Support: Natural or Nuts?

When I was pregnant with my now 19 month-old son, I wanted the all-natural birth experience.

My mama-in-action friends thought I was nuts. My mom and mother-in-law thought so, too. But I was convinced that it was the right way to give birth.

Oh, if only I could go back in time and tell that naive mama-to-be that there is no right way to do anything, especially birth.

So here's the thing: if your friend is determined to do all the yoga and breathing and hypnosis stuff, just let her be. Hell, play the Beatles song if that's what you have to do to keep your mouth shut.


Well, even if I could go back in time and give myself a good talking-to, I never would have listened. Yes, I set myself up for a huge disappointment when my son was a "failure to descend" and my only option was emergency C-section. Yes, I felt like an utter failure for months after the birth. And yes, I was terribly jealous of women who only had to sneeze to push their babies out.

But here's the irony in life: I wouldn't be the person I am now, without that experience. If I had been born a century ago, me and my Little Dude would have been dead from the complications I had experienced. (Do I appreciate modern medicine now!) Even more so, I have a greater appreciation for life and the process we women endure to bring new life into this world.

As family and friends, we often have to sit back and watch our loved ones stumble into a mess that we can see a mile away but they can't. We can try to talk them out of it but usually, no one listens (ahem ... especially me!). All we can do is be prepared to step in, pull them out of the wreckage and then years later over cocktails, have a good chuckle over the whole thing.

So you may think your mama-to-be is nuts for going natural, or for signing up for her epidural three months before she's due. Either way, just let it be. Be there for her before and after; when she's in the depths of despair or at the height of maternal ecstasy. Your friendship will be better for it.