Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Muddled Mama {Birthing Children... }

Motherhood has been an absolute journey for me.

With TT I wanted as natural of a childbirth as possible (yes, that's exactly how I thought of it, as natural as possible).  I read about childbirth while I was pregnant and a lot of what I read sounded like absolute hokum (because the thought that you couldn't possibly have a natural childbirth is so pervasive in our culture, I bought it hook.line.and.sinker).  I remember reading The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts and wondering what sort of hippie actually expected childbirth (and the initial stages of child-rearing) to go like that.

So, ultimately, I went into that birth totally unprepared.  A close friend of mine had an excruciatingly long labour 6mos prior (which ended in a c-section) and my sister-in-law had gone through the same thing just 3mos prior.  I absolutely thought that it hopeless and that a natural, unmedicated birth was for the minority.  The lucky women, who were just tough as nails and created to birth children. 

I remember labouring in the tub and looking at the hubs, pleading with him to get something, anything from the nurses to knock my ass out.  He had the audacity to laugh at me (and at that moment, I realized I was a Saint for not submerging his head under the water).

I fought my contractions every.step.of.the.way... I made my birth (through my ignorance) more painful than it needed to be!  I was gassed (and hated it), I asked for an I.V. (even though I hate them) - didn't get any actual medication because TT went from unborn to born in the blink of an eye, and moments later when TT was born I seriously forgot it all.

That moment when he was in my arms, it was as if nothing had happened.  That he had just gone from womb to arms.

The longer I mothered TT, the more I realized that I needed to inform myself better.  It couldn't possibly have to be that hard, for every.single.birth and every.single.mama. 

With C-McC, I read.  Read.  Read.  Read some more.  Anything I could get my hands on, articles & blogs online that dealt with natural pain management during childbirth.

With C-McC I had a general idea of what childbirth was going to be like (and I was not silly enough to believe that all births were equal).  I had a much better handle on my contractions right from the word go.  Instead of fighting them.  I relaxed into them.  I knew that these contractions were for a reason.  They were moving babe into a birthing position, dilating my cervix and moving babe towards the birth canal.  These contractions had a purpose and if I relaxed into them, I allowed them to do their job (getting my baby out). 

My overall birth experience with C-McC was 1000% better, because I trusted my body.  I allowed my body to birth my child.

That is right, my 100% unmedicated, natural childbirth was 1000% better than my slightly gassed first birth.

I know that there are certain circumstances where medical intervention is absolutely necessary.  Where hospitals, drugs and c-sections save lives.

I also know that the majority of births do not require these interventions. 

This week, we have spent away at a family function and it became clear to me how pervasive this distrust of our bodies is.  The hubs was telling someone that we birth naturally (and that for our 3rd, and final? birth we would be having a homebirth).  This person was a bit taken aback that I had birthed without any medication. 

Anecdotal maybe, but it definitely goes to show how little trust we have in our bodies.

When did we get to the point where we lost all trust in our bodies, lost trust in their ability to do what they were designed for?

I am not a Brazilian model.  I am not a rockstar.

I am just a mama.  A mama with a passion and a desire to share what I have learned. 

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