Since becoming a mother, there are a lot of things that I have become passionate about. I don’t typically delve into too many of those topics here, because I know there are a lot of different opinions/schools of thought/types of parenting out there and I never want to seem like I am preaching or judging or implying that my way is the best way. But, I just have to write a little something about childbirth…
Husband and I were watching an episode of “Private Practice” on the DVR last night and one of the main characters went into labor and had a baby… she actually had two babies… well actually there were triplets, but one of them she had delivered earlier…
Anyway… while she was in labor, I actually thought to myself, “Well this is being presented rather realistically.” She was clearly walking around, changing positions, struggling through contractions, but had some normal conversations in between them, etc. But then, it was time to push.
Suddenly it seemed like this woman was having her limbs chopped off. It was your typical lying on her back-legs in the air-screaming bloody murder-crying that she was tired scenario that we constantly see in the media.
I am here to say childbirth DOES NOT have to be like that! If you recall, I delivered my baby boy, my 10lb. 2oz. baby boy, without an epidural or pain meds (birth story here and here).
* Now again, I want to be clear, I am not trying to brag or imply that my birth was somehow ‘better’ because I didn’t have an epidural. I just feel compelled to say something because I so wish that women were more empowered, educated and supported if they want to have an unmedicated childbirth.
It seems that a lot of women are simply terrified of giving birth, and no wonder! We constantly see horrifying dramatizations of labor and delivery. Women are told that giving birth is like ‘squeezing a watermelon through your nose’. Hospital staff and doctors often are dismissive and even mock women who suggest that they’d like to have a natural childbirth (I’ve heard some pretty terrible stories).
I just want to say that if you want to have an unmedicated childbirth, it is totally possible! Some things that helped me do it…
– mental preparation… just like an athlete needs to be mentally prepared to run a marathon, mamas need to be mentally prepared to give birth! I spent a lot of time imagining how labor would go, what the setting would be like, ways that I would manage the contractions, etc.
– affirmations… it felt really silly at first, talking to myself, repeating these positive phrases to my reflection in the mirror, but I do think they ultimately helped… I got the affirmations from my HypnoBirthing class and they were things like, “I am focused on a smooth and easy birth,” and “I release my birthing over to my body and my baby”…
– confidence and trusting my body! … I think this was the most important. Maybe it was because I read a lot about what happens during childbirth, maybe it was because of the HypnoBirthing class, or maybe it was just because I really had my mind made up, but I truly never doubted that I could deliver Lincoln without medication. Throughout my pregnancy I built up my confidence so much that I just knew I could do it.
Okay. I’m off my soap box now. I just want women to understand that they have choices… that they can have the birth they want… that they are strong… that childbirth can be amazing and beautiful, not scary and excruciating… The end 🙂
(Unrelated, Lincoln is a crazy boy, climbing and exploring everything. I shared this picture on Instagram, but it is one of my new favorites…)