Let me start by saying, I'm a pain baby. I've always been really quick to take a pill to alleviate whatever might be feeling not quite right. So when it came to the idea of childbirth, I always knew I would be going straight to the hospital, getting whatever it takes to remove ALL pain, etc. no questions asked. Let someone else be a martyr.
Then I got married. My husband really wanted to try to not use drugs, for the baby's benefit. I thought, "Fat Chance!" but agreed to do some reading up on the subject. We had some really close friends in town who had their baby at home, with a midwife, hypnobirthing style, and a lot of other things that I thought were nuts, but her prerogative. More power to her. She loaned me a book however that changed my entire outlook.
I really appreciated this book as my first in a long line of reading, because it seemed to me to be a mostly unbiased look at all the different options and medical or nonmedical procedures that are available to women these days and compared them side by side exposing all their benefits and drawbacks; and then let you be the judge on what was best for you. My husband laughs, because as I read further and further along and just became educated in these things I knew so little of, my comments were... "Honey, I think maybe let's try no drugs after all..." "Honey, I think I'd like to use a midwife in the hospital..." "Honey, forget the hospital, I think I'd like to do this at home..." I think he got more than he bargained for when he started me on the reading route.
Anyway, the name of the book is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. And I would recommend this book as the first reading anyone should do if they would like to explore the options that are available to them in childbirth, including, but not limited to, the hospital/OB route.
I read several other books with my pregnancy with my daughter M, most of which I don't now recall, but this book really changed my entire outlook on what was best for both me and my baby when it came to birthing. I found myself wanting to take the same route that I had so ridiculed in my friend not too long before. It just made more sense to me now. Maybe she wasn't so crazy after all.
If after reading this book, you find yourself thinking that there may be more to midwifery than our popular society would have you believe, like I did, then there is one other book that I would recommend as strongly as the first. This one was given to me by my current midwife (we moved since our first child) and has left an equally strong impact on me and has solidified and given strong facts and statistics to back up my understanding of both superiority of the midwife model of birth and the greater safety it provides to both the mother and the baby. It's called "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin, one of the leading midwives in the country, who has attended literally thousands of home births, and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Seriously, I found this book to be a fascinating read.
Anyway, I don't profess to be an expert of any kind on this subject, but I did think I'd share with you all the two books that have influenced me the most in all my decisions in regards to my pregnancies and births. Then if you're really interested, you can read them and discover for yourself what is best for you. Ok, I'm really going to get down off my soap box now, and get back to blogging normal everyday stuff again. ;)