thoughts from a birth junkie…

June 25, 2004

I was just reading a discussion (from an old community I used to visit) about a woman who recently gave birth. This woman had been very vocal about her opinions regarding natural birth and the medical community. Sadly, her homebirth turned into a hospital transfer and then a c-section. Ughh…I’ve seen it more times than I’d like to count. Why is it that these particular women always have these difficult births? The people that it matters most to. In my younger years I was one of those soapbox birthers. While my dogma wasn’t nearly as caustic, I thought many of the same things she had the guts to actually say. Then I had Jack- which changed everything. I was so humbled, it was so hard. I had no idea what other women had possibly gone through, before I just thought I was stronger, better prepared, more informed. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Birth is unpredictable to it’s very core. Whenever we carry agendas into birth we run the risk of being blinded to the lesson birth might have for us. The only thing worse is being robbed of the lesson by someone else. Sometimes it’s just too much, too much pain, too much disappointment, too much sadness to receive the lesson in the moment. Time and reflection are powerful healers.

I realized how you birth matters, not in the natural, c-section way but in the heart, mind, body way. It isn’t about what interventions you did or didn’t have, it’s about how you feel about your birth experience. It’s about getting to make the choices you want, it’s about feeling supported and loved no matter what you choose and how you choose to do it. Ignorance might be bliss but it is also a choice. I know lots of women who were very happy with that particular choice. While it isn’t one that I feel is always the most fulfilling, some women aren’t looking to be fulfilled or stretched.

I guess it gets sticky when we aren’t able to own our choices due to our care giver or a lack of advocacy on our behalf, or even just because of the unpredictability of the birth itself. I’m not sure I have any answers to solve these problems because so many of them lie in the system and our society, but I do know this, birth is major. No matter what choice we make, it affects us, sometimes a hell of a lot deeper than we care to go…but we must try…even if it’s hard.

to be continued…

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