It’s always there, always lingering somewhere deep in the back of our minds. No matter how much we prepare, or how many births we’ve had, or how much we believe in ourselves, it still has this funny little way of sticking around:
“Can I do it?”
Right? Be honest, how many times have you wondered about that? For some it can be a very strong, overwhelming feeling. For others it can be a little bit more soft.
Regardless of how it sits, it still sits:
-Am I strong enough to do it?
-Am I even built to do it vaginally at all?
-What if there is something wrong with me?
-What if I just can’t handle the pain?
-What’s my midwife, doula, husband, BFF, you fill in the blank, going to think of me when I lose it? Cave? Fail?
-Am I just fooling myself?
The natural birth movement that we are going through right now is such a necessary event because it is pushing and challenging maternity medicine to evolve and grow and move out of it’s antiquated, unscientific ways. It’s empowering women to take charge of their bodies and their choices.
Who wouldn’t applaud that endeavor?
However, it has also created an unintentional dark side of women feeling this intense pressure to perform and give birth in a very particular way.
I see it all the time talking with women about their fears on the upcoming birth. They start seeing epidurals as crutches and as symbols of failure. They feel an intense pressure to prove themselves to friends and family who think they are “crazy” for wanting to try it naturally.
It especially becomes poignant when I talk with women after they have had their baby with a birth that did not go quite as envisioned. There is often an atmosphere of shame, deflation, defeat, guilt, failure- and on the flip side, intense defensiveness. As if they feel they must argue the validity of their choices and circumstances.
LADIES, IF THERE IS ANYTHING I EVER TEACH YOU AT ALL, MAY IT BE THIS:
“Your self worth as a woman, as a mother, as a human being is not defined by what your birth looks like.”
An epidural does not make you weak.
A cesarean does not make you broken or any less magnificent.
A natural birth does not make you any better of a woman than the next.
I strongly believe in a womans capacity to go it on her own, I myself had natural births, but I also whole heartedly defend that a deeply fulfilling, empowered, good birth is so much more, and in fact, has nothing to do with it happening without drugs.
We have got to shake this notion that a natural birth is somehow "cooler" or more "praise worthy" because the truth of the matter is that the transformative effect of birth is determined by what happens on the inside, not the out. And there are many roads that lead there.
It is not a test of your worthiness that you pass or fail.
Isn’t that a wonderful weight off your shoulders?
Love and light your way,
As always I love hearing from YOU! Did this strike a chord for you? Feel like more women need to hear this? Comment, share, like, and love. Lets start a revolution.