Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Nod and Smile

When I first got pregnant with my daughter Peri, I was adamant that I wanted a drug-free labor and I was bound and determined to make it happen. I did my research and Jim and I attended Bradley Method classes with 2 other couples. We were all set to go, armed with our information, my coach of a husband and my own personal relaxation techniques. I was going to do it.

The only mistake we made, was telling other people. This is one of those new parent instances, where as someone experienced, you should just nod and smile and say, "That's great! Good for you." We all have our ideals and the nicest thing you can do is to let people hold onto their delusions. Instead, I was constantly met with negative comments; "It's going to hurt. You'll want the epidural," "Why in the world would you do that," "No one's going to give you a medal."
My response was usually, "Really? Have you tried it?" To which the answer was ALWAYS "No." Hm, so I guess you can't knock it 'til you've tried it, right?

Well, anyone that knows me should know that telling me not to do something, will only make my decision even more resolute. And guess what? I did it. Oh yeah, drug free, baby! Not once, but twice. I labored and delivered twice with nothing but my determination. And I'd do it again, dagnabit!

In fact, shortly after having Peri, there was a request in FitPregnancy for readers' responses to whether or not they wanted drugs in the delivery room. Of course I had to write in and share my personal experience and lo and behold, they contacted me to tell me they were printing my response.

"I didn't want anything to do with pain medication. I knew that if I could work with the pain, rather than against it, I would be fine. Yes, it was the worst pain I have ever felt, but looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way."
April/May 2005 Fit Pregnancy Issue

As if that weren't cool enough, they sent me an Evenflo ExerSaucer SmartSteps activity center. Those things are around $100 and they were sending me one for free just for printing my response! How cool was that?!

And so, to all those naysayers who told me I "wouldn't be given a medal," I say, "Are you kidding?! I got the best medal ever! And both of my kids got a lot of use out of it." Once they figured out the toys were on top, that is. :o)


  1. For the record, I think you are nuts :) Seriously, the #1 thing I hated most about being pregnant was that everyone thought they had a right to an opinion about MY pregnancy..what I could or shouldn't eat, how much weight I should gain, if I should do it with or without drugs. Like you said, my motto was "smile...and move on". I tried "au naturale" and it didn't work for me. Amelia was posterior and after 13 hours of her being turned wrong I was given two choices...try an epidural and maybe get her out the natural way or get c-section. The epidural worked! With Merrick I faced the exact same scenario, only he was even bigger and never turned right. Honestly, he probably should have been a c-section, but with the epidural, I was able to get him out. I say do what works for YOU and to hell with everyone else!

  2. I'm with Alyssa on this one. I think you are nuts. :) But then, you already knew that. But then, my labor story was just like Alyssa's, so au natural wouldn't have worked for me anyway.

    Though I guess I had an au natural c-section... so does it count as drug free when the drugs wear off before surgery??

  3. I say do what works for you too. That drove me nuts when I was pregnant; everyone else giving me unsolicited advice or not supporting my decisions to do it my way. I am now one of those "nod and smile" people when newly pregnant friends tell me all of their big plans. Because while something may not have worked for you, who's to say it won't work for them. Let them have their dreams. :o)

  4. I must agree with everyone so far. I wasn't totally opposed to a natural birth, but I wasn't opposed to epidurals either. What drove me nuts though, was when people who did (or were planning) it naturally "lectured" me or made me feel guilty for even considering an epidural. I had epidurals with both girls (although the second one was pretty much non-existant) and both came out healthy, active, and latched on within minutes of birth.

    I guess what I'm saying, like the other girls, is that everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their situation. There's nothing crazy to me about natural births, and I admire the focus and strength of the women who do it. But I don't like it when they have the attitude of having something to prove or lecture those who don't do it naturally.

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  6. I know my limits, and I know that even though natural childbirth is amazing I never would have made it through.

    Yeah ... I went for the epidural both times, but kudos to you for knowing what you wanted and sticking with it :)

  7. Yay for natural childbirth! I delivered all three of mine without any drugs and I wouldn't have had it any other way...I don't think you are nuts. LIke you, I set my mind on it, prepared, and gave it my best. And guess what? I actually enjoyed it! No it's not easy, but the pain did not scare me as much as the epidural and the possible complications that come with it. I'm happy that you were able to have the births you wanted. It's an experience that you never forget!


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