Dads on Natural Birth
A Traumatic Experience
“We wanted to do a natural birth. Did 12 weeks of Bradley method classes, watched The Business of Being Born, read some books”.
“My wife had an unmedicated birth, but it was a traumatic experience. She wishes that she had gotten the epidural—especially after hearing the stories of some of the women from our Bradley class who did.
We're by no means anti-natural birth now. Mom and baby are healthy, and we couldn't have known what would have happened had we gone down a different road. We just wish that he had been slightly less anti-epidural back then. Factions of the natural birthing community can develop a cultish hatred towards epidurals, and we wish we hadn't bought into it as much as we did.”
Pain vs. Suffering
“Rachel didn't have an epidural, but she wishes she did.”
“One of the problems with pursuing a natural birth is that the mom is told repeatedly that at some point—probably during transition—she’s going to ask for the epidural. Asking for the epidural is a good sign that you're almost done!"
“It was recommended to us that we have a "safe word" in place. We didn't, and we wish we had. She asked for an epidural at a couple points, but the doula, midwives and myself talked her out of it, just like she had asked us to do for months prior. I still don't know if that was the right thing for us to do or not.”
“There needs to be some way for the mom to say, "No, seriously, get me the fucking epidural" and be taken seriously. There needs to be a very clear decision tree so that the dad isn't trying to make a snap decision on ‘How much should I let my wife suffer before we abandon this plan we've had for six months?’ There needs to be part of the plan that says, ‘And here's the conditions under which we pull the ripcord and get the epidural.’"
“Afterward, our doula told us that ‘there's a difference between pain and suffering.’ I don't know if that's a useful, actionable distinction or not, but I think having that vocabulary ahead of time would have helped with the decision making.”
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