Julie Dearborn, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, wrote about the birth of her second son, and the article inspired many other women to tell their stories. Dearborn opted for natural childbirth, even though she gave birth in a hospital with a 90-percent epidural rate.
But then it dawned on me: I just had to muster enough courage to push until my insides exploded. When I did, my 9.2-pound, 22-inch baby boy found his way out.
My husband and I rejoiced, happy that I’d been able to deliver the baby on my own terms, but even more grateful that he was healthy. In the end, that was all that really mattered.
Many of the women who responded with their own stories chose to have epidural pain relief, as well as pitocin, the artificial oxytocin used to stimulate contractions. These women are honest about not wanting to experience the pain -- or deciding during labor they couldn't stand the pain.
Every woman is different and every labor is different. I think it must be extremely difficult to have natural childbirth in the hospital without a midwife or doctor who is extremely experienced in the maneuvers and techniques to reduce pain and speed labor.
Many of the women who had epidurals reported being conscious and active during their labor despite the meds.