Here I am sitting in my midwifes office and she is going thru pain management options with me. I had a completely natural birth last time, didn’t think it was that bad and was ready for more babies in a quick hurry, (Point in case being 13 weeks pregnant by my daughters first birthday) but I figured “anything can happen” and decided to listen and learn. I feel a bit shocked to hear that they offer morphine during labor, (I already knew that but I still feel surprised and reluctant to accept that that is an option). Then she oh so casually mentions that you can take fentanyl to help with pain management. At this point I am sure my mouth is gapping open in absolute shock, as is my husbands. Yes, I am educated in knowing that any medicine that can be abused and very harmful, can also have some very beneficial side affects when used and dosed by a professional, I am not ignorant. Fentanyl really has a bad reputation where I am from and lets be honest I’ve heard a lot more bad and scary things about it than the good healing properties of it. I was just really surprised that anyone would consider it an option.
I made the mistake of posting about my shock on Facebook, and a month later I am still bothered by a comment alluding to the fact that I’m a mom-shamer, so here I am stating my case. Before I continue let me just say that how you birth your babies, how you feed them, or how you parent them, doesn’t bother me one bit. It affects me zero if you have a c section, if you have a completely natural birth, if you take every single type of medicine offered to you, if you have a vbac, or a planned c section, or if you have no children at all. I am not affected by how your children are born. What affects me is my decisions. So go for it! Have whatever birth experience you want. I think we should all be entitled to it and supported in it and happy with how our children are born. That doesn’t mean my choices are right for you, or that your choices are right for me always. We can still support each other and not agree with one another.
For me pain medication is not a good option. I guess I am kind of a prude. I don’t even like taking Tylenol for a headache. I don’t smoke weed, and I rarely drink. No matter what medication I take I always get the full list of side affects, always. I am very sensitive to anything I put into my body, and therefore very cautious to what medicines and even vitamins that I use. I had a great labor last time. Yes I was in pain but it was something that I dealt with and got thru it. I read books and watched videos on childbirth, and prepared myself. I felt ready to birth a baby and I can honestly say that I was never scared. Maybe I am lucky. Maybe my body was made for birthing babies. Maybe I have a high pain tolerance. Or maybe I put in a lot of hard work before hand to prepare myself for what was about to happen.
My exact comment on my status was “I did it drug free last time and intend on doing it the same this time. People can do whatever feels good to them but for me it wasn’t that bad I would rather suck it up and not have to deal with potential side effects.” and quiet frankly I don’t think I deserve to get labelled a mom-shamer for that. Why can’t I be aware of potential side affects to me and my baby? Why can’t I be educated on the cost of my pain management? Why does knowing what could happen to my body and deciding against it make me less supportive of those who go for it? Believe me, I did not birth my child naturally with no pain relief to be superior to anyone else, I did it all for me!
I in no way feel superior to any other woman, but I do sometimes feel judged. I’ve heard the comment many times “I’m no super hero, give me all the drugs.” Is that comment not a bit condescending to all the women who do do it naturally? Isn’t it a bit sarcastic and maybe even a bit rude? If I am not allowed to say that my labor wasn’t that bad and I didn’t need drugs, then maybe all the pain managing women could kindly keep their super hero comments to themselves also? Here’s the thing, there is always going to be something to feel guilty about when growing/raising/parenting babies, ALWAYS. Birth is unpredictable and can be scary and exciting and anything can happen, people manage their experiences differently, no two birth situations are exactly the same, so can we just stop being offended? When I hear comments that don’t sit with me right, I ignore them, I take pride in myself that I made the right decision for me and my family, and I was happy with the experience that I had. The next time you think I am mom-shaming, stop. We don’t have to make the same decisions for me to be supportive. Actually you don’t need me to be supportive at all (tho I am), you made your decisions, be happy with them. You did good Momma.