I started writing this blog after the birth of our daughter, Kensington. The birth of my motherhood. It’s a day I can not wait to write about. But before I write about that day, I feel like I have to preface it. Which is a shame, but it is what it is. This might get a little feisty.
I had an unmedicated water birth. Any eye rolls? Anyone tempted to stop reading altogether? I feel ya. People are so annoying about, well, just about everything these days. If you are not interested, no hard feelings – but there’s a point to be made here about all kinds of births.
As I was saying, I gave birth in the water with no medication. It was a dream come true. Silly for some, so relatable to others. But it was my dream, my birth. No one else’s.
When we set out to have a natural birth, it was no light decision. After our research, this is what we wanted and we understand it isn’t for everyone. We took a 12-week Bradley course, read five books, hired a doula – all the things that were supposed to prepare us for this monumental shift of life. We didn’t just hope for the best and see what happens, we tried to prepare mentally and physically.
I’d like to think we weren’t too showy about it. In fact, I’m pretty confident I kept it to myself for a long time. I did not want to tell people I was going to go “natural” and then not be able to. But, word got around. Multiple people asked me about going natural when I did not tell them myself. People are pretty bewildered by it. And opinionated.
The weeks passed and we got so much judgement. More than that. We got so much DOUBT. Some of my favorites, “Good luck with that. Wait ’til you feel your first contraction,” and, “I hope you can do it. So-and-so tried but couldn’t.” The funny thing is, so many men told me these things(?).
But I did it. I went through 28 hours of labor and pushed out a 8 pound 5 ounce healthy little human.
And I was PROUD. I’m not talking tooting-my-own-horn, high-fiving my husband proud. I’m talking weeping, screaming-on-top-of-a-mountain joy. I worked SO hard for this. Not only in the last 28 hours but for weeks and weeks and weeks leading up to this moment. Defending my choice, preparing my mind. Nothing in the entire world will ever compare.
You’d think all those people who wished us well would say congrats, right? But the only thing sadder than the comments before my natural birth were the comments after – my favorite being, “You aren’t going to be one of those people now, right? The women who brag about not getting an epidural.” I got this so many times (mostly from women who had gotten an epidural or men).
I’m trying to choose my words wisely here. To not be one of those people. But on March 10th my body did something that it was designed to do. I became a mother and we got our baby girl. I had my dream birth. And I did it all with no pain medicine. I am not only in awe of my designer but I’m also part of only 2% of women who can and choose to do this. I’m going to be proud.
There’s a misconception that “we” judge mamas who don’t have natural births. No girls! One of the first things I said to my sister was, “I understand why people get epidurals!” And some women don’t have the choice to go unmedicated – thank goodness for those interventions when needed!
But, do you know why I don’t judge you? Cause it’s your birth. Whatever birth you had, you brought a baby into this world! It shouldn’t matter to anyone but you.
So why so many opinions about my birth? I couldn’t talk about it before I attempted and now that I actually did it, I can’t talk about it after? No. I will always talk about it. I brought my baby into the world that day. And I worked ridiculously hard for it. I am not the first to go natural and I won’t be the last. But I did it!
I don’t care if you had all the interventions or none; brag about your birth, brag about your hard work for the 40 weeks leading up to it. You created, supported, and began a life. Details of how baby got here does not make you any less of a woman or a mother.
I just happened to do it without any interventions. So yes. I’m going to be one of those people. I will always brag about it. Especially the part about my body being so strong without an epidural (and why we chose to go that route). Starting in my next post.