Controversy ahead — you have been warned!!
I belonged to a message board about 4 1/2 years ago with women who were all pregnant with their first child. There are a couple of them who visit my site here. I quit being a ‘member’ shortly after Brianna was born. I was struggling as a new mother with many things that made me less than excited to be a new mom. It seemed nobody understood. With the exception of 4 of those women, I also believed nobody in that whole group cared. One day I decided I would leave the group. It was complicated, but it ended up being the best decision for me.
One of the debates or issues that regularly came up while we were all still pregnant was giving birth without pain meds vs. having something (pills, epidural, or whatever). Even though I knew from a few months into the pregnancy I would be having a c-section, I still chimed in on the subject. Four pregnancies later, I still do not understand any woman’s desire to give birth without some sort of pain relief. Back when I was pregnant the first time, it was not only that I didn’t understand it — I also thought those women were freakin’ crazy. Nuts! I still feel that way to some degree, but mostly I just don’t get it.
I have 2 very close friends who have given birth without pain meds. My sister did too, with her first. I’m not sure what she did with the third, but with the 2nd she got an epidural. Anyway, my friends are both so proud of their “accomplishments”. Really.
I don’t look at it as an accomplishment. I look at it as old-fashioned and so before our time. This is why. I would never go to the ER with an injury and tell them to just stitch me up without numbing me first. The doctors probably wouldn’t listen to me, first of all, and if they did I don’t think I’d go around bragging about my “accomplishment”.
To me, having a baby without the assistance of modern medicine is silly. Maybe there is a circle of women who believe this is some sort of gold medal event. I think it’s borderline insanity. If I’m completely honest (running the risk of offending people I care about here), it has the opposite effect on me. When a woman tells me she gave birth without pain meds (that she clearly could have received) it takes her down a notch in my judgmental intelligence rating. I think she’s either brainwashed by some cult that tells women it’s more noble to give birth that way or that she’s just not that bright. Now that I’ve said that I need to interject here that both of my friends who have done this, as well as my sister, are all very bright young women. I know them and knew one friend and, of course, my sister before they had their children. The other I knew was smart b/c she has a Master’s Degree in education. No dummy there. I know her better now and she’s darn smart.
But why is this birthing method so praised by some women to the point that they start to hang their identities on it? She-women or something. Bionic. Full of super powers. Do they think it makes them more of a woman or some sort of female hero? I don’t know.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand this way of thinking. What got me on this subject is watching Birth Stories on Discovery Health again with my ever so curious daughter. A woman not only wanted to give birth without pain meds, but also in a birthing center rather than a hospital.
Don’t. Get. Me. Started.
If you think I’m harsh about the subject of no pain meds, give me the other subject that is usually intertwined of no doctors or hospital staff and I will really begin to soapbox.
Why? What’s the point? What are you trying to prove? And, seriously, do you think you deserve a medal or award for doing something most of us think is absurd?
So enlighten me. I have given my honest perception of this practice. What’s yours?