As my daughters’ birthday comes & goes for another year, I always find myself reflecting on of course how fast time has flown but also my birth experiences. Giving birth is one of life’s most amazing and precious events. It has to be felt to be understood and experienced to be appreciated. The first pregnancy is always such an exciting and nerve wracking time as everything you go through is brand new. Your growing belly, the nausea (Oh the nausea!!!), the little kicks from your baby which quickly turn into a soccer match inside your belly, the insomnia, the cravings and the surprising love you feel for someone you haven’t even met yet.
I Became Obsessed with the Process of Giving Birth
If you are anything like me, you like to be prepared and organised as much as you can be. So, Google became my new best friend. Mistake? In some ways yes. I wanted to know what birth would be like and I became obsessed with birthing shows like One Born Every Minute, as my husband would run to the other room. I wanted to know what people had experienced with their natural birth or cesarean. What I did not expect to find though, was such heated debate between the two. At this point I had found out that I was to have a cesarean and what I found online made me at times shocked and upset for those women who felt like they had to defend their right to motherhood all because they did not have a natural birth.
I remember the pain that I went through in my recovery. While the women who had natural births seemed to move around with much ease, I struggled to walk around without feeling like I was being torn into two. The pain however was well and truly worth it. I remember sitting in the family area at the hospital and looking around at all the families with their beautiful new babies. I saw love, joy, laughter, hugs, kisses, deep conversations, flowers and teddy bears. Not once did I witness any form of comparing, any form of hate or judgement. We were united by the fact that we were all so much in love with our new babies.
So Why Do We Still Judge?
I am fascinated as to why in this day and age, women still have to defend the choices they make for their bodies, their unborn children and their health? Fascinated, confused and upset. I made choices based on my body and baby and I was really comfortable until I started to read what others perceived about my choices. I was horrified to read comments even as far as saying that you weren’t a real mum if you did not have a natural birth. My husband and I had conceived this baby, I carried my child for nine months, for most of the nine months I was struck with nausea and vomiting, I was admitted to hospital for fluids due to dehydration from vomiting so much, I didnt sleep, I had panic attacks where I could not breathe, I ate my fair share of Mcdonald’s, I went to all my doctors appointments, had tubes of blood drawn and finally felt the joy of holding my child for the first time after she was delivered. What part of this does not make me a mother?
We are Stronger Together
Women have an enormous amount to deal with in preparation for motherhood. The unnecessary burden of being made guilty for birth choices is something that a mother to be should not even have to worry about. We need to stand together and in doing so we must respect each other’s decisions to have a beautiful and safe birth; whether that means a natural birth or cesarean. Every birth and mother should be celebrated and not judged.