Wednesday, October 05, 2011
THOUGHTS ON CHILDBIRTH
Posted by marisa
This is a post that has been stirring around in my head for quite some time. It will probably take me some time to write. But I feel like I need to express my thoughts about childbirth. More specifically how we as women think and relate to one another on the subject. Maybe some of you will object to my thoughts too and that's okay.
Let me start by saying for those of you that don't know, I had a C-section with Forest, an emergency C-section. I feel even saying it clears the air. Was this what I wanted? No. I feared having one after reading about the physical recovery and the chances that I wouldn't bond as naturally with my baby. I thought our bodies were made to labor a baby and why would we need surgery to birth a baby. But that's what happened during my labor. And I truly believe that I needed one. And now, I am so grateful for the cesarean I had.
When I was pregnant, I watched the documentary, The Business of Being Born, and was shocked at the statistics of cesareans in our country. I watched it and felt empowered as a woman. I felt if any of these women can have a natural birth, so can I. I watched it and thought, I will not give into how our society has told us childbirth should go and what drugs we should take. I watched it and thought, the birth of my son is up to me and no one else.
The reason I've been thinking about this a lot is I feel we put judgement on one another on how we decide we want our labor to go or how it does go. Whether we want a natural birth, an epidural, more drugs, a water birth, elective C-section, etc. I feel so strongly that this is such a personal decision for the mother to make. I don't even think the father should have a say in this. I struggled with this when I was pregnant. I was worried Ethan would push me to have a natural birth and judge me if not since that's what Uly's mother did. But there was a point during my pregnancy after reading so much about childbirth, talking with my midwives and attending a birthing class taught by a doula where I realized this is my decision. No one can tell me what to do. I knew it was going to be hard, it was going to be painful, and I had to trust myself.
So now I'm wondering, as a mother of a healthy 7-month old, what are we trying to prove to each other or to ourselves? When I was in labor, I remember actually apologizing to my midwife when I asked for an epidural. I don't know why I did this, but I felt like I let her down and myself down. It's so silly now when I think back to it. Many women who I've told that I had a C-section give me a look of shock and then pity. I'm one of them. I feel the need to explain why. If I say things were hard in the beginning after Forest was born, I've gotten the reaction that it must have been because of the C-section. I wrote a post about my birth and maybe that's true. Who knows how I would have felt after a natural birth. But somehow I'm different.
Now, I look at my son and see how he's growing, flourishing, full of love and happiness, and I wonder why the hell did I care about the birth so much? I should be feeling so grateful that he's healthy and happy not upset that I had the dreaded C word. We got through it. It was hard and not what I envisioned but it gave him to me. I trusted my midwives call when she said I needed a C-section. I am so grateful for that. Without her, I may not have a healthy thriving baby right now. My scar is still very visible. I've contemplated trying to find ways to make it heal faster but it's the most meaningful mark on my body.
So now shouldn't we be sticking together as mothers? Raising a baby is the really tough part.
at 1:00 PM