Of the nearly ten friends I have polled, only two of them had an unmedicated birth and one of those had a home birth. All the others had an epidural (no judgment) and all seem to repeat the same refrain, "It's great that you want to have a natural birth, but you should keep an open mind." I find it interesting that my mind needs to "open" to what seems like the default.
I *really* want to try and be vigilant (without being mean or hostile to medical pros who are just doing their job/following protocol) towards a natural birth for a number of reasons, none of them having to do with me trying to probe a point or "be Superwoman". Thus far, I am planning to:
1) try hypnobirthing (just ordered book and CD today)
2) arm my husband with a bunch of index cards that he can read during labour (in the event that I ask for an epidural) where he can read off encouragements and reasons why I should try to go unmedicated (my husband is not that great at thinking on his feet, thus the index cards)
3) give the staff my birth plan that asks them not to come up to me and offer any epidural/wait for me to ask
4) stay at home as long as possible (my doctor and labour class coach have both strongly advised this)
Does anyone know of any other strategies? Any other thoughts about this whole thing? Again, I am not judging any one else's decision and I know complications can happen, but the more I learn about how astronomically high the epidural rate can be and the more I speak to people and find so few that went the natural route, the more I think I need to go in very prepared rather than just "keeping an open mind". Thanks in advance for your feedback.