They say you shouldn't talk about religion or politics if you don't want to start a fight. I'm adding childbirth to the list.
I had no idea people were so opinionated about how to bring a baby into the world. I figured you go to the hospital, you do some funny breathing, your wife does a bunch of heavy pushing, your doctor plays catch and--bam--you've got a baby.
I have so much to learn.
Say epidural to the wrong group of people and get ready for the glaring and eye-rolling. I would probably get less of a response if I said I was in favor of universal kitten drowning.
People want to know if we will be participating in "natural" childbirth. What is the other kind? Unnatural? Supernatural?
If you want to bring your child into the world the way they did it in the olden days, that's great. More power to you. But if you want to take full advantage of modern medicine, that's great too. I mean, you drove a car to get to the birthing center, right? Just a hunch, but they probably had some electric lights on when you got there too.
Flying from city to city isn't "natural" but we do it to visit people we love. Walking with an artificial leg, or living with a heart transplant, isn't "natural" but we're very happy for the people who do so. Can't we save a little love for mothers who want to use some pain medication?
The fact is, when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms for the first time, there's not going to be anything unnatural about it. You will have just witnessed a miracle, no matter what help you may or may not have received.
I have to admit, I'm baffled when I hear about people not trusting their doctors. Why else do we pay them so much? Why do we make them go to school for half their lives--just to put a bunch of letters after their names? When it comes to medicine, call me crazy, but I'm going to give the trained professional the benefit of the doubt.
Yes, personality clashes can occur, but that's why there is more than one doctor in the world. You wouldn't keep going back to a mechanic you thought was crooked or inept, right? If you don't trust your doctor, find one you can, and do so.
Potential conflicts need to be discussed very early on in your pregnancy. If you have particular birthing methods in mind you should let you doctor know about it. "Inducement yes, epidural no, and I want to be standing on my head singing 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic.' What do you think about that, Doc?"
As far as disagreements within the couple goes, the woman should get three extra votes and all tie-breakers when it comes to anything she can feel. Face it, men. Your wife is the only one having the baby. You just get a really good seat.
They say every pregnancy is different, and it's true. Individuals' birthing experience will be no less different, and that doesn't make one way less right. Naturally.