• Tracey

    In planning for my second child, I too found myself empowered by the idea of natural childbirth. I pored over every book on the subject, watched the Business of Being Born, researched doula etc. I was rallying against unnecessary medical interventions. I told my friends I’d never allow myself to be induced, that induction starts the downhill spiral of birth interventions…..ultimately resulting in a undesired c-section.

    And then, unexpectedly at 38 1/2 weeks, my baby died. Died in utero after a healthy and uneventful pregnancy. No answers as to why or how, she just died.

    And then all of a sudden, all of those thoughts of how we’d bring her into the world in a natural way seemed so shallow. What I wouldn’t give to just have her here, and alive – any degree of medical intervention, if I could just have my baby live.

    She’d be 6 months old now, and I’d willingly take a c-section scar over this hole in my heart.

  • http://www.laurelhermanson.com/Home/about-the-author Laurel

    Thanks for all the traffic today. I really did send you my book in the hopes that you would enjoy it; also, I could totally see you as the main character. Give it a chance and you may end up being pleasantly surprised. Or give it to a friend who reads. The thought of my baby in a room full of rejects breaks my heart. :(

  • Nicole

    I had both of my boys naturally so I’m hoping I can hold my lack of epidural over their heads and get better Mother’s Day gifts. I kid! Not really….

    I was lucky though as our health insurance/provider encouraged us to use midwives and deliver either at home or in a birthing center. They were proud of their high percentage of woman who decided to forgo any epidurals, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/VictoryTrue Chriss

    Dude- you are much stronger then me if you made it through without drugs. I have three children I used some sort of drug each time. Much stronger. Good for you!

  • michelle

    Ricki Lake should totally have you be a guest on Charm School.

  • Shae

    So pleased that you have influened so many Mamas not to just hand their birth over to the hospital. I’m another nutso LOL-my first in the hospital (horrible experience) and my second and third at home (incredible experience)

    Did you know the Australian government is trying to makechomebirth with an independant midwife illegal? Taking the choice away and forcing women to birth in hospital is so scary!

  • Loretta

    Heather, I had a totally natural childbirth 29 years ago when I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I walked into the hospital around 4 AM and, when I was finally checked by a nurse, found out that I was dilated to 10!!! I asked her what that meant (I still had to complete a few childbirth classes)and she told me that I could start “pushing”. I was in pain so I asked for morphine (when in pain and in a hospital…you get morphine, right?) Well, she told me I could not have morphine or anything else!!! I thought that I was going to die right then and there. She helped me regulate the pushing with each contraction until I was able to push three times with every contraction. This went on for awhile until my husband said, “Whatever we’re going to have has a lot of black hair”! I asked him how long he was able to see the head and he said, ….”fifteen minutes, or so”. I excitedly told him to call the nurse who just happened to walk in and freaked out. She told me to stop pushing and she immediately wheeled me across to the delivery room. The doctor came in and said, “I’m going to give you a shot for the episiotomy but I’m afraid you’re still going to feel it”. I could feel the “tugging” as he cut but it was really nothing that hurt me. I asked if I could finally push and the doctor said, “Yes”. After two pushes, my daughter came flying out. I asked if I could push out the afterbirth and I was told to “push away”. The only medication I had since stepping foot into the hospital was a Tylenol because me tailbone hurt. The whole time I was in labor, I wasn’t hooked up to anything…no fetal monitor, no IV’s, nothing. I do remember feeling totally relaxed, calm and peaceful between contractions…a feeling I couldn’t understand and a feeling I haven’t had since. Looking back on the whole experience, I just thought that was the way every woman gave birth. Little did I know!!!!!!!!! My daughter gave birth 2 1/2 years ago to my grandson via c-section because he was in the breech position. She is going to have another baby in Oct. and she wants to try a VBAC. She has a great OB/GYN who will discuss that possibility as the time gets closer. She has heard my story a million times and she is hoping for a similar experience.

  • ~Jenn

    Your remarks about natural childbirth will change the lives of women and improve births across the country. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I birthed both my boys without painkillers/painblockers and it was the best thing for all of us. I look forward to reading the rest of your story.


  • Shae

    So pleased that you have influened so many Mamas not to just hand their birth over to the hospital. I’m another nutso LOL-my first in the hospital (horrible experience) and my second and third at home (incredible experience)

    Did you know the Australian government is trying to makechomebirth with an independant midwife illegal? Taking the choice away and forcing women to birth in hospital is so scary!

  • Cate

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I realize medical intervention is sometimes necessary and I wouldn’t deny that to anybody, but it’s so ironic to me that women who won’t have a sip of cola or an aspirin during their pregnancy are so willing to take absolutely anything to avoid any pain during the birth.

    The answer I have given to everyone who’s asked me what childbirth is like is “It hurts and it’s worth it.”

    Let’s hope you’ve inspired some women to try “natural”.

  • Lara

    Thank you so much #166! I know everyone wants to keep an open mind, but in my natural childbirth circles I really am made to feel (not on purpose, just “naturally”) that my hospital births are second-class, my spiritual experience of birth was inferior or less intense because I was in a hospital when I gave birth, that I wasn’t present during labor, and that somehow the medical establishment ran my labor and forced unwanted drugs on me. Nothing could be further from the facts.

    I went into my first labor with pretty much a normal fear of the unknown. In my mind I had decided I wanted to do the labor myself, and as labor pains came on quickly and hard, I started seeing stars, getting dizzy, having trouble getting enough oxygen in. The pain was so hellish I couldn’t breathe properly. My husband and nurse kept reminding me. I hung on with my husband’s support and the strategies we’d learned in childbirth class (where natural childbirth was heavily touted). I worked hand in hand with the delivery team, from walking around to a whirlpool bath to being in whatever position I wanted. This went on for about three hours. I still can’t believe today that I hung in there as long as I did.

    By that point my strength was flagging and I was literally starting to lose control of the pain. It was horrific, unspeakable, traumatic. I asked for an epidural, got it at the last possible moment they’d let me have one, slept for several hours, then they turned the tap way down and I took about four more hours to push out the baby. The pain was intense, but the epidural took the edge off enough that I could focus on pushing, which itself helps with the pain. I wasn’t looking for total lack of pain, and I didn’t get it.

    That birth was awful. I tore badly, both inside and out, and it took me a long time to be willing to consider another child after the agony of bearing the first one. Getting over the trauma of that level of pain took months and months. If I hadn’t had the epidural and the full support of the staff, I would only have one child today, and that is a fact.

    I knew going in that my physiological pain threshold is unusually low. All of you who can do childbirth without drugs, I’m envious of the ability to do that. I simply don’t have it. What often bothers me is people talking about being brave and strong (every labor is about those qualities, right?) through a natural labor, as if my epi labor was easy and wimpy. I was brave and strong too, I just don’t have the pain tolerance for the unbelievable level of pain I go through in labor.

    Let’s be honest and say right out that different women experience different levels of pain during labor. It’s not about who’s brave and who’s wimpy. We actually have different physical levels of sensation, as well as differing physiological tolerance (which is a set part of our system, not affected by willpower). I’ve been with new moms in births as well as my own labors, and it’s crystal clear that everyone has a different experience of pain.

    The second birth was induced because my son was so large. They gave me some pitocin but soon turned that off because my body quickly took over. I delivered a healthy, alert baby in two and a half hours. It was a great, happy labor. I felt strong and in control — I did what I needed and the staff was supportive. What made the difference? The second time, I asked for the epidural as soon as the pain reached that ghastly level, instead of trying to ride it out and ending up screaming and out of control. This second time I was able to stay sane, alert, involved, and fully present in my second labor, where in the first labor I was hysterical with pain, traumatized, and hardly knew what was going on around me.

    This bad first labor was not the fault of the epidural or a staff forcing drugs on me. I made it *through* that first labor because of the epi, late as it was, and the second epi labor was pure joy. I don’t know what different parts of the country are like, but I gave birth twice in conservative eastern Washington State, and they were great. “Whatever you want,” they said, and they meant it.

    So moms, I would support recommendations made here for researching natural childbirth. But also research hospital births. There are advantages to natural childbirth and advantages to hospital birth. Any material that doesn’t say that, that’s dogmatic about birth needing to be the same for everyone (or setting up their own method as the “best” way that *everyone* should aim for, regardless of a multitude of relevant factors) — well, that hurts its credibility. Ask around, talk to moms who have done both. Read books and see films about both.

    In the end, whatever you decide, your body and your baby will have their way with you and you should be flexible to go along for the ride, informed enough to make the best possible decision no matter what surprises pop up. I had to change my “no drugs” plan during that first labor, and I’m so glad I did. I can’t describe the deep spirituality and the physical/emotional high of giving birth that second time, when I was fully present.

    I would say, don’t let people tell you that drugs, any drugs, all drugs, no matter how small the dose or how necessary they are, will rob you of sensation or emotions or cause you to have a sleepy baby who can’t nurse. These things happen to some babies, regardless of how or where they’re born. I needed drugs, and when I listened to my body and gave it what it needed during that second labor, my body did a perfect job of laboring and delivered a perfect baby son who was alert and immediately nursed.

    You guys, I hope I haven’t sounded antagonistic. I just want to provide some balance here in the comments and reassure us “other” women who had a totally different experience in hospital birth than evidently some of our sisters did — that you’re not alone, not weak, not inferior, and your spiritual experience and “high” after giving birth is no less intense and real than that of a natural/home childbirth. You’re no less present in your birth.

    Hospital birth vs. home/natural birth is a choice all expectant moms need to become fully informed about. Truthfully, part of being informed is remembering that while we have given birth for thousands of years without modern medicine, we have also died like flies for thousands of years, and so have our newborn babies, for lack of modern medicine.

    Surely some middle ground can be found where we can all meet and not inwardly think less of others, or subtly downgrade the intensity, realness, whatever, of their birth experience. This has been my personal experience with natural childbirth friends — great people who genuinely believe it is the best way for every woman who ever lived to give birth. That’s too rigid — very much like the medical establishment they dislike so much. We talk about it openly, and that’s good.

    Do what your body tells you. It might be “I need an epi to do this labor well” or it might be “Just hang with me and we’ll get this done.” Either way, you are a brave, strong woman who has done an amazing, amazing thing.

    Thanks for letting me go on!!

  • http://dou-la-la.blogspot.com Dou-la-la

    Newcomer to this blog, thanks to Unnecessarean’s post on this (and I’m now devouring the archives voraciously). My fist is in the air. Right on, woman.

    In case anyone else is still reading the comments, a perfect follow-up to both “Your Best Birth” and “Business of Being Born” is “Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care” by Jennifer Block. I read it shortly before BoBB came out and it is astoundingly great.

    Anyway. Congratulations, Dooce. You freakin’ rock.

  • http://www.spaces.msn.com/gilliangaladriel Gillian

    Effusive praise.

    My first was with a midwife in a hospital, drug-free kind of by accident actually. And it was absolutely a sacred and wonderful experience. Nobody believes me when I say that. Maybe they’ll believe you. I remember the hard work more than the pain. I remember feeling like the badassedest badass in the world when I was done. I still do.

    Every one of my friends who was pregnant at the same time, including all the women in my hospital birthing class, TO A WOMAN, was induced early, got an epidural, the labor slowed down, and she had to have a C section. Every. Single. One. One had a scheduled C section because they were certain the baby was huge, and she’d never birth it without a third degree tear. The baby was seven pounds, perfectly average. One of them was induced because she had a mild uncomfortable rash and the doc said “Let’s go ahead and get this baby out.” 40 hours of labor with little progression, she had a C section, they nicked her without noticing, she passed out from massive internal bleeding, and two hours later she was sans uterus. 30 years old. One kid. Hysterectomy. For a mild rash.

    I love doctors, I do. I love hospitals. They mostly do wonderful work. But I hate the way pregnant, laboring, and delivering women are treated. Hate it. It is not a medical condition. It is a state of being that yes, may lead to increased chance of a medical condition. But pregnancy is not a disease to be cured.

    I’d better stop, before my horse gets so high I reach the stratosphere and pass out from lack of oxygen.

  • http://vancouverhometown.blogspot.com anna

    I have three kids – and all three I did without drugs. The first was by choice, the second I begged for drugs (because DUH I did this before and it was no picnic), but I didn’t get them. The doctor (a man) kept telling me that I was doing fine and I didn’t need drugs. My for my third, I begged once again, and again I was denied. However, after each of those births my recovery was amazing. It was like a half hour later I was ready to leave the hospital.

    What I am thankful for more than anything was that I was able to have my babies with minimal medical intervention. And I am thankful for the support of my husband, doula and for my third baby, a midwife (best decision EVER).

  • cristen

    well GOOD FOR YOU! I am so pleased. I loved that movie myself and recommend it to pregnant women all the time. I had my last 2 kids all natural, and those deliveries were so much easier and better than the 1st, who was 2 weeks late and was induced, which lead eventually (after 6 hours on pitocin with no pain killers, which I don’t recommend) to an epidural, and it took a LOT longer and was much harder. Natural childbirth all the way. I am a big proponent.

    Can’t wait to hear the rest! And hopefully your story will encourage more women to consider natural childbirth themselves. Get out there and use your platform to do all you can to spread the word.

  • kerry

    i’m glad you had such a great birthing experience. i wish i’d been able to have that with my two children.

  • Lacy Tipton

    Thank you for posting this, people really look up to you as an honest person and I truly believe it is people like you who can open up the eyes of so many of us who have not taken the time to know our options in childbirth. Thank you again, a very important subject to tackle.

  • Ashley

    wow!!!! natural birth that takes alot. i would of never been able to do that when i had my son. pain is to much for me thank you for sharing part one of ur labor can wait for part two. i tried to send you an email but i guess it didnt work i would love to email you and chat back in forth i have a few questions if thats ok well cant wait for part two and congratulations on the new baby girl!!

  • http://minnesotajo.blogspot.com/ Jo

    I’m so excited to hear the rest of the story. I started out wanting to go the natural route and was able to do so with all three of my babies. Seeing as how I cry over hangnails…well…it was truly a miracle.

    I just loved The Business of Being Born. If someone is here and looking for inspiration then I also recommend Ina May Gaskin’s book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. Also look into the Bradley Method. I swear, it will change your LIFE.


  • Hayde

    I am looking forward to your next post! I attempted two natural childbirths that ended with 2 beautiful boys coming into our lives, but so much disappointment for my “failed” birth plan. It is what it is. But our third child was born at home with a gathering of some of the most wonderful women in my life, and my husband. My third birth experience was also very sacred and spiritual. It takes nothing away from the previous births, they, in their own right, helped to make the third time the most incredible experience my family and friends could have shared. Thanks for sharing with us. Mazel Tov!

  • Tine

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the U.S. maternal mortality rates today. Which are the worst in the industrialized world.

    #649 Kim and all other naysayers who haven’t thoroughly researched and compared the facts on hospital/medicalized birth vs. homebirth/natural birth, please do. There are far more horror stories about medical births gone bad than natural ones. In this country, a woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy is way more likely to have a safer birth at home.

    The model is broken. It needs fixing.

  • http://shriekhouse.wordpress.com shriek house

    Wow, this resonates for me so much (right up to and including the sprinkler tits) except with my 2nd delivery I chickened out again and demanded the epidural en route to the hospital. Reading your post makes me wish I’d summoned the huevos to do it naturally… and I’m so curious to hear how it went for you! Please don’t keep us hanging too long.

  • S

    I can’t wait to hear more of your birth story…even though I am done having babies, I can’t wait to check out the book!

    I too have experienced both natural and epidural birth. Hands down, without question, I look back on the natural experience with great fondness. It was the most exciting, loving, life-changing experience that I had hoped to have the second time around. When that didn’t happen, and even though I was holding a healthy baby in my arms, I was incredibly sad not to have had the natural kind of birth I wanted.

    So happy for you and your beautiful baby!

  • Nina

    I had a natural childbirth and no drugs for both my children and the first was the most utterly transformative, empowering experience of my life. The second was just as amazing and beautiful and also resulted in one of the most wonderfully intimate moments of my five year marriage (no, nothing like that~). To be in that state of such primal strength and vulnerability and having my husband be so completely present and supportive and in love with me in that moment was very, very moving for us both. I didn’t want a home birth (for the “just in case”) but I was fortunate that our hospital has a midwife/OBGYN practice so the very capable midwives (who also train the OBGYN residents) were the ones who took care of me. I also had the same amazing doula both times. I know I couldn’t have done it without the support of her and my husband.

    Anyway, not that you asked for all that, but I just wanted to share. I think women should be able to choose the birth they feel comfortable with (barring complications for the health of mother or child), whether that means an epidural or birth in a bathtub. Medical professionals in general need to be more open and supportive of natural childbirth and should try to minimize the invasiveness of medical practices during childbirth when possible.

    I’m so glad you had a good experience giving birth to Marlo. She is beautiful.

  • http://www.itinerantyak.blogspot.com jojo44

    After reading this amazing post, I know exactly why Heather manages to make a great living for her family through this blog. God Bless This Woman!! Seriously, you are incredible. This is the first comment I have every posted (because, who the hell is going to read it?).

  • Marie

    Worth the wait. You rock!

  • janet jackson

    just watched the business of being born a few weeks ago.. what a great film, and how truly mindboggling that not very many women (or men) know the statistics involved… GO RENT IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT!
    congrats, heather, can’t wait to read part 2!

  • http://www.momstimeouts.com Katrin

    I wanted a natural childbirth when I had my first child. When the pain became unbearable, I begged for relief and my midwife, believing she was helping me keep my “promise” to myself, left me alone for an hour to think it over. I was in such pain I couldn’t think. I knew then that if I were ever tortured it would take me less than two minutes to cave in.

    My child ended up weighing almost ten pounds and being turned the wrong way around. I pushed for three hours and when he came out, I tore all the way through. I couldn’t have sex without pain for six months.

    The birth of my second child was like a miracle (apart from the absolute terror I felt until I got the epidural). I talked, laughed and participated in the birth. When she came out, I did not feel as though I had just been in a horrific car crash. I felt happy and exhausted and intact.

    I wish drug free childbirth had been something I could have loved and could have encouraged others to do. In theory, I do love it. In practice, it almost broke my spirit.

    I tell all first time mothers: Keep an open mind. Trust your instincts, either way.

  • http://themichnos.blogspot.com Pamela Michno

    I had my first baby girl Delilah at home with a midwife and doula and it was a wonderful uplifting experience. I’m 9 mos pregs with another girl and LOOKING FORWARD(no, I’m not high) to another awesome homebirth. I’m not anti – hospital but here in Orange County where the c-section rate is 50%, it’s just TOO HARD to have a natural birth in a hospital. I really love my midwife and the peace of not having to demand quiet, laboring any way I want, pushing on my watch and in any position I chose, no episiotomies, no time limit on labor and delayed cord clamping.

    Thank you so much for posting your story – can’t wait to hear part 2!!!

  • Becky

    Your experience and decisions sound so similar to mine when I had my third child. Good for you for doing the research and making decisions you and Jon were both comfortable with. I think as women making well informed birthing choices, no matter what we ultimately decide is so much more important than most women realize.

  • Robin

    I’m excited about this change in you!!And so so surprised to learn about this after hearing your views on vaccinations. Also love Marlo’s name, my little guy’s name is Milo. Can’t wait for part 2!!

  • Jennifer on the Central Coast

    Heather – When I had my twin girls 4 years ago, I had a c-section. Partially because the smaller twin wasn’t getting enough nourishment, but also because I was scared of the pain of labour. (Prepared childbirth classes teach you about shit you wish you never had to know!) Instead of inducing labour, which could have been some 36 hours of fun, possibly followed by a c-section if the smaller girl got into trouble, I asked for a c-section up front. My step-wife (the mother of my step-children) said, “Aww…you’re gonna miss the fun of labour!” I thought she was nuts. She had her two w/o drugs. But after having my girls, and having my tubes tied (I was 40. I’m done!) I have to say….she had a point. I do feel like I missed something. I console myself that it was a good choice for me and my babies. They were (and are) very healthy, despite being 6 weeks early. Spent minimal time in the NICU. And now you’d never know they were premature.

    Good on ya, sister! I’m glad it was a good experience for you. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story! Did Jon come over faint?

  • http://www.fuschiafoot.tumblr.com Rachel

    The timing of this post is incredible–I watched the Business of Being Born last night for the 3rd time (showing it to my best friend who is 5 months pregnant) and then immediately started reading Your Best Birth to see if it was something I would recommend to others (I’m a doula). I think they are both fabulous, eye-opening experiences, and I’m so glad that someone with your influence is letting others know they changed your life. For the better. THANK YOU!

  • Anonymous

    So glad you had this experience. SO GLAD. I wish you didn’t have something against the hippies… because it’s the hippies that know how eff’d up stuff’s gonna get if we keep treating the earth and ourselves the way we are… but I’m REALLY glad that this particular light reached you. Like, stoked. Because people read you and love you… me included! And I only shave sometimes, and recycle everything, and cry about our atmosphere, and subscribe largely to a nature faith, and believe the disposable diapers are symbolic of our culture’s shortsightedness and pain. But whatever. You rock and I wish the number of times I ping your site and read what you write would somehow fund your use and advocacy of sustainable stuff. But we can all dream, right?

    Best wishes with your beautiful little girls.

  • http://mamaunfurling.wordpress.com Heather

    Heather – I am pretty astonished to read this. And seriously – GO YOU! You opened yourself to new chances and experiences and seriously – that is awesome.

    My first birth was so medically intervened with that it DID end in a completely unnecessary cesarean. My second birth, with my daughter Lilly this past March, was a homebirth. And oh god, how empowering that was!

    I applaud you and thank you so for bringing up this kind of thing, especially since your blog *is* so widely read. Its important! I just wish more people realized HOW important birth is.

  • http://meganbhulsey.wordpress.com Megan

    Wow. I cannot wait to read the rest of Marlo’s birth story! I too had a natural childbirth, after watching the BOBB movie and doing A LOT of reading on the subject. I am so glad that I did it, and I’m glad that you are sharing with us.

  • Melissa H

    Thank you for writing this! I am pregnant with #2 and am already having nightmares about the delivery. Delivered #1 with no drugs and was fine but am already terrorized by what is ahead of me. I look forward to Part 2 (and maybe 3 and 4) to give me hope. And maybe I will go buy that book to remind myself why I want to do this au natural!

  • http://www.ohblahdah.blogspot.com Geri

    *** YAY! Love reading this — as with all your stories, but the happy ending of this one is MARLO!

    *** We’ve been waiting to read this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa

    It’s been 12 years since I had my son, and I just don’t get the whole labor-as-life-changing-experience thing. To me, it was a means to an end: Delivering a healthy baby. I wasn’t sure I would have an epidural, but when the pain got to be too much, I did. It wasn’t a big deal to me. After my son was born, I barely ever thought about the labor and delivery again. Like I said, means to an end.

  • Joceline

    I can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    I’ve had two natural births. The first was in a hospital, and the second was at home. Both were amazing in their own ways, but giving birth in my bathtub and being the very first one to pick my baby up, discover that she is a girl, and then hold her for two hours straight without interruption made me realize what a disservice the American medical system does to healthy moms and babies every day.

    I’m so glad you got to experience that incredible hormone rush and high after a natural birth! People look at me like I’m crazy when I try to describe it!

  • http://buyprams.com.au prams

    Waiting for the rest with bated breath…

  • marissa

    thank you so much for this! i try to tell everyone i know about the beauty of home births ever since i read “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin (cool midwife activist) and also after seeing some insane videos of women actually orgasming during birth…! it can be done!

  • Diana

    As one of those dirty hippies who births at home, I’d like to say congratulations. Every birth is amazing, no matter the small details but there’s just something so fucking powerful in doing it naturally. You did good. Now, what’s your address so I can send you your complimentary welcome to the club bottle of patchouli?

  • Karin

    Oh, Heather. I love reading your writing SO much, but it makes me so scared to have a baby. I’m 27 and get about to get married, and I only hope that I have your strength if that time comes for me. It scares me to death.

  • http://kellyandcourtneymarsh.blogspot.com Kelly

    Yay for the labor story! I gave birth to my first child, a boy, on June 10th. I kept saying I wanted to do it without drugs but that I would do whatever I needed to do. I also said I wanted to “get to the hospital and be too far along so I wouldn’t have a choice.” Be careful what you wish for! I got to the hospital and was at a 9, got into the delivery room at a 10 and started pushing. That’s when they realized oops!! You’re baby is ASS FIRST!!! Yep – no drugs and breech. He came out unharmed and beautiful. Did it hurt like hell? Yes! Was it worth it? YES!!

  • Michelle

    I saw Business of Being Born after my daughter was born and was saddened again by my experience. I had been induced because I was ten days overdue, and everything I had read about induction happened to me, horrible, unnatural contractions, scary issues with my baby and all wrapped up in a c-section. The next time around I plan to empower myself and take control of the birth. I am looking forward to hearing part 2!

  • http://prettylittlepenny.blogspot.com Be Like The Squirrel, Girl

    One of my best friends gave me a copy of Birthing from Within and I thought it was really helpful. I still had a hospital birth with an epidural under the care of my OBGYN, but it was a VERY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE and I would do it all again. I credit my doctor for being outstanding.

    Meanwhile, my friend took a Birthing from Within class and had her baby naturally in the hospital with a doula and a midwife. My point is, it is good to be informed about options and that it is possible to have a good birthing experience, drugs or no.

  • Abbey

    Congrats on your new little girl!

    I’ve been reading your blog weekly for about a year and just now realized how influenced I am by it! My husband and I are having our first baby in December and until now, I had no strong feelings either way about a medicalized versus natural labor and birth. As I read this post, however, I immediately went to Amazon to buy the books you recommended. And while after I read “It Sucked and Then I Cried” I thought I would just go ahead and get an epidural, I am now seriously considering the natural route. I look forward to reading part two of this post!

  • Wendi

    My God, I don’t know you, but you are NUTS and I love you!!

  • Lori

    So happy for you Heather! All of these comments are interesting, so I’ll add my point of view. I had my babies via c-section, and I too felt that my childbirths were empowering and spiritual. Honestly I never imagined how amazing the process would be, how bonded I was instantly with each of my children, and how much confidence having my children has provided. What I can’t understand is why those that have natural childbirth feel this is unique to them or that another method is inferior. When will we women stop doing this to each other?