Gone Crunchy: "Natural Childbirth"

Here’s the thing. I’ve always had an inner hippie trying to break free from the conservative Type A perfectionist holding her hostage. Sometimes she succeeds, and I find myself heading down a rabbit hole of crunchiness. It's not exactly new. I've gone through phases of it before, when I made my own laundry detergent and toothpaste, joining a food co-op, that kind of thing. But the baby is really bringing out the hippie these days. 

For example, I've been doing lots of research on birth, specifically "natural childbirth". (I'll explain the quotes later.) I've had some friends who had babies and really didn't know what to expect or how things worked, and I didn't want to be that way. So I've watched documentaries (the Business of Being Born) and read books, and really tried to understand what to expect and decide what I want (and don't want). 

In an ideal world, I'd love to have a home birth with a midwife and doula. I know women who have gone that route and they loved it. However, my husband vetoed that super fast. (As a firefighter and EMT, he thinks about all the things that could go wrong.) Since there aren't many actual birth center options here (and he still wasn't comfortable with that option), I found a hospital that offered midwives and a more birth center-y vibe, and that's where we initially planned to go. However, thanks to insurance changes and a major hike in our deductible, when we realized I could give birth for free at a facility in my hometown, we couldn't justify the cost of that hospital. 

(Health insurance is ridiculous, y'all. But that's another topic for another day.) 

I switched to the new facility toward the end of last year, and it's been great. They also primarily use midwives - I actually haven't seen an OB at all. It is a little frustrating that I don't know which midwife will actually attend my birth. Like many places (including the original hospital I'd planned on using), whoever is on call that day is who will be there with you. So it's really the luck of the draw if you get the one you want. Not that I have a favorite really, but there are some who seem much more into the "natural childbirth" idea than others, and I'd love to end up with one of those crunchier ladies :) 

Now let explain why I keep using quotes around the phrase "natural childbirth". While I love the ideas surrounding that phrase, I hate the phrase itself because it implies that women who get epidurals or have C-sections have an unnatural childbirth. And that's so not true! Personally, I'm planning an unmedicated birth and have been taking childbirth classes and doing research on alternative pain management. But that's just me. If you want an epidural, by all means, go for it! If you need a C-section, I totally get it. I think every woman needs to do what is right for her and her child. For me, the idea of an epidural actually freaks me out more than birth itself. However, I totally reserve the right to change my mind! 

I think the most important thing is that women understand what their options are. And I will probably write about this again after I actually have the baby and can better understand what it is I'm talking about! For now, I’m planning a complication and intervention-free birth, ideally one that starts on its own and doesn't involve a medicated induction. But stuff happens, and I'm absolutely willing to change things up and do what needs to be done, whatever that means. (Though I really really want to avoid a C-section!)  

I'll share more about what childbirth class I'm taking and my thoughts on essential oils in labor, as well as my plan for using cloth diapers in the coming weeks. But I'd love to hear birth stories from anyone who wants to share. Preferably positive ones - I have to get this kid out one way or another in about 8 weeks, so maybe we can save the scary stories for after that, ok? 

Previously on Mrs Robbins Sparkles...