How we birth matters! And not just in the way you might think. Recently I came across a post in one of the coaching groups I’m a part of and one of the group members posted a questions about a waist trainer for a post partum mother and the difference between that and a belly binder. One of the responses got to me. She shared that she had (by choice) not had children. She also went on to say that she didn’t understand why women are so hard on themselves after giving birth because it was such an amazing thing that their bodies did. So today I’m going to address this as well as the birthing process because I think they go hand-in-hand.
MY FIRST DELIVERY
My first delivery was the most horrific, traumatic things I’ve ever endured. I remember sharing with a family member about how I felt after my c-section. I had a really distorted body image because of my fresh, new scar and the pain I had endured. She looked at me and said, “How could you say those things? Look what your body just did.” As amazing as life is, the process by which we give birth matters! It matters a lot. Not so much how our bodies dreliver our baby, but that we feel safe, honored, and heard during the entire process. My first birth was utter chaos. I wasn’t asked permission by the medical staff to do things. I was told “this is what we are doing” as they we’re doing it to my body. Ultimately, I fell asleep with general anesthesia as computer equipment on glass shelving came crashing to the floor. I woke up to my baby having seizures and being transported to the nearest NICU.
I don’t think birth ever goes as we plan in our head. There are too many variables. But especially as first time moms we go into the process thinking it will turn out just like in our heads the way we planned. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I didn’t experience my ideal birth until baby number 3, and even then, it was by the grace of God it happened that way. I think we need to be more candid with how we talk about birth. It’s good to share experiences and perspectives as well as accept and honor women’s choices in birth. By choices I mean, scheduled c-sections, vbacs, unmedicated delivery, or spinal/epidural, home birth, or water birth. However you get the baby out that is safest for both of you where you were both treated like human beings in the absolute best way to deliver. Case closed!
Now let’s dive into the post partum body. Yes, it’s certainly a miracle what a woman’s body endures for nine months and then delivers. (I know it happens daily, hundred or even thousands of times over, but life will never cease to be miraculous.) Our bodies are bloody, bruised, and disfigured. Breasts, whether we choose to breast feed or not) get enormous and heavy. Our stomaches, butts, thighs, hips, and breasts are covered in new purplish/pinkish scars we call stretch marks. Hormones are raging all while processing what has just happened to our bodies. And after all this, we have a new, tiny human who is completely dependent on us. It’s overwhelming! Throw in barely any sleep and we can begin to get a glimpse of why women experience baby blues and in some cases (including my own) post partum depression.
Birth is important and so is post partum recovery. New moms seem to lose their identity and find a new one in their children. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just what happens. So can we please start talking about the experience of childbirth. Know that we each have different experiences: some good and some bad and some horrific. Some women experience infant loss, and to those women: your voice (when you’re ready) should be heard too. It’s not enough to write about it, we need to talk with each other…#mamatribe.
Being a mom is hard. From the time we get pregnant until we die…it’s life. Let’s just take a moment to be kind to ourselves and one another and know that one day we will find a little piece of ourselves and enjoy the privilege of being a parent to the child (or children) the Lord has blessed us with.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Until next time. Thanks for reading!💕