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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birth Matters

At first I didn't want to post about this.  I was scared what others would think...

"what a baby"
"get over it already", 
"but you are blessed by so much"
"at least you had three healthy babies"

Ok so I sort of gave it away with that last one.  It's no secret I love everything about pregnancy and birth and beyond.  I'm fascinated with learning about how God created women's bodies to grow tiny humans and then birth them and nourish them and care for them (hearing every little noise even when in a dead sleep - especially right after having a baby - is a blessing and a curse am I right??)

Two major things about my previous pregnancies I'll never "get over"

1.  losing our first baby after seeing the heartbeat
2.  having a csection that was totally unnecessary 

I feel I've worked through the first one - our loss - more so than the second.  Part of the reason for this, in my opinion, is because of how I was made to feel afterwards.  After you lose a baby, people expect you to be upset.  But after you have a birth that deeply affected you emotionally, people expect you to be fine because the result is a healthy baby.  

Of course, a healthy baby is a blessing.  But just because that was the result, that doesn't negate how moms are made to feel during birth.  We need to be validated in our feelings - good and bad.  More moms need to be asked "how did your birth go?".  Even if it wasn't a bad experience, let's give more moms an opportunity to process the experience and be allowed to be honest in how she feels.  And please don't say things like "well it could have been worse" or "at least you have a healthy baby" because she likely hears that as "I shouldn't be sad about this".  Instead, tell her "so sorry you experienced that" and just listen.   

I know I wanted so badly to feel like my csection was actually necessary.  But truth be told, it wasn't.  Perhaps in that particular instance, because of all of the interventions that happened, it was the only way to get her out at that particular time.  But had all those interventions not happened (because they didn't need to happen for any medical reason), it wouldn't have been my only option.

My firstborn will be five in just a couple weeks.  I still carry the scar and a little sting of hurt.  But in the past year, I've been able to finally work through my sadness, anger, and frustration with what happened that day.  Seeing pictures of that day used to just bring a huge lump to my throat.  

Shortly after Rilynn was born - I was exhausted 
My almost five year old recently asked to hear about the day she was born.  At first, I was saddened to even have to relive it all again - like opening up an old wound.  But now, I realize that I likely wouldn't have had such a beautiful birth with Logann if I didn't have the experience I did with Rilynn.  Rilynn's birth opened up so many other opportunities!  Researching and learning about birth has led me to learning about other areas of life that I wouldn't have otherwise taken the time to even think about!

Shortly after Kaylee was born - my 10 pounder and first vbac
Shortly after Logann was born
Knowing that every woman and situation is different let me just boldly yet humbly say, I'm allowed to feel how I feel.  If somebody had an experience similar to mine (although no situation is completely the same) and didn't struggle, that's great.  I'm happy for them.  I really and truly am.  But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't or can't be upset about my experience. I never really felt like anybody validated my feelings afterwards.  But that's important - it was important for me and it's important for other women as well!  

So while it still hurts, I am now embracing that experience.  And I hope that I can/have positively affected others.  If you are reading this and you're a first time mom, don't be fearful of birth!  Birth can be so beautiful!!!  I know that now!  Learn all you can!!!!  There are documentaries and books on birth that can help (The Business of Being Born and Guide to Childbirth and Redeeming Childbirth are my favorites).

I know nothing will ever go just as planned - especially with something as unpredictable as birth.  But it can still be a positive experience.  A healthy baby is absolutely important.  But so is a happy and healthy momma!  

They are so awesome!

2 comments:

JoyBelle said...

So well said! And I feel the same that you do - if someone had a cesarean and are 100% happy with that experience then more power to the mommas. But it shouldn't negate others who are unhappy with the experience. I kind of feel like people get this attitude of, "Well I'm fine with what happened so you should too!" There are plenty of women who have natural births who feel unhappy with their experience whereas I'm happy with mine. Everyone should be free to process and feel what they feel.

Happy birthday to your girl!!!

Lindsey Lewandowski said...

Beautiful kids you have. Don't be ashamed that all the birthing experiences didn't go the way you would have liked. They turned out beautiful! :)