It's My Baby, I Will Birth How I Want To

It's My Baby, I Will Birth How I Want To

Shameless opportunity to include my favorite birth pic of the Bean
This topic has been on my mind for quite a while now. To be honest, I have two similar posts sitting in my draft section; still unpublished out of fear that the topic will unleash an unholy flood of angry commentators hell-bent on "educating" me on just how uninformed I am on the subject of birth.

And that's cool, people have a right to form their own opinions. I've never been the type to stand in the way of that. However, this is my blog, I have every right to publish posts as I see fit. Just as you have every right to disagree or choose not to read. Now that we've gotten that long-winded disclaimer out of the way.

A few months ago I accidentally stumbled upon a site written by a certain feminist blogger--one who is well-known for her controversial topics. At first I was I thought the particular topic of discussion was pretty interesting-- and then I started to notice something. Every time a lone commenter would politely disagree with the idea of having a home birth, every time a commenter would dare mention the fact that they had a medical condition that ultimately resulted in an emergency c-section, it was as if they had painted a target sign on their backs and had subjected themselves to a verbal town-square stoning. By the end of the night, more than 50 mothers had taken the time out of their day to tell another woman just how terrible of a decision she had made by choosing the c-section rather than delivering naturally.

These incidents that I'm talking about are not isolated incidents. In fact, a few years ago I had a disagreement with an old high school friend-- now turned Doula. Despite the fact that I had three serious medical conditions throughout my pregnancy: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Hyperthyroidism, and Preeclampsia, my former friend was completely convinced that I could have delivered from the comfort of my home. Needless to say, after the incident I quietly made my way to that little unfriend button on facebook and made use of it.

I suppose before I became a mother I was under the misguided belief that there was some sort of solidarity that bonded mothers. I thought that becoming a mother instantly allowed you full access to a supportive network of other mothers who would not only provide you with information and encouragement, but would also respect your personal opinions about childbirth and child-rearing. I know, I know; so delusional, so young, so naive.

Two years in and I'm finally starting to see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't daylight, it's a train heading straight towards you filled with judgey moms just waiting to tell you how much better they could have handled your situation. And I know, we ALL occasionally let the judge monster sink it's claws into us. It's a part of human nature. I do it, you do it, we all do. What I'm asking is that we find a way to control it. I wrote an excellent post about being judgmental that everyone should give a once over. Sometimes I have to go back, reread it and let the words digest.
 
At the end of the day, we don't know or understand everyone's personal situation. They may be dealing with things that you can't even fathom. Maybe that woman you keep snidely telling that choosing to bottle-feed rather than breastfeed makes her "less of a woman" works three jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over her families head.  Maybe the woman that elects to have that emergency c-section is more concerned with ensuring her child is safely brought into this world than the idea that having bright lights or a room full of doctors will somehow delay her babies fine motor skills development.  

Statistics are great; unless you're faced with the possibility that you may be one of the 2.2% that are on the bad side of those odds.
 
Self-preservation dictates that as humans we have a will to survive. Motherhood dictates that should we feel our children are in jeopardy, we will fight with every breath in our bodies to ensure they are safe. If an unsightly scar below my belly is the only price I have to pay to see my daughters warm brown eyes light up in happiness every morning I walk in to wake her up, then it's a price I will gladly pay again, again and again. I know I am not alone.


That said, to all of my mommas who have had unplanned or planned c-sections. I've got your back. For all of the mothers that choose to get that epidural. I've got your back. To any mother anywhere who has been made to feel that she is less of a woman because she choose to deliver in a hospital rather than in her home, you are not alone. Your child will love you just as much as had you gone though a home birth.

At the end of the day, we are all mothers. We are all extraordinary human beings that have given life. We all have unique feelings, thoughts and fears. And we all have beautiful stories to tell. It would be wise to listen.

What are your thoughts? What is your story?


29 comments :

  1. Such a great post,extremely well written. I've never had anyone make me feel less of a mom for having a c section vs natural but I'm sure if I did I'd let it roll through one ear & out the other. I seen it happen to other mothers & I've quickly come to their defense. I hate how so e mothers act as if they are "perfect" & believe in only one way of birth. In today's world there's so many things different than it was 1000 or so years ago. These judgmental mothers need to embrace the change or simply keep to themselves. (Sorry so long lol)

    ~Osh

    Sun-Kissed Peony

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    1. Very true! If only more women were willing to "embrace the change" or better yet "embrace another momma's decision" the world would be a better place.

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  2. I recently had my second c-section. I never had anyone come right out and say something negative after I told them I had a c-section with my first, but I did get a lot of the bless-your-heart type of looks. I told a friend about my disappointment with this & she told me to start calling it a cesarean birth instead of a c-section. I still did a lot of work! I shouldn't be embarrassed or care what others think!

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    1. Good for you! That's the right attitude to have. No one should be made to feel embarrassed about doing something as wonderful as giving birth. Whether it is a cesarean birth or a natural birth, a baby is born, and that should be the most important thing.

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  3. Having a home birth never crossed my mind with either of my pregnancies. And I don't let other moms make me feel bad because I prefer the comforts of a hospital and pain medication. To each her own. At the end of the day, giving birth is an experience that should be enjoyed and looked back on with joy. And if a hospital birth is what it takes, then go for it.

    I hate that moms and women in general can be so catty and judgmental about issues like this. Why can't we focus our energies on more important topics like cyber bullying, health care, etc?

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    1. I have a few other friend that prefer the homebirth method, and that's awesome for them. They're not pushy or catty when talking about it, so when it comes to them I actually enjoy talking about it and learning about it. However, when women try to force feed their opinions down my throat it tends to leave a bad taste in my life. I wish more people would learn that fostering comfortable dialogue about a controversial topic tends to lead to a sharing and adoption of new ideas.

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  4. I've had a hospital induced birth and two home births. I prefer home, but it's not for every woman. I'm hoping to attend Doula training this fall, but not so I can badger women into having a 100% natural birth. I also believe every woman deserves the right to choose how to birth her baby and I think it's sad that so many of us make other women feel bad because they choose differently than we do.
    http://themahoganyway.com/the-ideal-way-to-birth/

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    1. I've got a few friends who are into home birth, and I love hearing them talk about it, because they also are understanding and open to the women who do choose to go the route of hospital birth. I think if more people (on both sides) were willing to listen to the other, things would run a bit more smoothly. Good luck with your Doula training. Let me know how it's going!

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  5. This is a situation that I've kind of given up on. I'm not even a mother yet, but this is a topic that people get all kinds of agitated about. It's crazy, really.

    Yo, everyone. Birth the way you want to. Stop preaching to those who did not ask for your opinion. ;)

    What feels right for me will not be the right choice for every other female on the planet. I accept and respect that.

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    1. "Yo, everyone. Birth the way you want to. Stop preaching to those who did not ask for your opinion."

      I so want to get that put on a t-shirt. I don't know why it is so difficult for people to understand that what is right for you doesn't necessarily translate to every other woman walking the planet. You've certainly got the right attitude!

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  6. Excellent post!! I get so annoyed with all those moms on the all natural birthing band wagon. Half of them are just jumping on because it's the popular thing to do at the moment. I was induced twice and had 2 epidurals and I'm happy to tell all moms-to-be that their baby will be just fine no matter how it is brought into this world. I wish more women would just live and let live without being all judgmental. In 5 years it's not going to matter how your baby was born, fed, diapered, etc, etc. People are down right crazy lol.

    http://www.nadanadalimonada.com

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    1. You, my dear, are spot on :) In five years, those adorable little munchkins won't care about their birth. They'll be too busy systematically destroying the house and drawing on the walls. And as parents, you'll be too busy loving those munchkins to even focus on whether or not you had that "perfect" birth.

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  7. I've had 3 c-sections, none of them which I wanted. I believe every woman should be able to have a natural birth. But I was not able to. so it's a hard topic for me.

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    1. I think it's a hard topic for most women. I had a birth plan drawn up. I just knew how I wanted my birth to go, and it didn't. I try not to focus on the fact that everything didn't go accordingly, I just try to focus on my beautiful little girl every day. That makes it better.

      I can't imagine what it must have been like to have three though. You are one tough mama! *Giving you a big virtual hug*

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  8. It's interesting because we were looked at weirdly when people found out we were having our son in a birthing center instead of the hospital. People judge either way.

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    1. I'm sorry you've had to deal with that, and yes, people do judge either way. In fact I believe I mentioned that in a comment above. Because I've only ever dealt with it from one side, I can only relay my experiences, and so far I've had more than a few unnecessary comments about my c-section. I can imagine you've had quite a few nasty remarks as well. That's why I wrote this post, to bring us together, not divide us even further :)

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  9. I havent't heard of people being criticized for C-section. Actually the opposite - I've heard people criticize home births saying that so much can go wrong why would you not be in a hospital where there is medical treatment immediately available. (Not me saying that, but have heard others say it in conversations about birthing.) I agree with you, that at the end of the day, it is up to each individual mother. I've had three - all at the hospital with epidural. My first came very close to being an emergency C-section when her heart rate dropped the first couple times I pushed. I did not want a C-Section, but would have done it in an instant if the Dr. had said it was best for the baby. We don't always know what others are going through and should absolutely not be so quick to judge!

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    1. "We don't always know what others are going through and should absolutely not be so quick to judge! Yes!! and that is the premise of this post. As I mentioned in the comment above my birthing perspective is somewhat skewed because I've only had one experience (hopefully that will change ;) And I certainly can't say for sure what other people are saying in regards to home birth. I can only relay my personal experiences with people who have said unnecessary things to me about my c-section. My personal favorite being "Oh you had it easy" (which came from a former friend).

      I do appreciate you taking the time to comment. I definitely agree with what you said about be willing to have that c-section in an instant had the Doctor's told you it was necessary. That's the mama bear instinct taking over. That's what makes mothers so magnificent!

      Also, if you feel comfortable, I encourage you to write about your experience. This was so cathartic for me that I'm planning on writing a post about my birth experience. I think that the more we talk about it, the more it will begin to build a bridge between mothers and their personal birth stories.

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  10. I wrote a post similar to this this week and even though I'm not even a mom yet, the judgey-ness is ridiculous. Not everyone believes the same things or lives the same way.

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    1. Yes ma'am, I just gave your post a read and agree with every word you wrote. Btw, did you get a new camera recently? Your photos are looking beyond amazing as of late. You've just reminded me I need to really step up my game and get a real camera!

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  11. I read this post soon after you posted it to FB but I'm just getting to the computer to comment. I have to have a C Section due to medical reasons. While I've never been judged (that I know of) for having a C Section I could imagine that Moms who have had natural births would think they have one up on me. The truth is I could care less. We all have our own road to motherhood. Everyone's journey is different. I am proud to be a C Section Mama because without C Sections I wouldn't have my sweet baby girl or my baby boy.

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    1. I'm sorry about the c-section. It's never an easy thing, but like you said, without it you wouldn't have your sweet baby girl or boy. On another note, have you found out if it's a boy or girl, or are you waiting until he/she born?

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  12. Yes, what I find interesting is that so many people say that all-natural, no medical influence is healthier and safer, because it's the old-fashioned way....when in reality, back before there were hospitals and medical intervention, the death rate during births was much, much higher than it is today.
    I think people will always think that their way of life is the best way. Especially when it comes to parenthood, everything is a touchy subject it seems. I mean, of course I have my own ideas of how I want to raise my children someday, and what's important to me. And yes, sometimes I look at other Moms and I think to myself that they are a little crazy--but I would never say that to them. I think most families and their traditions seem weird to outsiders. I know people thought my Mom was absolutely nuts when she was raising us. But we all turned out okay! Kids are rather resilient, they can put up with alot as long as they are geniunely and heartily loved by their parents.

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    1. I think you are going to be a great momma some day! I think your kiddo(s) will be a free spirited as you are, and right now that's what this world needs more of. And I definitely agree that every parent thinks their way is the best way. Part of human nature I suppose. We just want to do right by our children. I just wish in the process we could be a bit kinder to those who don't necessarily parent the same way we do.

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  14. I am a massive, massive fan of c-sections - my mum was in labour with me for three days before they gave her an emergency c-section, and my brother was a c-section too. When I have kids, I'm pretty confident I'll be going for c-sections, and people can judge away - like you say, it's about what's right for you!
    Your daughter is gorgeous, by the way, lovely photos :)

    Jess xo

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  15. I love this! The "right thing" is different for different people. Although I know this, I sometimes find myself having these judgmental thoughts pop into my head regarding other moms and I immediately have to take a step back and scold myself...I hate that it happens but I sometimes feel like it's so instantaneous that it's hard to stop. I'm really working on it. Anyway, I've loved checking out your blog and look forward to following!

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  16. There is no one "right" thing. It is up to the mother. Period. I never considered having a home birth although several of my friends did. There is no way they could have convinced me to go that route, and honestly, they didn't try. If they judged me, they kept silent. I had an emergency c-section with my first; and planned to have one with my second, but went into labor early. Epidurals don't work well on me. When they gave me one for my first child, I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom. The nurses had never seen that before. The epidural amount was just not enough. They had to give me quite a bit more for the c-section obviously. Then with my second, I was in so much pain but my doctor told me he had given me enough for a horse. His bedside manner was terrible and I was bummed he was the on call doctor. Because the first two epidurals were not so successful, I opted against getting one for my third child. The nurses and doctor told me the other two were flukes, but no thanks. I had two lousy experiences with them...I didn't think the third time was going to be a charm. Loved this post Reese!

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  17. Thank you. I had an emergency c-section with my first child and my doctor felt that it would be best to do a repeat c-section with my second and third because of the circumstances surrounding my first. I was made to feel guilty about it the entire time by several women at my church who said that I should switch doctors and try to do a natural birth. Finally, I just stopped talking to those women. All that matters to me is that I have three beautiful, healthy children. I just stumbled upon your blog and love it!

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