Wonderfully Made Births

Changing childbirth, one woman at a time.

Archive for birth

A New Conversation

Your birth, your way. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple, but it doesn’t have to be a debacle, either.

One of my favorite quotes is this one, from Laurie Stavoe Harm:

“There is a secret in our culture, and it’s not that childbirth is painful, it’s that women are strong.”

Whether you believe our bodies were created or evolved, the fact is the design is not flawed. Our ideas about it might be, but for the most part we can do this thing, this incredible, life-changing thing that makes us feel powerful and amazing, without a whole lot of help.

Of course sometimes things happen to make it so that we do need help, a little or quite a lot. And yes, it is wonderful that we have great technology and medical knowledge to keep those situations from becoming dangerous or life threatening. My argument is not that we should toss all those medical ideas out the window. I am a firm believer in supporting what a woman feels is right for her. I do not have to live with the decisions my clients make – they do.

I know enough of depression, guilt, and anger to understand that a woman’s ability to chose her own path through pregnancy and childbirth can mean the difference between a satisfying experience and a nightmare, no matter how things progress.

What I do insist on, and would love to see, is this:

Let’s change the way we talk about birth. Is it painful? Hell yes. But is it also the most incredible kick-ass moment many of us ever have?  Yes, absolutely it is. I want my daughter to understand that. I want to talk about it with all the energy and joy I felt when each of my children was born. I want to see the discussion start to center around the transformational experience, rather than the fear.  We can talk about the pain, we can talk about the doubts that creep in no matter how many babies you’ve had – the thought that oh my God I really have to push this terrifically huge baby out through my tiny little vagina and I have changed my mind please God, please I want a do over!

But let’s also talk about that moment when a mother first touches her baby. That moment that all the hard work and self-care of pregnancy and labor manifests itself in a tiny, perfect little person. The moment a baby is born is also the moment a mother is born. Let’s remember that the birth, while beautiful and exhilarating, is only the beginning of the journey.