I was making lunch for my kids yesterday and contemplating how the easy things to make usually aren't as healthy as foods that take time to prepare. Maybe you've heard it said before that you should avoid the isles at the grocery store and only shop the perimeter of the store where the fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and dairy are kept (the fresh foods). Kids know this to be true too, they know that anything that comes in a wrapper that makes a crinkly noise is going to taste good. I have been striving to prepare healthy meals for my family and avoid processed and fast foods. It seems so easy, but in the hustle and bustle of daily life, crackers from a box and waffles from the freezer are the easy alternative, while not necessarily the healthiest option.
What does this have to do with labor? I am trying to make a point, so here goes. When I tell people that I have had 3 natural births, I often get a reaction something like this, "You're crazy! Why would you go through all that pain when you can just get an epidural?" On the surface I can see their point. But life just doesn't seem to work that way, taking the easy way, I mean. I know that we all want the easy way and no one seeks out the hard way to do things, but sometimes you have to work a little bit harder in order to get a greater reward. To use a cliche, you get what you pay for. Eating a home-cooked meal usually tastes better and is better for you than say a frozen pizza, but the home-cooked meal, however took longer to make and was more of an effort. I think labor is the same way.
I wanted to have a natural birth because I knew that it was possible and could be done. Women have been having natural births for thousands of years! I wanted to avoid any drugs or medications that could affect my baby. At the hospital, a nurse told me that I wouldn't win a medal for having a natural birth, but you know what? After each baby was born, I felt like I had just won a medal. I actually felt great, physically and mentally. My babies were very alert after birth, and I was able to get up and walk right away. I truly feel that a natural birth was worth it.
Now, I have to admit, that we do have the occasional frozen pizza for dinner, and my kids have had fast food from time to time, but overall we strive for the best and healthiest options for our children. For my husband and I that also meant starting with a medication-free birth. Hard work does have its rewards.