In my opinion, giving birth is the most incredible physical thing a person can experience. Sorry men, there is no equivalent. Bodies are capable of so many amazing things but giving birth is truly phenomenal. It hurts my heart that there are women who ache to be able to carry and deliver a child but are unable for one reason or another. To those women I wish nothing but blessings and love.
Birth is one of the most raw, pure and intimate things a woman can experience- regardless of whether you have a natural birth, a home birth, a vaginal birth, c-section, VBAC, etc. You are literally bringing another person into the world with your body, one way or another. It is both intimidating and exciting, and it’s one of the most complex emotional experiences I’ve ever had.
I’m not quite 20 weeks yet, but I’ve put a lot of thought already into my birth plan with our new babe. I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to deliver Easton as well. With Easton I knew two things: 1) my mom had insanely difficult labors/deliveries and there was a chance that mine would be the same, and 2) because I struggle with anxiety and have panic attacks when I get too wound up I wanted it to be as relaxed and painless as possible.
My decision to deliver in a hospital and with an epidural made everything so much easier for me. I had an incredible experience and plan to do the same again. I felt no stress or pressure, and physically I didn’t have much pain. To get personal, I was really squeamish beforehand about having to get any stitches (because I seriously, seriously can’t handle that stuff) and I didn’t even realize I’d been stitched up until the doctor told me he was finished. Because I was so relaxed and calm I was able to enjoy meeting Easton and sharing the moment with those around me, and that’s what was the most important thing to me.
I’m a member of some mom groups on Facebook and to be completely honest they are the worst things ever. I stay in them because once in a while I need suggestions or find out about things going on in the community, but man they’re awful. The way the women in these groups talk to each other is just disgusting. It’s not a community of women building each other up, it’s full of “super-moms” set on tearing other “lesser” mom’s down.
The most horrible thing is anytime anyone brings up delivery. A soon-to-be mom was asking around for delivery experiences and soon there were a plethora of these mom’s telling her that if she did anything other than natural birth she’d have a horrible experience. Because of that there were women justifying their own decisions to have an epidural or a c-section. I wanted to scream. Women are already so degrading towards one another, but for these “super moms” to imply that anyone is not as good or is not going to have a good birth experience because they choose to do something other than give birth without drugs is just ridiculous.
I’m not trying to say that all the women who’d had a natural birth were saying these things. There are plenty of nice, normal, wonderful mom’s who said “I had a natural birth, here is a resource if you want more information” or “I gave birth without an epidural but my experiences aren’t the same as yours so you should do what you feel comfortable with”.
The point I’m trying to make here is I guess that first, women shouldn’t put other women down for their choices regardless of how easy the internet makes it for them to do that, and secondly, if you’re gonna have a baby do it however the heck you want to. Use actual resources, talk to your doctor or midwife or whomever, and then ask yourself what do I want from this experience? You know you better than anyone else.
As for me, I’m looking forward to a super low-key birth again come February complete with an epidural, some positive music playing, and the promise of Chik-Fil-A immediately after. If that’s nothing like you want, awesome! You do what you’ve gotta do to feel like your best self! But please don’t tell me (or anyone else) that I’m wrong for what I decide to do with my body while putting it through the most intense and beautiful things it can physically do.