Posted: Jun 18, 2012 at 9:51 PM [Jun 18, 2012]
Does this sound familiar? You planned on having a beautiful natural birth. You read every book you could get your hands on, went to a million birth classes, and really did your research. You were feeling great about your decision. But somewhere along the line either because of unexpected pregnancy complications, or during labor you were not able to have the birth you had planned on. and you can’t seem to get past it. You think about it often and have a real feelings of grief surrounding the experience.
To top it off all around the internet you stumble across stories of wonderful uncomplicated birth stories from women who tell you how they were their own advocate and the reason they were able to have this blissful birth was because they stuck by there guns and demanded an intervention free birth. They are loud, they are proud, and somehow end up making you feel like crap.
So you continue to second guess your decisions and feel terrible about the birth you ended up with. Maybe you just gave in to easily and should have stood your ground more. All of this you think quietly to yourself not really finding any support. Everything you hear and read seems to center around either having the perfect birth or how you were cheated out of it. Bottom line you feel like crap.
Here is the deal, we control far less in our lives than we think we do. We are being told over and over that if you do the right things, and stand up for what you want, you will have a perfect birth. How an intelligent group of women came up with this I have no idea. If there is one thing about life on this planet, it’s that life is unpredictable. You educate yourself, and do your best to make informed decision, and the rest is up to fate, god, genetics, or just lunar alignment.
Through out history humans, when compared to all other species, have a more difficult time giving birth. It’s an anatomy issue, which I will save for another day. Let’s just say that we are designed with just enough room to allow us to deliver babies with large heads and also walk upright. It’s not risk free or smooth sailing for everyone. Never has been, and never will be.
But for now here are three steps to help you look at your birth story in a new light.
1. Trust- Trust yourself and KNOW that you did everything you could to ensure the best outcome. Whether that meant trusting a midwife, doctor, yourself, or your partner. You went into the situation with the best of intentions and searched for the best help. That is all you could possibly do. You are not a fortune teller, you haven’t birthed thousands of babies, and you didn’t go to medical school. It’s ok to trust in other people.
2. Truth- How do you know that making the decisions you did, as difficult and hard as they were, weren’t 100% the best choice for YOU and your child. Who is to say what the outcome would have been if you HAD stood your ground? You chose your caregivers for a reason, believe that they have you and your child’s safety and well being in the fore front of their minds. I know people LOVE to go after O.B’s with pitch forks these days. For the most part they are all very caring people who truly only want what is best for you.
3. Shit happens- I don’t know how else to explain this other than to say, life is messy, you can’t control every outcome and when it comes to birth girl, shit happens and it is nobody’s fault. Be sad about it, cry, weep, be pissed off but at some point you have got to realize that it wasn’t your fault. You did the best you could, nobody else was there in the room with you. You made it out, you are here for good or for bad. Pick up the pieces and move forward.
The cool thing is that you are forever changed from this experience. Your birth experience isn’t a statement on the country’s addiction to medical intervention. It is a deeply personal and life changing experience that has imparted great wisdom to you.
So stop these negative thoughts and think, “Wow, what a scary, beautiful, painful, joyful, disappointing experience that was. I must be pretty tuff stuff to still be here after that.”… Yeah you are.
No go forth with your battle scars and wisdom. Don’t be ashamed to tell your story. it’s as good as any other. Say it loud, say it proud, you earned it. And don’t you dare be ashamed one more minute.
Sarah Finks transforms tired and overwhelmed moms into confident, healthy, energetic women ready to reach their wildest dreams and aspirations. When she’s not changing the world one mommy at a time she is wrangling her three crazy boys, a giant Bernese Mountain dog Harry, and driving her husband crazy with all of her big ideas. Learn more about Sarah, and her mom transformation project, leadership school at sarahfinks.com