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Well, I am a lurker but I thought I would say hello. I have no kids but have been reading TONNES about NCB because of the experiences of two of my friends. One was very rational and well educated, hired a midwife, had her first birth in a supportive environment (hospital where mw had privileges) and her second was a home birth with midwives in attendance.
My other friend wanted a natural childbirth and went into labor on her own. She arrived at the hospital at 9 cm (NINE!?) and immediately the pressure started for the epi. (I didn't think they could even do them that late!) she ended up getting it and then her labor slowed right down. The ob/gyn then strolled in carrying a latte and told her not to worry, they could get that baby out of her. They suctioned the baby out, tearing and ripping my friend internally and externally. It took them forty minutes to sew her up! She was released from the hospital after the nurses gave her baby formula and soothers, and came down with a mighty infection that landed from the use of the suction device.
Now, I don't care what a person says about pain in the moment! If my choice is a painful birth that results in a healthy baby and a normal recovery for mom vs a "pain free" birth that results in healing from that kind of tearing and infection.... I'm taking the healthy recovery!
I don't talk about my "whacky" ideas wrt child birth because any time it's come up, I'm just told how crazy I am!
Anyhow, sorry for the loooooong intro post! DH and I are set to TTC in April when we come back from our honeymoon in Nashville, TN! So, from TTC until baby's arrival, I will be here lurking, reading, and stalking birth stories!