This article in the Boston Globe yesterday attempts to explore why in the world a woman would want to give birth without medication.
The author, Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, a pediatrician, says:
But is the shunning of obstetrical anesthesia about something more than natural versus modern? The vocal minority who purposely skip epidurals have created entirely new secular justifications for pain - especially during labor and childbirth - which are no less dogmatic than the earlier holy justifications. Why, even now, are people so unwilling to let go of pain?
He goes on to belittle women who choose natural birth, unable to understand the difference between the natural pain of childbirth versus the suffering of a woman trapped in the bed with an acynclitic baby. Even an interview with Ina May Gaskin and a physician with chronic pain who had natural childbirth wasn't enough to enlighten this man to the why's of women choosing not to have medical paralysis.
Dr. Sanghavi speaks about his own wife's experience with her epidural in a hospital that doesn't offer epidurals at night:
Thankfully, my wife didn't suffer. A few weeks before, I'd seen a kindergartner in the emergency room for severe belly pain. The surgeons wanted to operate for possible appendicitis; luckily I found bite marks on the boy and diagnosed a black widow spider bite as the pain's real cause. No operation occurred. It turned out the boy's father was a nurse anesthetist, who gave me his telephone number and gratefully offered to come in anytime for my wife's delivery, and I took him up on his offer.
This whole article tells of the safety of epidurals, says they do not cause fevers, lower blood pressure "slightly," if at all, do not cause residual back pain, and really are nothing like the epidurals of 20 years ago - calling the catheter "hair-thin" - he sure must have some thick hair.
It was frustrating reading this piece. He seems to have tried to see the natural point of view, but misses the point completely. I'm considering sending him the picture of my mama in bliss while her baby is being born.
Perhaps some letters to the editor of the Boston Globe?
How can a man... a doctor man... possibly understand the joy of unmedicated birth? How else would he think since his wife chose to have medicated paralysis? If he disagreed, that would deem her wrong, wouldn't it?
Frustrating, these thinly veiled advertisements for medications in birth. Very, very frustrating.