The truth about natural birth.

labor prep 2 In 2008, at the hospital, in labor with my third, Amalia.


{This post is reminiscent of a post I wrote several years ago, shortly before I gave birth to my fourth, Salem. Somehow, history repeats itself, & I find that self-doubt creeping up again.}


The truth about natural birth, is that, it hurts. A lot.


Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, my head spinning with thoughts of natural birth. Wide awake, I replayed the process, over & over.

You may know I’ve had four natural births so far–so I’m fairly familiar with how it works.

My history:

1st: Hospital birth; induced with lots of magnesium, due to high blood pressure (see this post for more), delivered by a CNM (certified nurse midwife)

2nd: Water birth at home with midwife

3rd: Hospital birth with CNM, pretty easy-peasy

4th: Hospital birth, Salem was posterior, but the CNM was able to “flip” her at the end, before she was delivered


Here’s the thing, I’m an advocate of natural birthing (anyone born & bred of my mother would have to be–if you knew her, you’d know what I mean).

But, somehow, with all of my experience & knowledge I seem to have grown wussier with age & the thought of doing it again, well, to say it’s a daunting task would be an understatement. And to be fair to my sex, I suppose wussy is not the right word. It’s not that I’m wussier, because I don’t think any woman who chooses or is compelled to get an epidural is a wuss or less of a woman in any way. For me, it’s just I KNOW the pain, I know the effort, & at times I don’t know if I’m up for it again.

I actually don’t mind the labor part (just feels like bad cramps that come & go, in my opinion), but once they break my water (which they always have to do once I’m an 8 or 9), & things get serious & close & they start telling me to push, all I can think of is: can you just cut the baby out of me? Can I get an epidural now? Or better yet, just knock me out.

And though the pushing doesn’t last that long, it feels like eternity.

And the pain. The pain of a little person slipping through your womanly parts. It’s as if all the pressure in the world is bearing down on your hips, thighs, pelvis, & for those brief moments I feel I’m on the cusp of hell, peering down at my own death.


Based on my experience, here are just some of the pro’s of natural birthing:

1) You’re in control until the very end, or at least you feel what’s going on in your body. Sometimes you feel like you’re out of control because your body is being taken over by some powerful, otherworldly forces (ie. pain like you’ve never known & some mutant-strength hormones), but you can feel everything, which is a transcendent experience. Similar to the last legs of running a marathon, there is something painfully exhilarating about knowing that you’re almost there, you’ve almost made it, even though death is looking pretty good in those last moments.

2) Once the baby comes out there is intense, inexplicable joy & relief. From that moment on, for me, I ride a high of energy & emotions. Of course I’m physically exhausted, but at the same time I have a rush of happy hormones (& I can never sleep for at least 12 hours afterward I’m so giddy).

3) Baby is alert when born & gets a good cry in immediately (which is good for their lungs). This doesn’t always occur with babies whose mothers have been medicated as it can have a sedative affect on baby.

4) Though I’m a bit shaky afterwards, I can get up immediately & go to the bathroom if needed, on my own (no being hooked up to a catheter, which just the thought makes me cringe).

5) I like to avoid needles if at all possible, & minimize any unnecessary poking or proding. I also don’t like the thought of being numbed & not feeling anything. While it does seem like a nice thought, it also is a bit frightening for some one like me who likes to know what’s going on & feel like I’m in control.


As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, due to my gestational diabetes & high blood sugars, I’m scheduled for induction this weekend. I’m not thrilled at the prospect of being induced (artificial contractions are much more painful than natural ones), but I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again, if need be.

Will I be able to hold on, & have a natural birth? I hope. I don’t know for certain, though.

In the end, in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if a woman has a baby “naturally” or uses some sort of pain medication?

Though some argue that it in fact is a maker or a breaker, & everyone has their strong opinions for or against (which they are absolutely entitled to), like so many things in life, it’s not always a black & white issue.

I’d love to know what you think. Please share your thoughts. 


  1. leilani
    on November 16, 2014 at 3:30 am said:

    I love this article. I’ve had 3 natural births and wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually look forward to my labours. One of life’s natural highs that has to be earned through sheer courage and perseverance. Also, it feels great to finally stop being so fragile and just go for it with all your might 🙂

    Thanks for your post, I rarely hear non-medical people advocating natural birthing these days. I’m very proud of my efforts but often have to keep it on the down low so as not to offend mums who delivered using other methods.

  2. chefholly
    on August 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm said:

    I laughed when I read the words, ” cusp of hell” so true for me! I have had 2 babies with an epidural and 2 un-medicated births, I’m now due in 7 weeks and have been reminding myself that all births are different and you never know how you will feel in that moment when in labor. “Wussy” is a terrible way to put it,( no offense) instead women should consider that their goals and needs may change. It use to be very important to me to have natural births, I’ve felt failure in my first 2 births with having epidurals, even though they were completely relieving and made the last few hours of my very painful long labors so much better! ( It was purely from guilt, and my guilt was due to ignorance because all I had been reading was from a staunch Natural Birth Movement perspective. ) My next two babies came very quickly and so it changed what I needed during labor. Every woman is different, every labor is different, what feels good and right with one baby isn’t necessary for the next, and the great thing? It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, especially considering that birth, natural or medicated, is risky business. I’m thankful I live in a country where I have the ability to make choices in birth. Medicated births are not wussy births. Women are mysterious, powerful, and strong regardless or their birth preferences.

  3. Christi
    on January 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm said:

    I am so excited to hear your story, your little guy is adorable.

    I have never had an unmediated delivery and I don’t really desire to have one. I am not sure if that makes me a weird women ha ha. I feel very blessed to have had two wonderful experiences with my epidurals. I could move my legs, feel contractions and feel the need to push. I was still able to feel and use my muscles to push with ease. I know that this is not everyone’s experience with medicated deliveries. The thought of an unmediated painful experience is so unappealing to me ha ha 🙂 I am grateful that you share your experiences because I love hearing about all birthing experiences. To me any way a child is brought into this world is a sacred miracle. I am so grateful to be a women and to be able to have children. What a blessing. I love you janae and look forward to reading your story. 🙂

  4. Hannah
    on January 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm said:

    I was the kind of kid who actually dreamed of the day I would be married and start having babies (and being a Mom).When I was little, I used to pretend I was pregnant and actually “have” a baby! =) When I was pregnant with my first, I had hoped and intended to have a natural birth and revel in the glory (painful glory) of it all…but then we found out at 39 weeks that the baby was breech and couldn’t be turned. I had to have a C-section. I was crushed and it took some time for me to get over it. It wasn’t what I planned, ya know?

    When I was pregnant with my second, my husband left for USMC boot camp and I once again thought about doing a natural birth. But after praying and thinking, I felt like I wasn’t meant to have my babies that way, that Heavenly Father had led me down the C-section path for a reason, a reason I may never know. I may not have had a natural birth but having another C-section, then another and another scares me and each time I wonder if my body will totally give up on me right there on the table. But I press on, welcoming each little one into the world in real joy even though I hoped they had been born the natural way. =)

    No matter how you deliver your baby, it can be scary but fulfilling. Good luck with your delivery and God bless!

  5. Melissa
    on January 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm said:

    Good luck with this weekend! Keep us posted, and by that I mean have Joseph call us!

    I enjoyed reading all the different perspectives and for me each woman’s story is different and for each woman the answer will be a little different. You have to take into account medical background, personal strengths and weaknesses and be open to things happening that you didn’t foresee. But most important is the child and the mom, healthy and safe. Even though I had an epidural and a long and difficult labor I too experienced the high of giving birth and having this miracle of a child that I just would hold and watch and watch unable to sleep for the joy of it.

  6. Ashlee @ Plant Infusions
    on January 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm said:

    Janae you are in our prayers!

  7. Aimee
    on January 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm said:

    Janae! This may be too late to be pre-labor encouragement but I’ve been where you are right now.

    I’ve had 7- first two hospital with epidural; last 5 home births. For some reason, I got more wimpy and apprehensive about the process with each time! But they all came out, so maybe wimpy isn’t the right word.

    I got through my last three by telling myself, “You never have to do this again. You never have to do this again.” 😉

    Here’s why natural birth wins for me: There’s nothing like the high afterwards.

    A couple things to consider: I learned not to push until they broke my water. And not to let them break my water till I was good to go. On my last birth, I told the midwife I was NOT going to push when it was “time” (10cm) I was going to go with what my body dictated. I was kind of afraid I’d never have the urge, but I DID, let me tell you, and it made the whole process easier.

    Blessings on your weekend! Praying for you.

  8. Alisa
    on January 9, 2014 at 11:38 pm said:

    Janae, you put my feelings perfectly. I am 12 weeks (hopefully a little less) away from having my 4th natural birth, and I am already dreading it. I REMEMBER what it feels like at the end, and don’t want to do it. With my third baby, I was at a 9 with a bulging bag of waters for like, 3 hours. I feel like I subconsciously stopped my labor because I knew what was coming. I finally pulled the strength from somewhere and went through with it, ended up pushing only 6 minutes, and had a wonderful bonding and nursing experience with my baby. I told my CNM my feelings and she knows someone who teaches classes on overcoming fear of birth based on previous experiences. I think I might try that. Good luck with yours, can’t wait to hear about it!

  9. Michelle
    on January 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm said:

    OM goodness, i cannot believe you are already at the end of pregnancy stage! I had my daughter at home and was lucky to have had a relatively good (though extremely intense) labor; in my head I re-framed it as leaving me feeling athletically drained, that the hardest bit was keeping focused and trying to allow my body to do what it obviously knew what to do without letting me fear or thoughts impede…a year later, well i realise that how or under what circumstances i had my child (or will have future ones) it really is insignificant to what follows. i mean rarely do you share birthing stories after the first month, it all becomes about the child…so do what makes you most comfortable and happy, read the second half of Ina May Gaskins birthing book if you can? I found reassurance in that. however it happens, it is ultimately a short tunnel of time – stay focused and hang out to meet your newest family member 🙂 Best wishes to you…

  10. Spécialiste de l'éphémère
    on January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm said:

    I have only one thing to say; listen to your feeling!
    You are the one who knows best what you can cope with.

  11. April
    on January 8, 2014 at 10:07 am said:

    I had 2 natural home births. Both fairly “easy” though they hurt like heck. My 2nd, I think I actually had an out of body experience it hurt so badly. It was horribly painful. My contractions are the worst and in my 2nd and 3rd baby I actually started pushing early just because I knew it would end the pain of contractions.

    My 3rd baby was a premature, induced hospital birth. She had medical issues that required 2 surgeries and a 7 week hospital stay at the top children’s hospital in the midwest 50 miles from our house. Her labor was the easiest. It took the longest. It was induced but I truly had about 3 contractions that were painful in 8 hrs. When they broke my water all hell broke loose and I had that intense pain but she was born in 4 minutes after they broke my water.

    My encouragement is that even though induction is *supposed* to hurt more, every baby and every mother is different. I spent all 8 hrs of my induction terrified that every contraction was going to be the one that was so painful. But it never happened. Go in with an open mind, be prepared to give birth naturally-because like you said the afterwards of a natural birth is SO WORTH it-but if you need an epidural, you need it. You’ve done this before. Your body knows how to birth a baby. In a few days you’ll be holding your 5th little miracle.

  12. Katrina
    on January 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm said:

    I’ve always just decided to see how it goes (never being very excited to have a needle stuck in my back) and have gotten an epidural each of 4 times. Three times induced and once water broke when I was only 2 cm. With the inductions, they break the water so early and the pitocin made the contractions SO intense. I’m sure I could have dealt with it for the 5-7 more hours before I was ready to deliver if I had to, but with the option for pain relief, I always chose that option. Also, where I live, there are very few CNMs and the hospitals are not pro-natural birthing. With my last, the nurse even told me, as I was huffing and puffing away during my pitocin-induced contractions, before I got my epidural, that she wanted me “to be comfortable.” I nearly laughed in her face!! Haha! What part about labor and delivery is comfortable, really?!? I hate to be cynical, but patients with epidurals are easier to take care of and less demanding than those that don’t have them, so I think the nurses are biased as to which they’d prefer the patient to have. Anyway, just a little anecdote to describe the thought process around here. I’m very excited for you!! You can do it!!! xoxo

  13. Sarah
    on January 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm said:

    I just think you have to do what you have to do. I’ve had three c-sections due to complications…not ideal by any means nor what I had envisioned for birthing. I’m trying hard to let go of the guilt about never having a vaginal birth. But I have wasted a lot of energy on those feelings when I should have just let it go – and I hope other women can do the same should they pursue a different route than planned!

    Good luck! I had GD with my last – not the most fun on an already restrictive diet!

  14. Sabrina
    on January 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm said:

    Oh boy can I relate to exactly what you have written here! I have birthed 2 babies naturally and run a marathon. That last push to the end of the labor (or the race) is so. very. brutal and you just want it to end as quickly as possible, by whatever means. Then, it’s over and the exhilaration is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s absolutely amazing and you instantly feel every pain was worth it.

    My first child was born with an epidural, although I held out until I was at a 9 and my baby was born 20 mins after I got the drugs. Afterwards, I was queasy, shaky, needed a catheter, couldn’t be moved to my recovery room for many hours after because I couldn’t walk. I felt so horrible and out of it it didn’t even occur to me to be too worried that my baby had to be whisked away to the nursery for hours to get her warm enough.

    We all ended up fine, but it was certainly not easier than my natural labors. I felt it was my hardest, by far. I know that’s not often how it goes for many women. Many have great recoveries and are so grateful to have an epidural. I have never been induced, nor had a labor last more than 8 hours, only the last hour ever being that intense, so I don’t know what it feels like to be exhausted from labor or have those intense contractions. In those instances, perhaps the epidural, regardless of how severe the after effects are, would be preferable.

    I have just decided labor is difficult. It’s going to be no matter what you decide to do (or what happens in the hospital in critical circumstances). There are purposes behind that that I think I am only beginning to grasp. However, thinking about going through labor and delivery again is a frightening proposition, so I understand your trepidation. I wish you the very best of luck. You do know what you’re up against and you also know it is but a moment, which too will pass. Don’t lose sight of that!

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm said:

      “Then, it’s over and the exhilaration is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s absolutely amazing and you instantly feel every pain was worth it.”
      Isn’t that the truth! That’s the ONE thing that pulls me through. Knowing how awesome I’m going to feel the instant it’s over. (Though my after-labor uterine contractions just keep getting worse & worse with each pregnancy–worse than labor contractions, IMO!)

      “We all ended up fine, but it was certainly not easier than my natural labors. I felt it was my hardest, by far. I know that’s not often how it goes for many women.”
      Funny, because I had a conversation with one of the M.D.’s that may deliver me & after telling her my history she said: “I’d do natural. I think natural will be much easier for you than getting an epidural.” It was very nice & kinda unexpected to get that from an M.D. I think I’d have a hard time not feeling–though hard, I get into labor/delivery mode & block everything out & really get into my body, which I don’t think I could do with pain meds.

      “There are purposes behind that that I think I am only beginning to grasp.”
      Absolutely. That pain is part of the reason I’d run in front of a truck to save any of my kids. Going through fire & hell to get those little buggers certainly can make that attachment a bit more intense, I think.

      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement Sabrina!!!

  15. Emma
    on January 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm said:

    I can relate to Melissa, as I too planned for a completely natural birth and ended up with a C-section under general anesthesia (the local anesthetic didn’t work on me). I had many, many hours of labor beforehand, and prior to the C-section I had to agree to multiple interventions I didn’t want, including an epidural, because my son’s heart rate was dropping. In the end, I know the only thing that matters is that my son was born completely healthy, but it did take me a long time to get over the birth experience, and the fact that I was not even conscious when my son was born. I wish I had been able to hold my son right after he was born, and although I felt a bond with my son as soon as I met him, I did feel robbed of the experience of his birth. On the other hand, I think sometimes too much emphasis is put on having a totally natural experience, to the point that when something goes wrong, the mother feels like she’s failed in some way. If i have another child, I would again try for a natural birth, but I hope it would be easier to accept any necessary interventions the second time around.

  16. Lindsay
    on January 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm said:

    I never tried natural birth until my fourth baby. My water broke three weeks early and when contractions didn’t start they started me on pitocin and I went without an epidural until close to the end. It was just too much and I had been progressing slowly, so I got it and then a few minutes later I was fully dilated and the baby was born within a few minutes. I still told myself to have no regrets. I was close to going without, but it was so so painful.

    Skip ahead to my fifth baby and the natural thing played out perfectly. My labor was short and he was born an hour after I got to the hospital.

    My plan with any future labors is natural, but not if I have to be induced! Anything you choose will be fine. There is no “right” answer. It is so exciting and they are all different. Can’t wait to hear your story! Good luck!

  17. Brittney Walker
    on January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm said:

    It does not matter. What matters is that moms are informed… Making an educated choice, that they’re well supported and not making fear-based decisions. I have had a beautiful natural water birth at home and three pitocin-induced hospital births. I tried to get an epidural with the second (no time with the first) and had a terrible experience, had to have it shut off. It can be done without but it is tough. If that is your goal I would definitely have a doula and be practicing your favorite relaxation methods while you can. But like I said, what matters is that you are empowered and making decisions from your mother heart. Whatever those are will be best for you and your baby- epidural or no.

  18. Melissa
    on January 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm said:

    I was “looking forward” to a natural birth, and (really truly honestly I feel devastated that) I had an emergency c-section under general anesthesia instead. I feel robbed of that experience, very detached from my son because of it. I never had a contraction, and so waking up “not pregnant” in a recovery room, and having to wait almost 18 hours before I could see or hold him has had a long-lasting effect (in my opinion) on our bond.
    For some, the hardest part will be the delivery. For me, it was connecting to the little person I never had the choice to see come into this world.

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm said:

      Hey, on the flip side, your baby is an angel & perfect & beautiful. A miracle really. Sad you didn’t get to be a part of his first few moments (I can imagine how unsettling that whole ordeal must have been, waking up & suddenly not being pregnant anymore), but as I said, that little Nico is a jewel, one to be treasured! Hopefully that makes up for your loss 🙂

  19. Daisy
    on January 7, 2014 at 10:23 am said:

    My thoughts are: You have to do what you have to do. I think it makes sense to go, “I want to go natural–AND I’m leaving room open for another possibility if needed.” Some would say it’s setting yourself up for definitely having an intervention, but it’s not always the case. And you do have to think about your own emotional/mental well-being and the reality is if the pain you are experiencing is beyond what you feel you can cope with, it is going to affect you negatively which is then passing onto the baby!

    Me, my plan was all natural, but with my first, I was having horrendous back labour that was lasting and lasting and I ended up using laughing gas at first (made me throw up; the nurse was silly enough to gently argue with me later that it wasn’t the laughing gas that made me throw up, that throwing up often happened in labour–I knew very well as soon as I had taken the laughing gas that it had upset my stomach) and then a shot of morphine later on. The nurse offered me an epidural when I first asked her for something to help with the pain; I do think it should not be the first thing they offer!! An epidural was out of the equation for me; the very idea terrifies me, to be honest. With my second, I was in such pain on the way to the hospital, I had pretty much decided I would have to give into something because I just couldn’t take it. Turned out I was in transition during that time and I didn’t even get a chance because I started pushing almost right away after we got there and he was born within 20 minutes of our arrival. lol

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm said:

      “Turned out I was in transition during that time and I didn’t even get a chance because I started pushing almost right away after we got there and he was born within 20 minutes of our arrival. lol”
      Holy cow! What a story. Lucky you, that must have felt like the world’s quickest labor. Were your pains before going to the hospital very intense?

      “My thoughts are: You have to do what you have to do. I think it makes sense to go, “I want to go natural–AND I’m leaving room open for another possibility if needed.””
      I think that’s a fantastic perspective. We have options–isn’t that something to celebrate??

      • Daisy
        on January 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm said:

        “Holy cow! What a story. Lucky you, that must have felt like the world’s quickest labor. Were your pains before going to the hospital very intense?”

        They were just starting to get intense when we left. The longer story is that I was scheduled for an induction two days later than that (I was two weeks early, but I was having severe Braxton Hicks contractions about every 15 minutes and had been for two weeks; some of the contractions were *lasting* 15 minutes and were affecting his heart rate badly) but praying that I wouldn’t have to have the induction; terrified of potentially having a c-section (I’m soooo not good with the idea of needles, being cut open…). I had had some false labour a few days earlier, so when I started contractions around 1:30 in the morning, we waited a little bit to be sure before calling my husband’s parents, who lived an hour a way and were coming to look after our daughter while we were at the hospital. We waited until a little after 2:30 to call. The contractions were there and progressing, but not very intense; barely felt them if I just sat and breathed deeply. My in-laws arrived around 4 am and we weren’t really in a rush, but then the contractions started getting more intense and my calm breathing wasn’t helping so much, so we left, but they got suddenly so intense by my moving around, I couldn’t even sit properly to get a seatbelt on! Fortunately, we were less than 10 minutes away from the hospital and there was no traffic at that hour. Less than 3 hours after labour starting, I had no thought to being in transition, not to mention I was in so much pain, the contractions were coming one after the other by the time we got there; couldn’t even sign my name and was told to sign an X instead. So, yes, super fast labour. My husband actually went to park the car, came back in to find me already in a delivery room pushing. ha!

        My doctor said that if we had another one, I was to come in on the first contraction. ;P And she quipped, “You really didn’t want that induction, did you?” 😀

      • Daisy
        on January 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm said:

        And yes, options are something to celebrate! People can be rendered unconscious due to pain, severe pain causes your body to tense up, which can make labour harder and more painful…

        I forgot to say that yes, I felt very lucky with that one. I had spent about 2 hours pushing with my first and was completely drained. The speed of the 2nd labour was much appreciated, even if the pain was a little more intense (just didn’t last nearly as long, which makes a huge difference!).

  20. Stephanie Draper
    on January 7, 2014 at 10:02 am said:

    I went into labor on my own with Caleb, but they put me on pit almost immediately. I got an epidural at 5cm with him. I puked my way through 2 hours of pushing. I was induced with Sadie due to obstetric cholestasis and got an epidural with her as soon as I could because I didn’t want to feel any pain. I saved my puking for on my hospital bed, all alone, while Justin was with baby and the nurse ignored my pleas for help with my nausea and pain. With Sophie I felt as though I’d need to go natural and I sort of wanted to, but hadn’t made up my mind. I made it all the way to the end and got the epidural at the last minute. Only to go numb for 4 hours afterwards. Again with a nurse who was less than helpful and basically reprimanded me for getting the epidural (sry no one checked my progress before administering it!). When I came home you visited and that’s when I learned for the first time that I had been in transition. With Charlotte I was ready for my 20 minutes of hell. Haha. I had to be induced for the third time, because of my OC/ICP, but I had 2 amazing midwives by my side, one acting as a doula. I walked, squatted, soaked, and then I crawled out of the bathroom and delivered that little lady as fast as I could. 😉 People speak of amazing spiritual experiences when giving birth, especially naturally it seems, but to me the joy of bringing the baby into the world was the same (though much less clouded by excess pain, nausea, etc. that follows afterward, since those were all extremely lessened). What was different was a sense of pride in myself and just knowing that I could do hard things, I could not only do them, but CHOOSE to do them in the midst of severe anxiety (which I suffered with that while pregnancy). It was an important lesson too, because it helped me through the post partum depression that follow and the anxiety that stuck around. I had to learn to swallow pills to take my meds and that was one of my biggest struggles for years. I still struggle, but I can so hard things after all. 😉 We are planning a home birth with Emma and have worked with a midwife to find the right supplements to help stave off the ICP. So far so good, but only time will tell. In the mean time I also learned that while natural is amazing, modern medicine is also a gift. I couldn’t have made it through the 6 months I was on my meds without them and while I was glad to come off of them and while it was torture to come off of them, I will forever be grateful that they were there to bless my life. And while my epidurals always brought me nausea and only ever worked half way (except the one time I almost made it on my own!) I needed those small steps towards a natural birth. I just hope we can all recognize that we are capable and if that means going through with natural birth than awesome and if it doesn’t than that is awesome too, because we are all capable of making the right choices for ourselves. Sometimes we won’t, sometimes we’ll choose the wrong thing, but really who other than ourselves and our Heavenly Father will know if getting an epidural is the right or wrong choice for us? I don’t think there really is a right or wrong choice in most cases, just a choice. Sometimes choices are simply that. Sorry for my long winded response, its good to think about these things before having a baby though. Congrats on your upcoming birth! I am sure it will be amazing no matter what you decide. I also think your fears will calm down once you’re in the swing of it all… That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 😉

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm said:

      “What was different was a sense of pride in myself and just knowing that I could do hard things, I could not only do them, but CHOOSE to do them in the midst of severe anxiety (which I suffered with that while pregnancy).”
      I think this benefit is an important one. One that shouldn’t be overlooked when considering whether or not to do natural, or to medicate. I think the pain, the trail, then the triumph is a cycle that helps us prepare, in a small way, for all that will come as you raise the child. We women have an inner strength that can amaze & humble us, if we allow ourselves to trust our instincts.

      Thanks for sharing so much Steph, you’re wonderful, & I wish you all the best with your home birth.


  21. Jenny Ramsey
    on January 7, 2014 at 9:38 am said:

    I had a great discussion about this with my life-long best friend. She does natural childbirth. I do epidurals. At the end of our conversation we decided that this debate is really a “first world problem”. Honestly, does it REALLY matter if you have natural birth, medicated birth, cesarean birth? In America? No, not really. It matters to us as individuals but on the grand scale of life and death, it’s kind of a non-issue in our great day of medical technology. We are so blessed to have the options that so many do not.
    I have heard women literally say that having a c-section ruined their birth experience. I kinda wanted to smack them with a fishing rod. You are ALIVE and your baby is ALIVE and you are both HEALTHY and TOGETHER and SAFE.
    Ultimately, I think it’s awesome for us to go with the option that we feel is best for us, but we need to keep in mind that nothing can ruin our birth experience when it ends with a healthy and happy mom and baby…except for a bad attitude. 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on January 7, 2014 at 4:41 pm said:

      “She does natural childbirth. I do epidurals. At the end of our conversation we decided that this debate is really a “first world problem”.”
      Seriously, SUCH a good point! I don’t know if we realize how freakin’ awesome it is that we don’t have to worry about dying in childbirth because of unsanitary conditions or lack of medical care.

      “I have heard women literally say that having a c-section ruined their birth experience. I kinda wanted to smack them with a fishing rod. You are ALIVE and your baby is ALIVE and you are both HEALTHY and TOGETHER and SAFE.”
      Only you can say this in such a succinct, straight-forward way. Safe, healthy, mother & baby. Those are things to celebrate, for sure! I think too often our expectations may be a bit out of touch with reality–it would be awesome if we all had orgasmic, magical birthing experiences (just as it would be nice if we were all millionaires, living in mansions, with ponies), but at the end of the day, “a healthy and happy mom and baby” is what makes a birth experience amazing.

      Well said, my dear. I always love getting a good dose of Jen perspective on these issues. You keep it real.