When I was pregnant, I was determined to have an unmedicated birth. I thought that would be best for the baby and best for me. I felt that anything else would be a failure of some sort. Of course, now I realize that it really doesn’t matter how your baby gets here and long as he or she eventually arrives (even after 42 weeks, right Jenn?). I’m still waiting for my unmedicated childbirth medal. (They don’t exist.)
But when I was pregnant, my focus was on what I could control about my experience, and I wanted to control unnecessary interventions. My fear was that an epidural would lead to stalled progress, which would lead to a C-section. I simply didn’t want to have a major surgery if I could help it and then care for a baby.
I sincerely wish I’d had this Mother Jones article had been written back when I was pregnant with my first. Its focus is birth injuries, but it does an amazing job of dissecting the childbirth experience and aftermath. It does an excellent job juxtaposing the pros and cons of various birth scenarios. If, for example, you knew a C-section would prevent a horrific birth injury that took months, if not years to recover from — and two surgeries anyway — would you not take that option? Isn’t it a little wrong that you can have issues post-childbirth and have your doctor shrug, like, “You had a healthy baby, sure, you’re going to be a little damaged.”
I cannot do the article justice, so just read it. It’s well worth the time if you’re a mom or plan to be one.
Did you find that your postpartum care was severely lacking compared to prenatal care? —Erin