Why I Wanted a Natural, Unmedicated Childbirth

Even before we found out we were pregnant, my husband and I were agreement that when the time came for us to have children, we wanted to try to do so without drugs or surgery. At first, it was because I deeply wanted to avoid a C-section, and I know that once you introduce one medical intervention, others are more apt to follow. Consequently, the best predictor of avoiding a C-section is to avoid drugs in the first place.

But upon finding out we were expecting and childbirth became all the more real, I began thinking and praying about the whole laboring process. And through that, I started to not care as much about the possibility of having C-section. Instead, having an unmedicated birth began to feel more like a calling to me than just a means to an end.

Before I go on, I’d like to say that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting an epidural or using Pitocin or having a C-section or anything else really. I don’t think that’s evil or even bad. I don’t think having a natural birth is something to be deemed necessary or better or to boast about. I know many people get hung up on those things and use them to judge others and the method of childbirth can become something divisive. That is exactly what I want to avoid doing with this post.

Because for me, the finalized choice to have an unmedicated birth was based on one simple fact: It was what I felt the Lord was calling me to. I felt like doing so provided a chance for me to learn to lean on him in a very physical way—much like I had to during my kidney stone incident. That was the first time I’d ever been exposed to physical suffering and hardship, when I wasn’t in control of even my own body.

I began to see this birth of mine as an opportunity for me to draw near to the Lord and watch him work so intimately in my life; not simply to knit together a baby in my womb. But also to draw her out from it, into my arms. It became a sacred thing, where I knew I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to have to experience, but I wanted to take a leap of faith and trust the Lord with that.

Of course, I was never opposed to medication or intervention if it truly was necessary. But I really wanted to lean on the Lord himself, rather than any drugs, to deliver this daughter of mine to me.

So while I read up on the physical aspects of a natural birth and hired a well-respected (and Christian!) doula, I also began studying things in the Bible like physical pain and suffering and the Lord’s role in that. And once I began to embrace this call—as scary as it was—and realize that I was not going at it alone, but with the Lord by my side, a confidence began to mount. I began to envision the birth as not just me pushing my baby out, but the Lord at work, guiding her out. As teamwork.

In the Hebrew tradition, a couple gets married under the chuppah (like an overhead curtain), representing the fact that a marriage is not just between a man and a woman, but that the Lord hovers over it and plays a role, as well. Two become three. And I saw that imagery vivid in giving birth, as well.

What had been a decision borne out of fear (needles, staples, incisions and blood) became one emboldened by the desire to let the Lord lead this labor and delivery of mine, to put the process and the pain in his hands and trust him with that. I’d seen him work it out once before, and I wanted to submit myself to that once again, if only to have my heart and eyes opened even more to his grace and mercy and fatherly love.

And you know what? It was, because it turned out to be much more of a spiritual struggle than I'd anticipated, which you can read all about, if you haven't already, in my daughter's natural birth story.

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Waiting on God and Finding Joy Amidst the Pain of Suffering
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  1. I really wanted a natural birth story but the Lord had other plans and the baby wouldn't allow it. http://wearemartins.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/our-birth-story-our-labor-very-long-but-not-what-you-may-think/ I am glad you got the story you longed for, it is hard to know all future birth stories will be based on my first.

  2. This is so unbelievably beautiful and I'm proud you made it through! Robert & I felt the same way, but it just didn't turn out the way we hoped. I pray for my other births I can go all natural!!! Good for you. All the best to your little family. :)

  3. Wow. Such a happy story! You are an inspiration to me! It feels as though God is re-stirring this desire in my heart as well from years ago, just by reading this :) I, too, desired to go all-natural when we start a family. Then I guess I forgot all about it when I realized we weren't getting pregnant the first few times of trying, and turns out it was a condition I have. Nonetheless, its still a star burning in my heart that obviously doesn't want to burn out ;) I'm so happy for you that it all worked our perfectly! God bless you and your family!


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