There is more to birth than winding up with a healthy baby and mom- sure this is important but for a lot of women the overall birth and labor experience is important as well.
There is something empowering about birthing a baby. It is a powerful, feminine, natural thing to birth a baby.
A lot of us (women) want to embrace that side of us. The raw side that is instinctual and sensual.
This does not mold well with the medical model for maternity and birthing. I am a bit of an anomaly- as I have high risk pregnancies (clotting issue, asthma)yet I really want a normal birth- ideally at home, no interventions, trusting myself, trusting my baby.
Nearly everything that is thrown at us in the medical model of care is against that. From ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy dating onwards. I agree and acknowledge that interventions and the medical model have their place though.
If I wanted to get a normal birth though, I would either have to go unassisted or lie about my history. Which stinks- because then I either have to approach a pregnancy as a big argument, go with out prenatal care, or cover up my history.
Thankfully, I found a fantastic OB who allowed me to do things my way- for the most part. But there were somethings he couldn't over-ride- like hospital policy. That stinks, but he did encourage me to trust myself and trust my baby.
There is no gold medal at the end of pregnancy to be awarded to say that you did it without drugs, but there is a deep sense of power. Being in labor is intense. It is primal. It is intimate. But it can be very empowering.
It is really hard to change the script that runs through your head though about labor- it is really hard to learn to listen to what your body is telling you. I was told in labor this time that "it looks like my body was telling me to move" yet I was fighting it. Why? For me- I have noticed my instincts are pretty right on, but, they get so buried and so written over by the script of doctors and other books that my the voice of my instincts is muffled. The biggest advice I can give to pregnant woman is to listen to what her body is telling her. Focus on her instincts. Way easier said than done.
Wanting a normal birth had a lot to do with my relationship with my body and myself. The labor and birthing experience is something that is so intimately connected to my journey as a person, as a woman, as a mother, that I wanted to embrace it all.