Mastering YOU Monday...mind over matter

comparing natural birth to an epidural birth
Okay, so my post today was inspired by a conversation I had with my daughter the other day...out of all things...childbirth, IKR! Quite ironic, considering she's not planning on giving us grand kids anytime soon. But I'll save that for another post.

Not quite sure how the conversation started, but I'm glad it did, because I wanted to throw my two cents into the bucket
concerning the conversations I've been seeing throughout the internet about natural birth vs epidural. I'll start off with my first birth(almost 25 years ago). Don't worry, I won't make this long and drawn out...I promise! ;-) Of course as a first time parent, you never really know how a birth feels until you actually grow through it. Believe me, when they tell you it feels like severe cramps. Let's just say...the lies they tell! 

I went to the hospital thinking I was going to go right in, have my daughter and voila, it's over. Not so fast! First and foremost, my nurse should have been named Edwina Scissorhands, as she was obviously one of those women who thinks super long nails are cute. I mean, don't they(hospitals) have a policy against that? For reasons unbeknown to me, she proceeded to check to see if I was dilated. I was groggy but not stupid y'all! *It's amazing what you'll awaken for EVEN if you're under the influence of drugs* ma'am.I.don'! I had some choice words for her, but my sweet husband who felt sorry for me, calmed the situation. After ALL of that, I was in labor for 26 hours, when it was brought to my doctor's attention that my daughter was in distress so I had to have a last minute c-section. What a let down, especially since I could have had the c-section earlier...ya think? Needless to say, the medicine took such a toll on my body, that I couldn't even enjoy the "complimentary" steak dinner they gave new parents. I was bigger than I was when I was pregnant and had to stay in the hospital for five days until the swelling went down. Regardless of the nightmarish labor process, we were blessed with or first child Kerington Michell.

Onto ordeal #2! 22 years ago I was sitting in the Big Boys restaurant on E. Jefferson in downtown Detroit(it's amazing how you remember every little detail). I was smart this time though. I was determined to eat my birthday "shortcake" before going to the hospital, as I couldn't imagine myself chewing on ice for 24 hours...AGAIN! I would just have to suffer the consequences...well, the doctors would have to, at least. Anywho, yet another 24 + hours of labor, another epidural and another instance where the doctor had to break my water. Oh wait, did I mention that my doctor was out of town and I had a foreign doctor as his replacement, who wouldn't allow my husband into the delivery room! So there I was, giving birth...BY MYSELF! To say that I was pissed would be an "under" statement! But I was so ready for it to be over, I just didn't care anymore! Ya'll this whole childbirth thing was looking real bleak to me...sigh. But, as with my first birth, this one brought another beautiful baby into our lives, Joel Austin,  who of course has filled our lives with  joy! 

comparing natural birth to an epidural birth

 Now for the the "surprise" birth. I was determined this time that I was going to do something different. Because I HATED I.V.'s, I thought I'd be smart(and I'm not talking in an intellectual way here either). Because I was determined I didn't want to have another hospital birth(with I.V.'s), I researched birthing centers in the Detroit area. I'll admit people, I was NOT thinking of the positive effects at all when seeking out the birthing centers(it.really.was.all.about.the.fact.that.I.didn'!) ...IKR! YEP, I really was willing to forgo a "pain free" delivery in order to NOT have an I.V. stuck in my arm...GO FIGURE! 18 years ago, it happened again. But this time something miraculous took place! While I had my own reasoning for choosing the birthing center, God had a totally different plan in mind! This just wasn't any old birthing center, this birthing center allowed me to bring my family in(our two oldest were in the connecting room eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and coming and going back in my room as they pleased). I was allowed to blast my worship music...pray in the spirit...and read my Word. It was beautiful! The atmosphere was so relaxing and peaceful. So much so, that my water broke(on it's own). My husband took me in and within 3 hours we had Blake Alexander!  NO pain medicine and absolutely NO PAIN(I'm not exaggerating folks)! No screaming at all...actually, my husband said I kept whispering "I'm pushing, I'm pushing", lol!  BUT, the funniest part of this story...when I arrived at the birthing center, the nurse had to put an I.V. catheter in my arm "just in case" of an emergency! GAHHHHH, WHAT, YOU'RE KIDDING ME RIGHT?!! Yep, the very thing I feared ended up happening anyway!! I guess I should have made my concerns known to the nursing staff, before hand, huh? Oh well, I guess God was in control the entire time!

Let's just say I'll be 46 this year and I THANK GOD my childbirthing years are over! Lol! So I'll leave that to all of you beautiful, glowing, "eager as a beaver" mothers to be! And I pray your experience will be a beautiful one! One thing I can say is that regardless of the pain and everything that goes with giving birth, what(who) you get in return will far outweigh your experience!  Remember, it's good pain...there is a reward at the end! :-)

I shared my story, because I hope it will be an encouragement to anyone who is trying to make a decision as to what's best for them. But my main purpose for sharing, is I truly believe that anything ordained and created by God, will only work at it's best when it's carried out His way!  I can't explain to you why my first two births(with ALL the medicine and technology in the world) were so horrible and my last one(in a bedroom outside of the hospital, with the only evidence of it NOT being my actual bedroom was the I.V. in my arm)was a beautiful supernatural one! But I do know this, when you completely rely on God, He'll completely take care of you! 

I can tell you this much, after that experience, my relationship with God grew, my faith grew and I've never looked at life the same. It proved to me that when we put our minds to it, the human body is capable of doing more than we think! 
Psalm 55:12, Proverbs 3:5

*Tell me, what was a pivotal moment in your life where your faith grew?
*If you've given birth, what was your experience? 
*Would you recommend a natural birth? Why or why not?

All Rights Reserved copyright© 2012-2014 Michell Pulliam “Prowess and Pearls” by Michell Pulliam


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  1. Hi Michell! Phew! I need a towel after reading about all your birth experiences...what a wild ride! Until the last one of course. What a huge difference that made. You are a rich treasure of wisdom for your daughter, isn't she the blessed one?

    I did not give birth, my kids are adopted. But I can speak to the anticipation of meeting them. Maybe I could have used an epidural for my nerves... All your hopes and dreams handed over to you in a courtroom one time, and in the hospital the next time. It is amazing how God works. (Blog post to follow too!)
    Like you, my having children phase of life is over. But I'll never forget how they came to me. Just like you!

  2. I don't know if I could do the natural birth I had a c-section for both my kids and I loved it got to pick out the date and schedule everything. This was such a great and inspiring post loved it

  3. I have both natural and c-section deliveries. I had a pretty good experience naturally. It was very painful BUT I was up and walking around the hospital within hours. My FIRST c-section was an emergency c-section resulting in my son being born prematurely. However, as a result of that c-section every birth thereafter had be by c-section because of how they initially cut on my uterus (vertical not horizontal). My recovery time was EXTREMELY loonnggg. If I had to choose, I would prefer natural child birth every time!!!

  4. Wowzers! What a journey to 3 beautiful children. I had two unmedicated, birth center IV's...but the birth experiences were very different. My first child was quick and my 2nd was 21 hrs of labor. Anyway, from the moment I delivered my oldest, I felt like my faith in God grew leaps and developed even more through the years.
    I think I'll leave the childbirth to the youngin's too ;)

  5. Oh my. Those stories are enough to scare someone lol. I can't believe the doctor would not let your husband in the delivery room with you.

  6. Hello from Team Epidural. :) I had great experiences and did not have to have C-sections. But I am a proponent of doing what works best for you. I can't stand hearing all these judgmental conversations about "this is better" and such. Everyone's situation is different and you have to do what's best for the baby and for you. Your stories had me laughing, and I just love your daughter's name. Fun post, Michell! XOXO

  7. Wow Michelle - wooooooo. 26 hours? I felt like it was that for me but I kept being sent back home. I went to the hospital twice and they told me I didn't need to come back until my water broke or I felt like it was an emergency. Really? I ended up having Christopher naturally. My water broke at home. Once we got the hospital, and settled in I had finally dilated 4 centimeters. The other visits I hadn't dilated. Just once I settled into an exhaustion nap that's when all LABOR broke loose. They checked me again, I was fully dilated and it was too late. So I have no comparison. I just say that mother nature did her thing. Love the mind of matter quote - I kept myself in a zone to push and didn't think about the fact that I was going to feel it. Christopher was TEN pounds. Super EWWWWW to the lady with the fingernails. P.S. Love that name Kerington Michell.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your birthing stories Michell! My connection with God immensely during my marriage counseling and by way of my awesome new church of the past two years! There are things that have happened these past few months that I know are a God thing! Life is more beautiful, joyful, and peaceful now that I walk in his presence daily. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love war/birth stories! LOL - my boys run screaming out of the room when I start, "Let me tell you about the day you were born." 27 years ago - they let the epidural wear off before you could push - I sure didn't like that one bit! The second one and 3rd one - I got the epidural the entire time - WOOHOO! The 4th one was a crash c-section where God held my little boy for about 16 minutes - now that is a war story. We call that little guy the fire and power of the H..S. The last one was a planned c-section - my response? This was the easiest recover of them all - why didn't I do that the first time! LOL - but God did work in each one - in amazing ways. The last one had to be a planned c-section because of the kind of one I had in the crash. The dr was trying to tell me we really didn't need to go 2 weeks early cause he was going to be in Scotland. God really worked on me - fired me up - and I said, 'UUUmmm - No. Why you're having a great time in Scotland, I'll be thinking - I could die any second before I even have symptoms." So we had our youngest 2 weeks early - and when they went in there was a kink in the cord and it was wrapped around his neck. God knew! I think these birth stories are miracles right in front of us!!!!

    BTW - I sure love how you tell a story!

  10. hi michell, i loved reading your birth stories. you were cracking me up! i'm someone who's totally confused and trying to figure it all out, but the bottom line is, i gotta trust in the Lord. he will take care of me and my baby :)

  11. OHMYGOSH MICHELL!!! Those first two births were UNBELIEVABLE!!! Oh bless your mama heart!!! Thank GOD you had beautiful babes to make that pain and long suffering worth it!!! And the third? Oh, how beautiful!!! I would have LOVED a birthing place like that!! I am SO glad the third was a charm!! And I love that you prayed and sang worship songs and God delivered so perfectly!!! (YES- PUN intended!!! LOLOLOL)

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