Baby, you’re my Boo.

No.  That’s not what I whisper to my husband every time I lean in to kiss him.  I practically gag at any song on Top 4o that makes reference to someone being someone’s “Boo”.  That is, however, the “code line” that I must say if I am absolutely 100% positive and dying for an epidural.

So…yeah….we’re trying this whole natural birth thing.  I wasn’t all that into it when I first started thinking about labor and delivery, I’ll be honest.  However, after taking into consideration that fact that I had a TERRIBLE reaction to a spinal tap years ago and have no desire to ever have a needle near my spine again, and that my mom, who had me at 18, was able to deliver me and my two younger siblings naturally, I started to really consider it.  By 20 weeks I was convinced it was the right choice for me, and my husband, who is a complete freak when it comes to medication and drugs anyway, was 100% supportive of it.

So at our 20 week appointment we were all fired up to talk to the doctor about it, find out what books and classes he recommended, what we should start doing to prepare.  However, we left that appointment not with encouragement and resources, but with disgust and a mission to FIND A NEW DOCTOR!  I believe his exact words when I told him we had decided to go med-free were, “Well, it’s going to be the worst pain of your life.  I don’t think you realize how bad it’s going to hurt (to which I couldn’t help but think, and do YOU know how bad it will hurt… SIR?).” His response to my inquiry about the Bradley Method, a popular method used for natural childbirth, was something along the lines of, “NO.  Take Lamaze.  Bradley was created on a farm for animals.”  Well…last time I checked, none of the horses or cows were begging for epidurals or ending up with unnecessary c-sections, but….okay.  He also ended the conversation by saying, “You know 99% of women in this county end up with an epidural anyway.”  Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, asshole.

On our way home we talked about how we couldn’t believe that he would just interject such a negative opinion.  I mean, this was MY  choice and MY body.  If I’m going to be in pain, so be it.  I’m a smart enough girl to figure out that no pain meds = pain.  I don’t need him to REMIND me of that.  Sadly, as we have witnessed since then, that’s just the way it is with a lot of people. Even people who have never/will never give birth!

We visited my husband’s family for Christmas shortly after that appointment and encountered so many of the same exact reactions that I had to ask Scott to stop telling people about our plans when they asked.  I just couldn’t see one more jaw hit the floor or hear one more “You are absolutely crazy…you can’t do it…you will end up with an epidural anyway…just wait till you see the childbirth videos…you only THINK you can do it…it’s so different when you are actually there”.  Then a few months ago a woman at work asked me what I was planning to do, and I simply said, “I hope to make it through without any medication,” learning by this point to not get into detail because it just gives people more fuel for the fire.  A customer who overheard this went out of her way to come across the store and tell me, “You know…you should really, REALLY think about that because if you get too far along, they won’t be able to give you an epidural.  Even if you really beg for it. It’s probably better to just go ahead and get it as soon as possible.”  The look on my face must have screamed, “I think I may launch this baby bathtub at your face,” because she shut up and quickly left the store.

Now, true as some of that may be, what gives you the right to say that?  Let’s switch roles for a second.  If I were to ever tell a pregnant woman that she’s crazy for wanting an epidural, that she’s hurting her baby, etc. (which, let me just clarify, is NOT at all how I feel.. just using as an example) I would be a “pusher” of my beliefs on her.  So what the hell makes it okay for someone who had or plans to have an epi, or has never or will never give birth the right to tell ME that I’m crazy, especially after they asked ME what my plans were?!  And to feel so passionately that I will fail and then to feel the right to express that to me?!  Listen, you can laugh at me all you want.  You don’t have to believe I can do it, but please spare me the “Oh, just wait and see” lecture. And for the record, all your disbelief does is fire me up even more to do it.  Yes, I LOVE doing things people tell me I can’t do.  I think it’s that whole problem with authority thing in me.

Since that 20 week appointment, a lot has changed…mainly the medical professionals responsible for delivering my son.  We switched to a Certified Nurse Midwife practice, which I have to say, I always considered way too “crunchy” before this whole experience.  Ahhh…but that’s what pregnancy does to you, I guess.  Just another thing I ended up doing that I thought I never would.  We are VERY happy with them. We will be delivering at a Birthing Center, but also have the convenience and reassurance of a hospital which is attached, complete with all the necessary doctors and equipment needed in case of an emergency.  We were lucky to end up with such a great compromise, and I don’t think my paranoid husband would be so supportive of the “crunchy” route if we hadn’t.

We completed a 12 week Bradley Method class, and are currently trying to keep up with our relaxation exercises.  I’ve got the bag packed with tennis balls for massage and battery operated candles to help me relax in the tub.  The Ipod is stocked with relaxing spa-like music and the birthing ball is by the door, ready to go. I feel we are about as prepared and supported as we can be for a natural birth.  But a couple weeks ago my husband expressed his first signs of anxiety about the whole coaching/laboring process.  See…he knows me well.  He knows that I may ask for medication, that I may looking into his eyes and beg him to get me an epidural, and that if he gives in and runs to get the anesthesiologist, I may very well end up kicking him in the balls after the baby is born for giving in to me too easy.  He talked to our CNM about this recently. How would he know if I was really, really, REALLY serious? She had a good suggestion.

See, I may very well end up with medication.  As much as I’m not even allowing myself the option of thinking about it right now, it’s still an option if I so choose it.  Just know that if I come back here after the baby is born and tell you all I had an epidural, I would have had to look my husband in the eyes and utter our “code line” (the CNM’s suggestion), which we have decided will be….”Baby, you’re my Boo,” because we both now how incredibly out of character and hard that will be for me to say.

38 weeks 4 days

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
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  1. Lindsey (ClarksMrs) on

    I think you can do it. You seem very determined and don’t seem to be falling back on the epidural so you have that in your corner. Your code word is hilarious. I can NOT believe that you are so far along. I remember lurking back in August (I think it was Aug anyway) when you got your BFP and the months before that with the AF-Donkey score. lol

  2. I’ll keep you in my thoughts over the next couple of weeks. The natural birth route is veyr doabl- you are the one that knows your own limits and what you are able to go through. Good luck!

  3. People are way to anxious to put in their 2 cents all the time. It’s not like you are the first woman ever to attempt natural childbirth. It’s been done PEOPLE! I seriously hope you prove them wrong 😀

  4. Good luck with the natural birth process – I admire those that choose that route. =) I hope it works out the way you want it to. But, if for some reason you do end up with an epidural, don’t be hard on yourself. Oh, & definitely don’t let people say, “I told you so!!” I had the opposite response when I said that I had chose the epidural (didn’t have much of a choice in the end since Emma was born via c-section). I usually was told how I should not have any pain meds. Anyway…good luck – you are getting sooo close!!

  5. Just wanted to say good luck to you. I’ve had 3 natural births 2 in hospitals with dr and nurses asking me every 5 minutes if I was SURE I didn’t want an epidural. For me it was the terror at the thought of having half of my body numb that kept me saying no. I was never as prepared as you I’m sure you’ll do fine. Just remember when you are seriously ready to utter those words it means the end is very near =)

  6. You can do this, I’ve had two natural child birth’s and the first was an 8 lb baby when I was 17 and about 110 lbs. So if an idiot 17yr old can do it, anyone can. 😉
    Hang in there and give’em hell (those were my grandmother’s words when everyone told me I couldnt do it.)

  7. You can definitely do it! I think one of the best benefits of not having pain meds that no one really talks about is the fact that you barely remember anything because of all the crazy hormones running through your body…I know it was hard, but I only have positive memories of what happened (I do remember at one point telling my husband and our doula that I felt like I was high and/or drunk…yikes!).

  8. I hear that in S&M dungeons they have a code word, too. 😉

    Absolutely you can do this! You’ve prepped and studied. Surround yourself with only positive thoughts. Sorry others are such dumb-asses.

    YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!

  9. The absolute smartest thing I read above is that you’ve got your goal set – and a fall back plan in place. Labor is totally unpredictable and it seems like you’re really smart to know exactly what you want, and how you want it….and to have figured out a “code” for the just in case scenario. A gal really needs to remember to be flexible (pun definitely intended) when it comes to L&D 🙂

    All the best to you!

  10. Karen (a Nestie) on

    I can’t believe your first doc was so unsupportive! I’m glad to hear you found someone you are comfortable with and trust for your delivery. It sounds like you are prepared and I hope everything goes well for you. My daughter is 3 months old and I had an unmedicated birth. I planned to have an epi but I had a quick labor (5 hours) and didn’t have time so I went without. Yes, it was very painful but you can do it! And if it becomes too much you have the option for the meds. I wish I had read about going natural and had been more prepared just in case. Next time I plan to go med-free but will be prepared this time. Good luck! I am sure you’ll do great! And keep in mind that once your son is born, the pain stops!!

  11. When I had my DD I had an pain-med-free birth. I had hoped for an intervention-free birth, but ended up being induced with pitocin. We went through Bradley classes too — the relaxation stuff worked better than I ever expected (and I expected it to work)! GL!!

  12. Hi, I’ve been reading your archive posts lately because my experience is so similar. I never wanted kids until a series of events including a pregnancy scare, like you. I’m also planning on going natural. And I am DEFINITELY not telling anyone. Especially not my three sisters. Not knowing about my ttc or anything, one of my sisters texted me the other day making fun of doulas and women who wanted to go natural, and said something about a “badge of honor”. At that point, I thought, “Yep.. not telling my sisters” (who all had epidurals with their kids). If I end up having to give into pain medicine for one reason or another, I really don’t want to hear someone say “I told you so.” Especially since I will have done everything in my power to make it without meds.

    Anyway, thanks for your awesome blog and it’s archives! It’s nice to have someone to relate to, even if it is your 4-years-ago self!

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