Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stating the Obvious

One thing I've learned during my pregnancy is that I'm not a fan of modern doctors. It seems like whenever I tell them about something that's bothering me, they write me a prescription. I think it's so funny to hear "When diet and exercise fail, take (insert pill here)". Well, it's not diet and exercise that fail... it's people who fail at diet and exercise. Constipation? Here - take this stool softener. Leg Cramps? Tylenol is fine to take. Delivery pains? Here's your epidural.

Now before I continue on this blog I want to make one small disclaimer. I do not judge anyone for the decisions that they make during pregnancy/labor/delivery. Everyone is entitled to their own experience, whatever that may be. And, I know that you can't even attempt to plan any little bit of your pregnancy/labor/delivery and that all my "birth preferences" may fly out of the window as soon as I start labor.

With that being said, I would like my experience to be as natural and drug-free as possible. Its a personal choice and one that I feel strongly about. Before I knew I was carrying twins, Damon and I had already chosen a birth center to deliver. I have always liked the idea of a water birth and while he had issues with possible floating poop in the tub, he did really enjoy the environment and agreed this was the place to bring our child into the world.

Then... things changed for us when we saw two little ones on that first ultrasound. Twin pregnancy automatically put me into the high-risk category and meant I had to (legally and for insurance purposes) deliver at a hospital. I had been going to the same OBGYN for years and while I liked her enough to violate me once a year, I wasn't sure how comfortable I was with her delivering my babies. So, I reached out to my local friends to get recommendations for good OBs.

We decided to meet each one for an "interview" of sorts and then see which one we connected best with. Funny thing? Doctors are NOT used to being "interviewed". Some seemed almost offended that I wouldn't just automatically choose their practice. Some were cut from my list just because of their rude staff. I don't consider myself a "high-maintenance" person, but I wasn't willing to deal with an unhappy employee throughout the rest of my pregnancy, especially with my out of whack hormones.

But my favorite interview was with one particular doctor. The interview started off well enough, she seemed friendly enough and we seemed to connect with her. Then we began asking questions regarding her thoughts of twin birth. I told her that it was important for me to try to have the twins naturally and she stared at me with a blank expression. "I understand the risks (blah blah blah) and that there is a 50/50 chance that the twins will be delivered by C-section, depending on what happens throughout my pregnancy, but I would like to prepare for a natural birth..." I continued.

She looked at me like I had three heads and said slowly, "Childbirth is really painful."

Seriously? Wow. I was really glad she told me that. I can't believe I hadn't heard that before - I mean, what did I almost get myself into?

I was floored. That's like telling someone who is training for a marathon that running really sucks - only that person doing the telling is the physical trainer.

Needless to say, we didn't end up with her. After a couple more visits with my original OBGYN, we realized that she was the one to deliver our babies. She's blunt enough to tell me that "Yeah (and she'd probably even throw a "sh*t yeah" in there), childbirth is painful." but she'd follow it up with a "but women have been doing it drug free for centuries and you can too."


  1. I had my twin daughters vaginally, but I did have an epidural. They were my first and I was a little scared, plus you never know with twins,so they tell me. One could be born vaginally and then the other may need to be born via c section. All I know is after you get the first one out, the second one MUST be a breeze without drugs, I mean the way has been paved already!!! :) And on another note just wanted to say that I also have had 2 more children after my twins, a boy and a girl and my little boy was born with a little something extra. He has Down syndrome. If you are blessed to be brought into this journey, I just want to say it is one of the most fufulling experiences I have ever had in my life. Noah has changed my whole conception of the world. He's the love of my life and I wouldn't change one thing about him. Just had to say that. Vonda

  2. I am with ya sister! I had my boys naturally and it was a totally wonderful experience.

    Unfortunately, with the ladies, I had to have an epidural and deliver in the OR due to the risk of Molly (baby b) flipping to breech once Maggie (baby a) was out or if she got into trouble, I could have an emergency c-section. The ladies were both head down which made it an easy decision to deliver vaginally vs c-section.

    Luckly, I had to be induced at 37 weeks, and was able to labor naturally until I was at 7cm. It was a bummer that I had to have an epidural but in the end, it was OK.

    I hope that you are able to have the perfect birth. You have to do what is right for you and I can tell that you are strong enough to advicate for yourself. So Kuddos to you!

  3. I have not had twins before but both my daughters were born without painkillers. The first one because she was born 5 minutes after we got to the hospital. The next one I asked for the epidural and got it in but I "raced through it" (nurses term) and when she was born 15 minutes later the only thing that was close to being numb were the toes on my right foot! They left it in for about an hour after the birth and by the time it came out I had the tingling sensation up to my right knee...not even numb...just tingling. This time (baby #4) I don't even plan to ask for it. The recovery time is SO much faster without (I had a wonderful epidural with my first born but my legs felt like jelly for a long time afterwards and I was much more tired than I was when I delivered without). I hope you get the delivery you want and I'll agree with your yeah it hurts! All worth it in the end though :)

  4. Oh...doctors....yep. I'd leave most of them out of my life if I had my way!

    Clearly the pain of childbirth has not stopped anybody for thousands of years. Everyone has different experiences. I have not had twins, but each of my 3 natural births were distinctly different. I didn't find childbirth pain to be anything like any physical pain I'd experienced. It's productive pain. I hope that you will get the opportunity to labor and deliver the way you want to. If you haven't considered hiring a doula, it might be a good idea. Have you talked to any midwives? You would still have to have an OB on hand I'm sure, but a midwife also can run some good interference with a doctor too.

    p.s. try some probiotics if you are actually experiencing constipation. Makes a world of difference.