Childbirth Choices

posted by Andrea | 07/30/2013

one day old

I was actually planning to do a post about canning today — because you know, it’s THAT time of year already!

But over the past week since the big Royal Birth, I’ve seen and read so many snide remarks on Facebook, Twitter, and in the news (about how Kate didn’t use any pain medication for her birth) and I felt like I just had to share some of my thoughts today.

I think it’s great that Kate had a relatively “normal” and uneventful labor and delivery (and honestly, I’m a fan of the royals!) however, I DON’T like that so many people are making rude comments like:

“Even Kate had a natural delivery.”

“If royalty can do it, anyone can.”

These remarks (many of them from my own personal Facebook friends) seem to be implying that any woman who DOES use pain medication during childbirth is somehow less of a woman or not as good of a mom.

Obviously, that’s pretty judgmental.

.

Now, before any of you start thinking that I’m simply venting about an issue that’s hitting a little too close to home, let me be very clear…

I did NOT use any pain medication during Nora’s birth.

However, I don’t think women who do are bad, wrong, or wimpy.

My plan was actually to have an epidural, but since I was only in the hospital for a total of 4 hours before Nora was in my arms, since my pain was relatively manageable, and since the anesthesiologist wasn’t available right away, it just never happened.

Looking back, it was nice to not be numb and to be able to get up and walk around right away, but I’m also quite confident that if my labor would have been much longer or more painful, I would have gotten an epidural ASAP.

You can read Nora’s birth story here… and although there was definitely pain and discomfort, I had a really easy labor and delivery compared to so many people I know.

During the short time I was in the delivery room, the doctors and nurses kept saying, “This is a textbook delivery. Everything is going exactly as it should.” They even brought in a few interns so they could watch my “textbook delivery”.

Great, just what I wanted, more people staring at me while I’m pushing out my child!

brand new

In the weeks and months after Nora was born, I found it very odd that I was CONSTANTLY asked if I had an epidural or not — sometimes people would ask me this question before anything else about her birth.

When I explained that I did not have an epidural, I got one of 2 reactions:

  1. “way to go, real women can handle the pain”
  2. “you’re crazy, the epidural was the best decision I made”

Obviously, these responses were either from women who did not, or women who did, have an epidural (respectively) and felt they had to justify their choices to me — even though I honestly could have cared less.

.

While I feel blessed to have had a relatively “easy” labor, I’ve also heard enough crazy (and really scary) childbirth stories from other friends, family, and acquaintances, that I know it’s not always so uneventful.

I know women who have labored for 38+ hours before having an emergency C-section. I know women who have been so adamant about having an all-natural childbirth that they inadvertently put themselves and their baby in extreme danger until the doctors finally talked some sense into them. I know women who have required numerous surgeries after childbirth and were then unable to have children “naturally” ever again.

None of these women elected to be part of such scary and painful childbirth experiences — and I certainly don’t think they are weak or wrong for taking pain medication as a result.

Yes, I realize there are potential side effects of an epidural or other pain meds — but honestly, there are potential side effects of almost anything now days.

.

I’m NOT trying to lobby “for” or “against” using pain medication during childbirth, I just think we shouldn’t judge the decisions of others or make snide comments when we most likely don’t know the whole story. 

For the record, I never thought I’d write anything about the royal family or about pain medication and childbirth on my blog — never say never I guess :)

Oh, and if you’d rather read about canning, head on over here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: FamilyHealthPregnancy

 
 

Leave a comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

45 comments

  1. Kristia

    07/30/2013

    I had 2 planned homebirths…imagine the comments I get when I tell someone that.

    [Reply]

  2. Cassie

    07/30/2013

    I know just what you are talking about. When I gave birth to my daughter, I had a woman tell me that I wasn’t a “real” woman because I gave birth via C-section. I had to have a C-section for the well being of my daughter!! I let it bother me at first,but then I realized that it is not how you bring your child into the world, it is what you do with them once they are here that makes you a “real” woman/mother. :)

    [Reply]

  3. Ann

    07/30/2013

    What works for one, doesn’t for another! Personally, Pitocen made my labor hard and awful. I know of others for whom it was a life-saver. Life is too precious to waste over “my way or the highway” kind of comments.

    That being said, one of my pet peeves is misuse of the phrase “I couldn’t have cared less.” (because if you already care as little as possible, you can’t care less.) MANY people say “I could care less.” (which means that they at least care some about it because it is possible for them to care less than they do.) Words are important to me so this is one mis-use that I try to bring awareness to when I see/hear it. :-)

    I love your blog! I refer people to it all the time!

    [Reply]

  4. Heidi

    07/30/2013

    Thank you, Andrea. You reminded us that it is important for us to respect other people’s choices even if we disagree. What works for one person may not work for another. I haven’t had children yet but when I do, I will make the choice that is right for me and my husband while taking into account the recommendations of family and medical personnel. Well said!

    [Reply]

  5. Katie

    07/30/2013

    I think there are a lot of people in this world (like those making the comments you referenced) who express such strong opinions because they are looking for validation of the choices they made.

    Honestly – why do they care so much about the choices other people make? I don’t have time to care! Too much going on with me :)

    Thanks for sharing these types of posts! Let’s all level-set and remember what’s really important about childbirth – welcoming a healthy baby into the world with a healthy, happy momma and family to enjoy it.

    [Reply]

  6. Rachel

    07/30/2013

    Thank you so much for posting this!
    I was one of those woman adamant that I would have a natural birth and ended up with an emergency C. Every time my husband and I discuss it with other people we feel the need to justify just how horrible things had gotten. My 2nd daughter, also Norah and born just 4 weeks before your Nora, was a planned C-section and again when telling people our plan I felt like I had to justify it.
    Now on the other side of things when woman say one way or another what their choice was, I always encourage them to make the decision they feel is right for them and their family and not what friends or extended family are pushing them towards! And then I wholeheartedly support them in that.

    [Reply]

  7. Stephanie

    07/30/2013

    Amen. How about everyone keep their comments about others’ choices to themselves?! I had to have a C-section AND I wasn’t able to breastfeed. I got lots of comments about that. Women have a way of not building each other up very well.

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    I agree with you Stephanie..”.everyone should keep their comments about others’ choices to themselves.” What ever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all?”

    [Reply]

    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    Well said, Julie!

    [Reply]

  8. Julie

    07/30/2013

    Really what difference does it make? The whole objective is to have the a healthy baby and mom as the end result. I’ve had someone say that I cheated by having twins!! This person wanted 3 kids and didn’t really want to go through the pain of childbirth three times so was trying to conceive twins by eating sweet potatoes!! Crazy right? And I cheated because I had 4 kids and only went through childbirth three times.

    [Reply]

    Lea Stormhammer Reply:

    I have twins too and I get that same comment (more than once actually)! LOL!!!

    I’m just glad that I have more interesting things going on in my life that I don’t have to worry about whether someone else had an epidural, a C-section, or whatever….

    Lea

    [Reply]

    Allison Reply:

    I have twins too! No one has ever said to me that i cheated lol. But i did have someone ask me if i was sure they were twins – and this was when they were 7 yo!!!!

    Baby A was breech and never turned (stubborn then, stubborn now lol) and I couldnt have an epidural – i had general anesthesia for my C Section. In my head I say I didnt give birth they were taken from me. I do feel like i missed out of their birth because of the general anesthesia.

    [Reply]

    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    Seriously? Somebody actually said you “cheated”? Like you would purposely set it all up to have twins?!?! Whoever said that to you must have lots of empty time to sit around and think up silly things like that.

    [Reply]

  9. Jen

    07/30/2013

    My situation was much like yours! I had four children with no pain medication but I also had four easy and fast deliveries. I was more than prepared to have an epidural each time and I believe I asked for one each time but never had time for one! :-)

    This topic, to me, is much like homeschooling, worship style, gluten free, and all those other truly MINOR things that we get bees in our bonnets about! In the great scheme of things, it doesn’t matter! Choose what is best for YOU and forget about everyone else. When did we become so selfish and self-centered that we believe that OUR WAY (about these relatively small things) is the only way? Makes me crazy! There are a few absolutes in life but using pain meds during childbirth ain’t one of ‘em! :-)

    [Reply]

  10. City Girl Country Bloke

    07/30/2013

    I was one of those that was in labor for 23 hours and it ended in a c-section. If I had stuck to my “natural birth” plan, it would’ve ended in an emergency c-section.

    My doctor gave me a choice of sticking to the plan or getting prepped for a routine c-section but he ended with no matter what you choose, this baby is coming out via c-section. My baby’s heart rate was dropping with every contraction and I was definitely worried about both of us making it through the birth safely.

    So I chose to have the routine c-section but I was so crushed. I cried and cried because I felt like my first big task as a mother was pushing that baby out and I failed. Plus I was worried about breast feeding because I read that some babies who come out via c-section reject mother’s milk.

    Well, my fears all dissipated as soon as I saw the sweet baby boy’s face. They let me kiss him and then he and Daddy went to the recovery room while I was stitched up.

    Twenty minutes later, I was there and still could not feel anything below my neck. But my baby boy was already rooting so Daddy assisted with popping him on the boob for his first feed with no issues. I felt so much better.

    Both of my boys were born via c-section and both were very good breast feeders. If I had decided to continue with the natural birth plan, I don’t know how my first birth would’ve ended. Everyone has to make their own judgement call.

    Things may not go according to plan but does it really matter if everyone comes out alive and well? I think that is what is important and that’s what people need to focus on.

    [Reply]

  11. Jessica

    07/30/2013

    That is such a personal decision and it has always baffled me why women make it such an important topic of conversation. I had an epidural with my first and with my second I barely made it to the hospital in time to push, much less receive an epidural. The overall response has been something like “you are crazy” or “you are superwoman” or ” good for you” without taking into account that I didn’t have a choice in the matter.
    From my experience…the first being long and agonizing with medication and the second being short and agonizing without medication, If I ever do it again and am able, I will do it the natural way. My decision won’t be based on what other people think because its nobody’s business and that’s how it should be with everyone.

    [Reply]

  12. Beth

    07/30/2013

    Choices about delivery, breast feeding, parenting style/choices, nutritional choices and the like are things that can be discussed amongst friends with intelligence and sensitivity but do not belong as topics amongst acquaintances or strangers. There are just too many influencing factors that decide these paths. Review of these choices could also be part of a study so that those intelligent and sensitive people could read about them and learn.

    I agree with the person above for all of life’s differences and uncertainties and because my Mom taught me, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. :-)

    [Reply]

  13. Diana

    07/30/2013

    Healthy momma and healthy baby is the only thing that is important, and every birth is as unique as the mother and child taking part. Anything that gets them both that point, is exactly what should be done. ‘Nuff said! :)

    [Reply]

  14. Amazonite

    07/30/2013

    My two kids are 32 and 29; we had planned a Lamaze birth for the first, but he had other ideas; I was on bed rest beginning at six months and he was born (by emergency C-section) before the scheduled start date for the Lamaze class.

    At that time VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) was very rare, and I understand it still is; however, since there was no reason that I would have to have a repeat section (#1 son was footling breech), I made sure my dr was cautiously OK with the idea. I intended, again, to have as ‘natural’ a childbirth as possible, although the idea of an epidural was not at all ruled out. I did make it to the first Lamaze class… again, #2 had her own ideas. Bed rest from six months on, part of that time in the hospital, but when she was ready, she was READY. No time for the epidural and POP there she was in three pushes.

    All that to say, every baby is different, every woman is different, every birth experience is different. I wasn’t upset after my initial C-section, although I understand that many women do feel like failures (no doubt, assisted by stupid comments from their ‘friends’). I was so glad, though, that I didn’t have to have a second one.

    [Reply]

  15. Amanda H

    07/30/2013

    Thanks for this post! I feel the same way – it’s frustrating that everyone has such a strong opinion one way or the other. Makes me more reluctant to share my birth stories without feeling i have to offer some kind of justification for my choices, and it should not be like that! But i had an epidural-free birth the first time and an epidural the second time and was pleased with both choices. :)

    [Reply]

  16. Kristin

    07/30/2013

    Having just delivered my second daughter a mere four weeks ago, this post came at the right time. I chose to have natural (no drugs) deliveries with both my girls because I am more afraid of needles than pain. It was completely my choice and I was fortunate to have quick labors that allowed me to have enough endurance to manage the pain.

    This issue is totally a personal choice and regardless of what a woman decides it has no impact on the type of mother she will be. And for me, that is far more important than how the child is born.

    [Reply]

  17. Five4FiveMeals

    07/30/2013

    Well said, Andrea. When it is all said and done she took home a healthy baby.

    [Reply]

  18. Karen

    07/30/2013

    Those who believe the use or lack of pain medication during childbirth indicates how good or bad a mother someone is need to wait about two decades. The young adult is the real proof of parenting. Certainly not the medical circumstances or pain threshold of the person giving birth. That’s just not even relevant. Or really, anyone’s business.

    [Reply]

  19. Stephanie

    07/30/2013

    All it takes is visiting one of the many birth boards you can find on any baby/parenting forum to see that their are many different views on the correct way to handle pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Some people have had bad experiences one way and will “warn” and share about that to try to prevent another going through that.
    Some have got caught up in the scare factor , whether that is hospitals are evil or home births are the next thing to killing your child, their are bad stories in both worlds.
    Some are just so passionate about their view of birth, they live and breathe and teach their way.
    I chose natural because I don’t like being numb. I have had quick births, but each time I think of the story of the Mom who had a 24+ hour delivery or who needed “help” getting the baby out and it is almost enough for me to beg to be numb.
    Do your own research, don’t go into labor unprepared. Some epidural never take and then your forced to deal with the pain. Their are complications that can happen from epidurals, or just arise without meds, be aware of them so you can deal with them.
    Last, strive for the safest delivery possible but know that no matter what you plan, complications can arise in any birth and you or your baby may not come out of it perfectly healthy. Be thankful for the freedom to birth the way you want and be thankful for modern medicine if an emergency rises.
    One last thing about the research, be an informed patient, don’t be afraid to question your care giver if you don’t understand why something is necessary or want to seek a second opinion. You should trust your doctor, but you have the final say in how things go, make sure it is an informed decision.
    Mistakes happen, choices are different for everyone, but all of us have a goal to bring our children and ourselves through pregnancy and birth safely.

    Please pardon any spelling mistakes. I tried to get them all, but usually manage to miss a few.

    [Reply]

  20. Amanda

    07/30/2013

    I love the spirit in which this message was written. My friends and I are filled with so much pressure and guilt from the media for not living up to this “super mom” image. Bottom line is – we all do what we feel is best for our children within our abilities. Being a mom is hard no matter what your circumstances, why try to make it harder by putting eachother down? We need to respect eachothers’ choices and celebrate eachother for our accomplishments!

    [Reply]

  21. Laura

    07/30/2013

    AMEN! I had a wonderful birth experience thanks to the epidural and I don’t regret it at all, but I’ve definitely had a few women try to convince me I was “wrong” and next time I should go “natural” since I had an easy labor and delivery. I don’t understand why people care so much about how the baby got out of me, especially when I’m happy about the experience.

    [Reply]

  22. Shannon H

    07/30/2013

    I really wonder about the women who are so adamant about not having an epidural, as if they are choosing to go without pain meds to feel superior to those of us who do. You know what, you don’t get a medal! And personally I think these women are crazy for not availing themselves of modern advances.

    That said, I had a conversation with a friend once and she was talking about not having had an epidural and she said “it’s not like I felt like I was being stabbed” and I replied that that is exactly what it felt like for me. It felt exactly like someone was gouging my uterus with a knife. So the pain one experiences in labor is different for each woman and Cannot Be Compared nor can our response to it.

    Personally, I’m sad to hear that info about Kate Middleton’s labor details are being leaked (I hadn’t heard this about her not having an epidural). That is such private and personal information, and just gets tongues wagging and judging. Very upsetting.

    Let me be clear, I don’t care whether an individual woman has an epidural or not. What I dislike are those who went med-free using it as some sort of badge of superiority. If mother and baby come out healthy, you had a successful delivery. The end.

    [Reply]

  23. Liz E.

    07/30/2013

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. Even though I’m not a mother (yet, anyway) I can still see how rude and hurtful people can be about the choices and/or experiences of others. Just as I’m sure the rude people out there would hate to have their preferences diminished by someone’s comments, they should likewise not talk down about someone else. Childbirth is childbirth–all about bringing a beautiful new life into the world, no matter what route is taken (whether voluntary or as a medical necessity).

    [Reply]

  24. Heidi

    07/30/2013

    I had two scheduled c-sections because the first was stuck in the birth canal wedged with her arm by her head and was a large baby and the second was breech and I suffered from Polyhydramnios. I am glad no one whipped me into a “natural birth” frenzie before I got pregnant because I probably would have been crushed by the OB’s recommendations.

    The first one had a 1 in 800 chance of obtaining permanent nerve damage to her arm and shoulder if I attempted a vaginal delivery. That may not sound like a big chance, but if the lottery was a 1 in 800 chance to win a million bucks we’d consider that good odds. The second there was no choice involved so it mattered to me even less.

    I feel very sad for gals who cried because of being disappointed about needing c-section births, I feel blessed to have had such a great experience with both and to have modern medicine to help insure a successful birth. If I’d have tried to deliver these two babies 100 years ago my daughter may not have use of her right arm and I may have died during my second delivery. This whole trend of “being Mom enough” serves no one.

    I applaud your stance that all moms need support and praise for their own paths. I try to help encourage gals who are distressed about having to have a c-section by letting them know it can also be a beautiful and empowering experience. There is so much bad mouthing about c-sections and pain medication, I am glad to hear you open a dialogue about ending the trash talk; birth is stressful enough without needless peer disapproval.

    [Reply]

  25. Melissa

    07/30/2013

    Unfortunately there seems to be many topics that bring out snide comments from strangers, even though those topics are deeply personal decisions. I’m sorry to hear that so many of you have had to endure these types of criticisms. My husband and I have chosen to not have children, and we’ve gotten our fair share of comments in reaction to our choice too. I’ve even been told I don’t know what responsibility really is if I have no children.

    [Reply]

  26. Theresa

    07/30/2013

    I had received negative comments from one of my doctors because I choose to have a C-section. One of my twins was breeched and we didn’t want to put anyone at risk. Needless to say after that appointment that doctor was not allowed around my pregnant body.
    Motherhood is hard. Negative comments make it even harder. I wish the world would offer support to fellow mamas and lift them up instead of trying to tear them apart.
    Thank you for being a positive voice, the world needs more women like you.

    [Reply]

  27. Miranda

    07/30/2013

    My first birth was a lot like yours. 6 hours in labor and no epidural becuase it went too fast and manageable pain until a point. My second labor was 28 hours long and I labored a long time before I screamed and pleaded for an epidural. My body was so tense that it didn’t want to progress. An hour after the epidural, my son was born. Another plus was that my recovery was MUCH better than with my first. I’ll never judge another mom’s decision to get an epidural again!

    [Reply]

  28. Rachel

    07/30/2013

    Oh, what a controversial topic!! Right up there with breastfeeding for getting the arguments and subsequent guilt flowing!! The trouble is, every woman and every baby is different, and we are surrounded with so much conflicting information these days that expectations get a bit warped. I planned a ‘natural’ birth with my firstborn ten years ago…..and ended up with a 36 hour labour, forceps (he was that stuck there wasn’t time for a section) and a massive blood transfusion afterwards. ‘Natural’ labour would have killed me, and possibly him, and I’m so thankful we were in a hospital with everything modern medicine had to offer. I couldn’t bear to hear the story for months afterwards, it was so traumatic. My daughter also came after a long labour and epidural, in hospital again. My third, well, when he eventually decided to put in an appearance, I didn’t have time for anything other than gas and air……but I defy anyone to have an 11lb 8oz baby without a little bit of pain relief!!!!! Motherhood isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a competition, but there is just so much pressure on mums….magazines here in the UK are already writing about Kate’s weight loss regime, I mean, come one, give the poor girl a break!!!! She can’t win though, if she’d walked out of the hospital stick thin she would have been criticised, but as she came out with a mummy tummy she’s still been criticised!!! As I said, we are all different, have different experiences of childbirth even with our own children and I really wish women would support each other instead of being so critical about each other, after all, no mum is going to chose a route which would deliberately harm her baby (I hope) so what difference does it make if she breast or bottle feeds? uses washables or disposables? ‘natural’ birth or C-section? as long as mother and baby are healthy and happy, what else really matters?

    [Reply]

  29. Leanne

    07/30/2013

    loved this post! in all honesty, if you love and care for your child, and it doesn’t harm his or her welfare… then it’s no one’s business whether you bottle feed, breastfeed, co-sleep, sleep train, have no meds birth, home birth, C-section, epidural, organic baby food, etc, etc…
    I wish people spent as much time going on and on about how to actually BRING UP children versus bringing them “out”…. :-)
    I love your posts, Andrea! thanks!

    [Reply]

  30. Debby

    07/30/2013

    Well said once again. Although, I didn’t choose to have an epidural either time with either child, I would never judge anyone who does or does not have one. Why can’t we just support one another? I didn’t have one due to my hatred of needles, but if for one instance my girls’ lives were in jeopardy or mine, I would have gladly taken it. The rude comment I got everytime someone asked me if I had one and said I didn’t was, “Oh well you must not have had the pain I did?” For real?

    [Reply]

  31. Vivian

    07/30/2013

    My mother always preached that having an epidural brought on hard labour immediately and no control of it. I did not have an epidural not out of choice but because I was too far along into labour. I don’t regret not having it but I do not make judgement on other’s choices because each labour and mother is different.. Thank goodness that we have good medical care that women and children as a rule do not die in child birth.

    [Reply]

  32. LR

    07/30/2013

    As a newlywed, I am more and more amazed of things that should be private being openly asked me. Will we be waiting to have a child, are we even “trying” to have a baby, and on and on the list goes. If God decides to give us children, I now have been warned about natural vs. not natural birth and all that.

    I agree with so many writers – it’s different for everyone, and what about letting the husband and wife decide what is best for them and their family?

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    Whenever I hear about newlyweds being asked questions like that I tell them what I tell people who ask me that (they NEVER stop, by the way).

    When asked when we’re having another baby, I reply “Not today!”

    When asked how many kids we’re having, I reply “One at a time.”

    Inappropriate questions deserve vague answers and a quick change of subject. Good luck!

    [Reply]

  33. Heidi

    07/30/2013

    100 years ago the risk of a mother dying in childbirth was so high I am surprised people decided to have babies at all! Then the infant mortality was so high as well. Sheesh!

    I am just thankful that medical science has advanced to where both of those numbers are low and if the end result is a mother and baby that are both alive and doing well we are 100% ahead of the game.

    Unless the baby comes out of your nose I would consider that a “natural childbirth”

    As far as pain meds go…each mother and pregnancy is different. I am the mom of 5 kids and not a single birth was the same.

    1.) long labor ended up needing Demerol because I was hyperventilating and depriving the baby of oxygen. It made me sleep and while I slept I went from 4 to 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push!

    2.) long labor but a bit easier. We were actually able to use the lamaze breathing, focal points and all that jazz. She was my biggest baby at almost 9 lbs but the easiest as far as labor goes. I was not against drugs but ended up being able to manage the pain OK.

    3.) induced to try and get that baby boy out for over 2 weeks and he wasn’t budging. Ended up coming at his own time when my water broke while deep cleaning my bathroom (nesting!) But once we got to the hospital and strapped up to monitors it was obvious the baby was in distress. The umbilical cord had prolaped and was cutting off oxygen. Emergency C-section Stat!

    4 & 5) Twins – our hospital is small and does not do VBAC’s and frankly with twins I am not sure I would have wanted to try vaginal birth anyways. I went into labor went to the hospital where I had a another C-section.

    The end result 5 happy and healthy babies who are now 22, 16, 10 and 8 & 8 and at the end of that day that is all that matters. Royalty or not.

    [Reply]

  34. Nicole

    07/31/2013

    So glad to hear some voices of reason out there!! Why do some women seem to be so afraid of other peoples opinions or circumstances? Why do we need to judge each other’s decisions just to make ourselves feel more confident in our own?

    There are all these opinions on the exact right way to do it and yet I don’t know of one person who is perfect. All of us can speak to something we think our parents did wrong, so in no way could any one parent or “expert” have the magic key to childbirth or child rearing.

    When I was in hospital suffering from Post Natal Depression, mostly because I allowed myself to be subject to all the external judgement, I had some of the best insight given to me by a visiting child phychiatrist. It takes actual concentrated effort to do any long term damage to a baby or young child. You have to be trying hard at it.

    So, if you are trying hard to be a good parent then you are doing the right and best thing.

    We just need to give each other a break and stop using judgments of other people to boost our own self esteem.

    [Reply]

  35. Lisa

    07/31/2013

    I was in labor for 36 hours. Yes, there was an epidural around hour 32. By that point this non drama queen thought I was going to die. I always considered myself quite tough but the non stop contractions wore me down,. I was physically exhausted. A day and a half of labor after a terribly difficult pregnancy where I threw up daily multiple times and sleepl was a distant friend. Every experience is different. I say don’t judge because you can not know what someone is experiencing and if we had a little less judging this world would be a nicer place. So I used pain medicine, someone else did not. Does my 12 year child suffer or ever care? She doesn’t, she is living her life and I am teaching her to treat people how she wants to be treated and not to judge!

    You just can’t know someone experience until you walk in their skin!

    [Reply]

  36. Jelli

    08/02/2013

    I just gave birth Monday, no pain meds, but plenty of pain itself. While I had both my children “naturally” I too agree with you that I could definitely understand women who choose the meds. It is an intense experience, especially since it’s still so fresh in my mind. My son was born less than an hour after I got to the hospital, and the protocol was to force women to push while holding their breath to get as many ppl in and out of the delivery room as fast as possible. That made for a quick birth, but pretty painful. I’ll definitely go back to a homebirth if God blesses us with child #3, hopefully also sans meds.

    [Reply]

  37. Julia

    08/02/2013

    This is something I run into quite often. I have had three children (the last was in March). They have all been born via C-section…the first I labored for close to 30 hours with no meds and it ended in emergency C-section after she went into distress (I was actually chastised by my MIL for needing a C-section because she had 4 boys naturally). My second was a C-section because of the placenta being over my cervix. And finally the third…I chose a C-section.
    It is surprising how often I have been told “Oh, you really haven’t had a baby”…”Oh, you had it easy’. Had it easy…try C-section recovery.

    I don’t really care how a woman chooses to have a baby…as long as it comes out safely, it’s all good.

    [Reply]

  38. Linda Riffenburg

    02/03/2014

    Guess I happened go see this one as I read over some of your blogs and had to comment. It really bugs me when people (other women) judge women rather than support them on so many life choices. Choices!? If a woman is fortunate enough to have a choice, then give her support, don’t criticize. I had two pregnancies and two live births. Both were premature and under critical emergencies. Women who think they are so brave to have natural childbirth. How brave would they be to have an emergency c-secton at 28 weeks? I really enjoy your website. Not to get too personal, but have you tried the brushing technique on Nora. It sounds like she may have Sensory Processing issues. My grandson was dx with SPD at age 6 mo. and so many of issues with Nora sounded like his. He is 9 now and doing ok. He is the light of my life.
    Sorry so lengthy.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Linda — and yes, we do the brushing with Nora. I talk about that in later posts — but you might not have gotten to those yet :)

    Here’s one in particular where I talk about her sensory issues.

    [Reply]