Giving Birth Naturally

by Denise
(Peoria, IL)

Giving Birth Like My Grandmother

Giving Birth Like My Grandmother

I fondly remember hearing the stories of my grandmother as she spoke about having children in the early 1900’s and the dangers of miscarriages.

She lived in rural Kentucky and had little access to sex education and doctors, so it was up to the local midwives and their centuries of generational wisdom to ensure that each woman was attended to during birth.

Of course, when I was a young girl hearing all this it frightened me – one I wasn’t so sure I ever wanted to have a kid, and two – if I was going to have a child I wasn’t going to go through some hellish pain to do it when medical science could alleviate all the physical stress with a simple needle prick.

But after giving birth the “traditional” and sterile way in a hospital to my son I knew inside that it was wrong. It was just a little feeling that slowly grew over time, and by the second trimester of my pregnancy with my daughter I just had to let my husband know my distaste for hospital births.

At first he thought I was joking and couldn’t believe why I wanted to do something so “alternative and hippish”. It was a hard fight, but eventually I won. Besides, I was the one actually going through the damn struggle of carrying the thing so I felt forcefully about my ability to the dictate the terms of birth!

The same process I went through with my husband had to be to be repeated with my entire family, and ironically, my grandmother was one of the most vociferous in speaking against it.

She couldn’t understand why I wanted to take such “risks” when I could go to a safe hospital that could take care of all complications. I passionately stated my case about why I wanted our daughter to be born at home, that it was as much a psychological matter as it was a health matter. That when she opened her tiny little eyes, it wouldn’t be a sterile florescent light to greet her but rather the soft lift of the living room fireplace.

Finally, she relented and with her blessing I was ready to have a natural child birth.

I was very prepared, or so I thought. I had the midwife’s number on speed dial and a room prepared with cloths and blankets for the delivery. Mentally I had gone to lengths to prepare by practicing meditation and breathing exercises so that the process would go off perfectly and absolve everyone’s worries.

But, lord, when the pains from the first contractions started getting intense I almost surrendered and relented to being rushed to an ER instead.

To my surprise, my husband persuaded me not too, and reminded me that it would be worth the present of a healthy baby girl.

And it was!

For every child afterwards we had natural births without a problem, and I wouldn’t advise any woman to go to a hospital and get pumped full of drugs when it’s truly not necessary or even beneficial!

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