BUT I get to decide, right?

      (totally true on the soup and bush)

  6. 11 Anonymous November 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Check out hypno birthing. I know several who have used it and swear by it. I guess you can buy the tapes and start now. Also check out placenta encapsulation to help prevent post partum depression.

  7. 13 Anonymous November 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    To the person who said you get a catheter no matter what, that may depend on where you are delivering (as in, what hospital or city). I did not have a catheter of any kind, and I gave birth in a hospital. So, if this is something of concern to you, you should probably discuss it with your doctor.

  8. 14 Shannon November 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I would be in the same boat as you I believe…It has to feel good to start taking control of all of this. At least as much as you can. I would think it would make the big day a liiittle less scary. YAY!

  9. 17 lifestartsnow November 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    contol, girl, CONTROL! sounds like this will be your time to shine! CONTROL ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. 20 marketingtomilk November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    It is totally your decision, but you will make it on the day. Whatever is right for you on the day is cool. Stay flexible.


  11. 22 thebakerbee November 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Ditto to those who said be flexible and don’t pressure yourself. I planned to go natural, but I had to be induced and therefore was also bed-bound. I went in with an open mind and decided, without guilt, to get an epidural. I am glad that I did, but next baby I will try again to go drug-free ๐Ÿ™‚ Good for you… seriously awesome decision.

    • 23 Jessica November 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      I’m hoping I don’t have to be induced…but if that’s what happens, then that’s what happens…and if that IS what happens, I don’t think I’ll feel guilty about “pain relief” either ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 24 Maureen November 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Bush maintenance should be mandatory for all women who agree to be in a childbirth video. And the soup thing? Ummm… eww.

  13. 26 ruggedgrace November 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I went “all natural” too! I was 97% convinced I would, and then I took that stupid class too, and saw the affects of pain meds, the length of the epidural, the side affects of THAT, etc. I couldn’t bare the thought that I could go paralyzed because i was too big of a sissy to handle something that bajillions of women had been handling since the beginning of time.

    So with both, I went all natural. Both were excruciating, but not anymore-so than the actual pregnancies. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I broke the bed from yanking on it so hard, I punched the doctor in the face, I cussed at my husband, and I lived, and my babies, I’m convinced, are better off for it.

    YOU GO GIRL! โค

    • 27 Jessica November 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Go you! That’s awesome you made it natural for both! I am afraid I might be traumatized after my first attempt…but only time will tell!

      I’m wondering how volatile I’ll be…my husband is prepared for the worst, I think.

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