We've only told a few people about the pregnancy so far. I can't imagine how much "advice" I'm going to get once we're completely out of the closet. Everyone thinks their way is the best way and they just have to pass it on, even if you don't ask. I'm sure it's only just begun. When pregnancy ends, "help" with parenting styles begin.
When people try to tell me that I don't really want what I want, it just pisses me off. These people do not have access to my brain. They have no idea what I think, and it's not my job to sway them to my side. I have no interest in doing that. All women have a unique pregnancy and birth experience. Sure, there are similarities, but I'm talking about the total package. No two pregnancies and births are alike, even for the exact same woman. I don't want to hear how there's no way you could have gotten through birth without an epidural. I don't need my choices to be countered by your horror stories or condescending "you just have no idea" pats on the shoulder.
I'm not saying that I want to live in a vacuum with no advice or information. I do want to know what other women have experienced...IF I ASK THEM. And frankly, if our attitudes toward birth (or parenting or politics or TV or whatever) are at completely opposite poles, guess what? I'm probably not going to ask. If we're not starting out even close to being on the same page, their experience will probably have little relevance to mine. Beliefs, attitudes, perceptions...all of these things play a role in medical or health issues and in life.
It's not like I'm super hardcore on my natural childbirth choice, that there's absolutely no way I would ever have an epidural. Ideally, that is what I would like. I want to do it drug free. But I'm not going to completely close myself off to medicinal pain management if I feel like I really need it. There are just other things I want to try first (hanging out in the tub, walking and moving around a lot...things I couldn't do with an epidural). In an ideal world, that will be enough for me. We'll see how it works out.
I would like to talk to some women who have had a natural childbirth and were happy with their choice. I feel like it's kind of hard to find those women, because we're pretty much taught to fear childbirth and many women wouldn't even consider having a baby without an epidural. I'm scared too, but I think that talking to women who have a more positive view of childbirth will help.