From the moment I became pregnant with my son, V (name not disclosed for privacy), I did SO much research on where I wanted to go for his prenatal care. I researched opinions and came across a second option that I didn’t know existed- a birth center. Every single woman that had both a hospital birth as well as a birth center birth preferred the birth center, HANDS DOWN. So I read about it, looked into it, etc and scheduled my first appointment with a birth center in my city. They gave me a big binder of reading material, appointment keeper with notes I could fill in, and resources. When they were saying that they do drug-free, I was VERY scared. I was honestly considering changing providers because I was so scared of that. But they reassured me and I figured I would stick it out for another month or so and see if I became more relaxed with the idea.
Everyone told me that I was brave, crazy, insane, out of my mind to do a non-medicated birth and that I would want the epidural or episiotomy (where they cut your perineum to make room for the baby to emerge easier) or other drugs to make the experience more manageable. I began watching documentaries on home births, birth center births, “Happiest Baby on the Block”, many others, and knew after seeing them that I was firm in my decision to go through with a natural, non-medicated birth (no pain killers, including tylenol!).
But people were still very skeptical and doubting of my decision but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be hooked up to monitors, have an IV in my arm or hand, be limited in movement or mobility, or be restrained. I wanted to do birth how I wanted to and I didn’t want anyone or anything restricting me from having it that way. I didn’t want to hear my baby’s heartbeat throughout the whole process- that would make me nervous for no reason. I wanted my birth to be as natural, worldly, earthy as possible and to be in tune with my body and its needs.
I couldn’t be happier with my decision! After all the grief, failed attempts at dissuading me, and much explaining later on my end, I came to have my bouncing baby boy, very healthy and very adorable. I did a water birth (in a jacuzzi) and it was my Christmas present from my partner at the time. Right after the baby emerged, he was immediately placed on my chest and I got to hold him. He didn’t leave my sight or my arms aside from when about a few hours or so after he was born, he was given a bath and returned to me. I couldn’t be happier!
And to think that if I had listened to all the nay-sayers telling me what to do, how different my experience would’ve been. As a parent, you need to make informed decisions. You need to explore all options, opinions, do research, read parenting books, and above all, listen to your intuition! I have very different opinions from others on vaccinations, spanking, discipline, foods I eat, and the lifestyle I lead. It’s come to the point where I don’t care what others think of my choices because I am the one living my life and I’m the one living with the consequences of my actions. Granted, my family is affected by these choices as well, but I try my best to make the most informed decisions possible. I am a reader by nature and a sleuth by trade which allows me to take in tons of information and run with it.
As a parent, you need to stand strong once a decision has been made regarding your children. There will always be opposition to anything you do, even if it’s the “right thing” so you might as well do what you think is best! All I can say is: read, learn, ask, grow. Life as a parent is ever-changing and we all need to keep up with what the truth is and seek it out in its hidden places. I may be called a hippie parent, but I just do what I think is best for my child and what will have the most lasting benefit for him. Plus, whoever hated hippies, anyway? 😛