The Hebrew Woman Syndrome!
Child birth is a great miracle. The whole gestation period to actual labour and then delivery is enough to prove that there is a God. It is also an experience I hope every woman can go through…. it’s life changing. It gives you a totally different view of life. It helps you love more, forgive more and gives you a brand new purpose. I commend all mothers, it is certainly a mark of honour to birth and raise children and no one should take that honour away from you. I have realised that some people accord more respect to women who give birth naturally/vaginally than women with alternative birth plans. I vehemently disagree with that notion! Every woman is entitled to choose her birth plan, and every child birth process is unique and special; it is indeed a blessing to successful birth a child as many have died or lost their babies trying to complete this task. It is a delicate process and no woman about to embark on this journey should be pressured into accepting choices that are not fully hers.
The ‘Hebrew Woman Syndrome (HWS)’, I coined this phrase for certain ‘people’ that look down on women who do not endure the full painful process of a vaginal childbirth. People with the ‘Hebrew Woman Syndrome’ see the ‘excruciating pain that comes with an all natural vaginal birth’ as a crown of glory. They opt for ‘no pain meds’, even when there are various options to ease the discomfort. The ‘Hebrew Woman Syndrome’ can become a bit psychotic in circumstances where the health and safety of the child may be jeopardized if alternative birthing methods aren’t explored… their firm belief makes it impossible for them to accept any other birthing option, so they risk losing the child or even their own life.
I am certainly for natural child birth (in non complicated scenarios). I am for anything that will make the process more bearable, so that the actual birthing experience is not totally consumed by the anguish. I am also for quick birth plan changes when complications arise. I am totally against decisions based on sentiments or lack of ones mental-flexibility and inability to embrace change.
My first baby was vaginal. He was 4.3kg and should absolutely not have been pushed out! He was so strained through the process, got the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and even took in some meconium. But, I was so determined to ‘push’ that when the doctor presented the option of a cesarean section (she had suspected my baby was too big), I vehemently refused like it was a taboo. Reality is, every surgery is best avoided, but with the advancement in technology and medical breakthroughs, a cesarean section is a relatively safe procedure. For the health of my baby, I regret to this day not taking that option. My baby spent a week in the NICU, and although he’s perfectly healthy today, it’s God’s grace that ensured no further complication arose from that decision I made.
For my second baby, once the doctor noted a few things and suggested a cesarean section, I accepted without blinking.
After the procedure, I was able to hold and breastfeed almost immediately…. he stayed by my side till I was discharged. Absolutely no complication. Perfectly healthy start for him…. although the recovery process from a cs is a bit long and the after pains caused by the surgery is quite intense. Still, regardless of the cons that come with it, if this option is more beneficial to your baby, why on earth would you decline?
There is also the issue of pain medications during labour. People with the HWS will castigate any who decides to take the ‘easy way out’… they would say ‘how dare you try to reduce the pain of childbirth? you are certainly not a real woman if you do not experience the hell-like process’ lol!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely respect all who have opted for ‘no pain meds’ it is truly remarkable. I remember going through labour pains and thinking ‘WTF?!!!!!!’, I didn’t know a human could possibly survive such pain. It is a miracle in itself to survive the pains of labour…. however, after a few hours of the pain, I was asked if some pain meds should be put in my IV…. My mum helped me shout ‘Yes, quickly please! , she’s been suffering here since’ lol (I absolutely love my mum). The relief wasn’t as I would have liked…. I felt dizzy, or more like ‘high’, but the pain was still very much there. I threw up a few times, yelled a few times at my very patient family and friends who came to support me…. the pain was agonizing….I kept asking ‘how much longer?!!’ …. then the head nurse came in and the question of getting an ‘epidural’ came up.
I was very apprehensive. My ‘superwoman’ friend who was there with me gasped! She had endured over 16hours of labour…. ‘Nina you can do it!’ She said…. My other friend blurted out ‘get the darn epidural and rest!’….. My mum on the other hand was just sick of seeing me in so much pain…. she screamed at the nurse ‘chook her the epidural biko, why are you people wasting so much time in offering these options’…. long story short, I did get an epidural. Instant relief! I was able to focus on the birthing process and experience every moment of it. I was still exhausted after pushing, and for some reason it was still quite painful (it’s supposed to make the process completely pain free). However, the experience was certainly not half as painful as an all natural process would have been.
All birth plans are equally great. Choose what works best for You. If you can endure the pain with no help from pain medications, by all means do so. If you need some help, please do not be ashamed to ask the Doctor for some medication to help with the pain. Do your research, know your body and choose what works for you. If you think you will like the help of an epidural, request for it. Most importantly if the health of your baby is at stake, do not delay the cesarean section option. The longer you keep your baby in distress, the higher the chances of worse complications. Do not try to impress anyone, think of only the health of you and your baby. Do what works best for You… Do what’s right.
I certainly do not know it all…. I try to share the little I know and hope to learn a few things from you in the process. Please shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @evezboudoir on Instagram and Twitter.
Like I always say, don’t stay trapped in the norm. Unleash your alter ego.