by Anita, USA
With my second child I chose to find a way to have a natural childbirth. The reason was that my first was one was not the best experience. I had an epidural with her, my husband was out to sea and I was overwhelmed.
When I got pregnant the second time, I would have had to go to the military hospital on base, which I heard to many horror stories about. So I decided to go the complete opposite route with no medical intervention.
I found a wonderful midwifery center in Jacksonville, Florida with two licensed midwives. The choice was to have the baby at their birth center or at home. I chose the birth center, because they had a nice whirpool tub, which I imagined would feel great.
The birth was miraculous. Even though my little girl was ten days late, I did not go to the birthing center until I started labor naturally on my own. No talk of inducing took place. They told me it is very rare to go over 42 weeks.
When contractions became more painful, I asked to get in the water where I stayed until I had her. The worst pain was when she actually came out. I tore a little (I had torn with my first one, and didn't do Kegel exercises regularly) and that's probably why. They immediately placed the baby on my chest and it was love at first sight. I bonded with her immediately. And I love my first daughter just as much, but at the hospital I did not get to bond with her like that. They immediately took her away to do their weighing and testing.
I would recommend anyone go with a birth center or home birth. It is the most beautiful experience for any women. My baby never left my sight. They took her vitals while she was laying on me. I nursed her immediately. When I went to take a shower, my husband held her. We left the birthing center 3 hours after Becky was born. And even though I was exhausted, I also felt just fine and exhilarated.
My first birth was the opposite. After having an epidural I could not even walk and go to the bathroom on my own. What a difference!
Even though it is harder to find good care and support for your natural childbirth, it is so worth it for everyone involved. Additionally, it is also much cheaper. Think of all the doctors and medical equipment that is so unnecessary for most cases. The one thing I would do different is to take Kegel exercises seriously. I really believe tearing could be prevented. Of course, when you have an epidural you have little control over your pushing (you can't feel the pain if you push too hard too fast).
Good luck to you and your baby!