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Birth Really Does Matter

After my first daughter Nakiah was born, I had so many people tell me that all that mattered was that she was here now and healthy. That didn’t feel right to me. I have never written her story down because it was always too painful for me. I’m working on it a little bit at a time now though, so that I can share it here with all of you. A little back story. I started labor at home, went into the hospital, the midwife said I could either go  home, or stay and get induced. I chose to get induced because I wanted to meet my baby asap.
Knowing what I know now, I’m still kicking myself.

Having had a traumatic birth experience myself, I know how women feel when they talk about disappointing birth experiences. It rocks you to the core. It’s not something you can easily get over. I’m sure friends and family mean well when they say your baby is here and healthy and that’s all that matters. It is not all that matters. I don’t think people really understand the impact that birth has on our first moments with our children and our mothering as we go through life.
I know for me, I had a hard time bonding with my first daughter. Something was missing, I could feel it.
Did my body not have enough oxytocin because I had so much pitocin in my system?

Oxytocin is  known as the “love hormone” because it is involved with fertility, lovemaking, contractions during labor and birth, and the release of milk when breastfeeding. It makes us feel good, and it triggers nurturing feelings and behaviors.
Oxytocin is that rush you feel right after you birth your baby. Helps you bond and fall in love with your baby.
When you use drugs in labor they do cross the placenta and can cause stress to  you and your baby.

Birth is a natural normal process. Interventions mess with that process. Epidural, pitocin, directed pushing, episiotomies, electronic fetal monitoring, not being able to walk or eat during labor, lying on your back to push. Those are just a few of the things that go on during labor and birth that interfere with birth.
Our bodies were made for giving birth. Our bodies and baby work together during labor and birth.

After a woman has a not ideal birth she needs to be validated, not told that she should be happy her baby is here. She never said she wasn’t happy, but she needs time to mourn the loss of the birth she had planned and hoped for.
I’ve had enough kids to know that birth does not go as planned, but there is a big difference between plans being altered and what they call birth rape. I’m not being extreme. I’ve read stories and talked to women who felt so out of control during their birth that the best way they could describe it was by using the term birth rape.

Pregnancy and birth are not medical conditions. It is a normal, beautiful, natural part of life and should be treated as the miracle it really is.
This is why women need to be informed about all of their choices during pregnancy and birth. It’s best to research before becoming pregnant, but that isn’t always the case.
It doesn’t matter if your only 6 weeks pregnant, or your 36 weeks pregnant. Learn all you can about pregnancy and birth.

I’ll leave you with this link from The Adventures Of Lactating Girl: Homebirth Midwife Interview Questions.
I posted this link on Facebook last night and someone pointed out to me that we don’t even ask doctors half of these questions.
So read the list and apply them to any care provider you are seeing while pregnant. Asking the right questions, seeing a provider who best fits what you’re looking for can make a huge difference in how your birth plays out.
Don’t leave it all up to your OB or Midwife.

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2 thoughts on “Birth Really Does Matter

  1. As Ina May says: It sure as hell does! (matter). The ‘healthy baby’ line always makes me cringe. It is a function of people’s denial of women’s feelings, women’s autonomy, women’s instincts. It’s so much easier to just sweep all that under the rug and accept the status quo (that is making women and babies suffer) isn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing your story! That is how birth change is happening in this country! Women sharing their stories, speaking their truths, and inspiring other women to reclaim their autonomy in birth. Brava!

  2. Thank you so much for the link! I agree that birth matters. Even though my birth experience with my first daughter wasn’t as traumatizing as others I’ve heard of, it still hurt every time that people thought we were stupid or made jokes about us not making it to the hospital in time. They don’t know the whole story. They only see it from hindsight. It’s the same when it comes to someone telling a mom “you shouldn’t be upset because you have a happy and healthy baby” because it’s not their place to decide if you should be happy. They weren’t there.

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