For the last four days I have been staying up to 1 in the morning reading birth stories. I can’t tell you how encouraging they are. With my first son’s birth, I had a pretty awful time. It wasn’t even so much about the pain as it was promises being broken and my faith in myself and my ability to birth being extinguished. Giving birth puts us women into a place of great vulnerability, where the only thing we need is lots and lots of encouragement and support. When I was giving birth, I didn’t get support I was craving, at one point my midwife told me to “suck it up”, there was a medical drug mess up and my midwife laughed that “this had never happened before”, and when I asked the anesthesiologist if he had done many epidurals before seeking reassurance that I was in good hands, he replied “no this is my first time” as if me being in the middle of painful contractions put me in the best of humor to accept sarcastic jokes. There were so many other things that just did not go right and made me feel like a complete and utter failure at being a woman. I really really hated the experience. So this time I want to stay away as far as possible from the hospital and pretend midwives who are really MD’s in disguise.
Through Facebook and a lovely acquaintance I have come to learn about Alma Midwifery. It’s a smaller birth center in Portland, OR and it feels just right for me. The building is very adorable, a beautiful old home transformed into a birthing center. It’s atmosphere is so far away from hospital, it’s so much more cozy and home like. I am very excited and grateful to have found this birth center. My first “meet-the-midwife” appointment actually brought me to tears because I had explained my previous birth experience to the midwife and all the negative memories came back. I know that there are women with worse experiences than mine, but mine is all I have. But I am set on a birth center birth and I am doing all I can to make sure this is a good and happy experience. From taking different supplements, to eating well, to exercising daily I feel that in making my body strong I will bravely go into labor and give birth easily.
The latest way of arming myself is the wonderful birth stories that I have found. As a whole I believe the we women have been bombarded and terrified into believing that we cannot handle birth, that our bodies have no clue what to do, and that we need drugs in order to get “through” labor and delivery. We are not told that we are strong, our bodies are made for this. “Your body is not a lemon”. We are not told that all we need is amazing support and encouragement to help us in this part of pregnancy. Labor and birth is just as much a wonderful part of pregnancy as growing the little person inside yet we are trained to be completely terrified of it. We’re not even given the chance to believe in our ability to birth. But reading these stories of women of all shapes and sizes giving birth on their own to healthy babies proves every negative idea about labor and delivery wrong. I am not at all bashing on modern medicine to help in an emergency, it is wonderful and amazing at that, but I do not believe that every woman that goes into the hospital needs to be treated like a high risk pregnancy and be drugged to the moon.
There are women who have given birth to babies that are breech, to babies that have down syndrome, to twins and even triplets on their own, unassisted and not drugged. Reading and seeing how differently they view birth from the mainstream view has been working on my mind and I am changing my idea of birth as well. After all that’s the whole point right? My body will get through it whether I act rationally or lose control, but my mind is what needs to be convinced.
So here’s the first of many birth stories that I will share with you. Why Natural Birth? A Birth Center Water Birth StoryPicture from birthwithoutfearblog.com
I am looking for the healing I desperately need in having a successful unassisted birth and stories like the one I just shared make me believe that it can actually happen.
- Yana -