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I can’t believe we’re already 25 weeks!  Only 15 more weeks to go.  We are very excited to meet our baby girl.  We had our “express” child-birth preparation class this weekend and loved it!  (Express just meant we covered everything in one weekend rather than going to night classes once a week for 4 weeks.)  We honestly were presently surprised with what we learned.  We honestly thought that we were supposed to go to the hospital as soon as I was having contractions and then I was going to be confined to the bed for the next 15-24 hours (or however long our birth would take).  That was one reason I really was considering having a home birth for a while.  However, I was SO excited to learn (and Adam, too) that the hospital staff actually encourages you to not stay on your back in the hospital bed as it restricts the flow of oxygen to the baby. 🙂  They encourage movement, walking, and different positions.  That gave me such a better outlook on our experience!

That being said, I have 100% decided to TRY to not have an epidural.  I know, you’re probably thinking, “What in the world?!  She’s INSANE…she will 100% change her mind!”  While you may be right, I will now give you my reasons for this decision.

1) Receiving an epidural slows down the birth process and actually makes pushing harder because you can’t feel what’s going on.

2) The likelihood of intervention (use of forceps or a vacuum) increase greatly with an epidural because of the mother not being able to push as easily.

3) With an epidural, I obviously wouldn’t be able to walk around afterwards and wouldn’t be able to give my baby her first bath (which I still might not be able to do without one, but the likelihood is higher).

4) Breast feeding doesn’t usually happen as quickly with an epidural as it does without one.

5) I have heard too many horror stories about what can go wrong with epidurals (one thing, a spinal headache that can last for weeks, when birth just lasts 10-48 hours max!).

6) There is a high risk that the mother will check out, emotionally, from the birth experience because she can’t feel what is going on and doesn’t feel like she is a part of the process.

7) Our bodies were designed to give birth.  Plenty of women have gone through this process without an epidural (including my own mom – twice!), and I firmly believe with enough practicing of our breathing and positions, I can too.

While these are just some of my reasons, I absolutely am not judging anyone that wants to have an epidural as much as I don’t.  It’s simply my decision for my birth plan, that’s all.  Hopefully I’ll be able to focus through the pain, because I KNOW it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.  Even harder than I can possibly imagine.  But, if I could get through this challenge, I would be SO proud of myself (and Adam for helping me through it!). 🙂

Here is my 25 week picture.  I feel like this is the first week that I honestly just feel big.  Still feeling great, just big.  But I knew that would happen! 🙂