The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
I didn't see the Oprah episode you wrote about. ( I live in Sweden, and the Oprah episodes are about two-three months late here.) It does sound like her show on childbirth was very biased! Wasn't there any mother on the show who talked about how fantastical and what a miracle childbirth is? You know how those talk shows are in general. They all try to show the captivating oddities of society, so don't be scared by the women's horror stories. I'm sure that there are more moms who will tell you what a powerful, exciting, and rewarding experience it is to deliver a baby. I, for one, consider my delivery experiences as wonderful.
I have been through labor and delivery twice, and I loved the experiences! I'm even looking forward to doing it all again in August! Of course, it is tiring and it hurts. It really isn't a walk in the park! It's more like an adventure; risky, mentally demanding, frightening at times, physically tiring, where there is a feeling of victory and overwhelming happiness when the baby is born. I'm generally a coward and would never try sky-diving or bungy jumping. I'm even scared to go out in the deep water in the ocean or drive on freeways! However, childbirth is totally different. When the contractions start, it is comforting to think, "All mothers go through this. I can do it, too!" And the light at the end of the tunnel is the baby and life as the parent of a unique, little child.
However, I think that women need lots of confidence in themselves and their bodies to retain a positive attitude during birth. I didn't elect to have pain-killers during my deliveries, but I don't think of myself as "stupid." I feel rather that I was mentally prepared (I'd been reading a lot about childbirth and prophylactic methods), and I had confidence in my own ability to deal with the pain of contractions through breathing. I felt strong and in control, and wanted to remain fully alert mentally during the births and to welcome my babies.
There are lots of experiences that I would consider more frightening or draining than childbirth. For example, I think that the stomach flu is much worse when it lasts! Morning sickness is actually no picnic either! The idea of root canal is much less appealing to me than childbirth. And C-sections seem really terrifying to me, although I wouldn't have any choice in the matter if the situation presented itself. The thought of being anesthetized for an operation really frightens me. I would also get extremely anxious if I was awake during a C-section, lying there open for the world, and not being able to move my lower body.
I loved and bonded with my babies right after delivery, and did not suffer from post-partum depression. I felt proud of my babies and proud of being a mother, and generally felt more energetic than during the end of pregnancy. (However, it was difficult to get enough sleep while the babies were newborns, and that was sometimes tough. But luckily, that soon passed.)
I just wanted to share my own positive feelings about childbirth and
babies with you so that you won't be so scared of the whole thing. It really
is the experience of a lifetime! Try not to miss it!
I am sure you will get lots of mail on this. I had NO drugs with either
of my children, no epidurals either. I would do it that way again too,
but each woman has her own threshold of pain tolerance. NO, CHILDBIRTH
IS NOT HORRIFIC!!! It does hurt, and you do sweat, and you must work thru
it, but it is not a nightmare. The most wonderful moment of all is when
you "pop" out your child, and he/she is immediately placed on your bosom.
It is truly like falling in love. I will remember that moment with my son
forever. And you DO forget the pain.
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