I’ll Be In Charge Of My Own Vagina, Thanks.
Natural childbirth. C-sections. Epidurals. Doulas. Midwives. Home births. Hospital births. Pain medication. Water births. Hypnobirthing.
What do they all have in common? Or, what should they all have in common?
They are all choices a woman can make while delivering her baby. They are the many ways to skin the cat, so to speak.
So, I read this article Basically, it points to how the new thing is to shame a woman for taking advantage of modern medicine when deciding how to birth her child. Yes, folks. Another chapter in the mommy wars.
Here’s my take on the whole situation: Sure, if natural birth is what you want, and it is safe for you to do so, do it. If you are a low risk pregnancy and want to try and have your baby at home, it’s up to you. If you want the epidural and the drugs and the whole 9 yards because the thought of a human being slipping out of your girl hole makes you want to curl up and die, do it.
It’s your vagina, after all. And as long as you are the one making an informed consent about what is going on with your vagina, then I have no business and nothing to say about it. Make the best choice for you and your baby.
But here’s the thing: Make an informed choice.
Arm yourself with information and don’t let anybody boss you around.
I believe natural birth advocacy is on the rise because we as woman blindly obey our doctors. We let ourselves see birth as a medical condition that needs treatment, when all what is needed in many case is support through the process. Medical professionals nearby in case of an emergency. We forget that our bodies were in fact designed to birth our children. In the words of January Harshe ” Vaginas do open. Babies do come out.”
The problem with anything is that people become fanatical on both sides of the coin. And now, some women use the fact that someone may have had interventions during childbirth to judge one another.
So what do I think? I can only tell you what I experienced.
With both my children, I birthed them free of any pain medications or epidurals, with the exception of the laughing gas during transition. I chose to have a doula to support me in my choices and process and to remind me that I could do it. The woman who supported me through my births will always be a very special person in my life. She was better than any drug they could have given me. For reals.
Going into the births, I knew that c-sections are the result of 25-30% of all labours. I knew I didn’t want that for myself. I knew that any little intervention could lead to another, because it was interrupting my body’s work. But I also knew that I wanted to be in a hospital so that if there was any sign of danger for my baby, they would jump in.
However, with my second, the labour was much harder. I spent more of my labour at the hospital, and felt restricted in what I could do to manage my pain. The worst part of the process was being strapped to monitors in bed and trying to endure the contractions. I needed to move. I needed water, and I needed to be left alone. It was hard.
As it turned out, there were minor complications each baby, and although I birthed them naturally, I thank God for the medical professionals who took care of my babies immediately afterwards.
I know one girl tried like hell to have her baby naturally. She ended up with a c-section. Is she amazing? Yes. She’s brave and strong for making the best choice for her child. And for enduring the recovery from major surgery.
My other friend roared her baby out in a tub full of water at home? Is she amazing? Yes. Because she did things her way, and everyone was safe and healthy.
So. Leave each others vaginas alone. Trade birth stories because they empower you and bond you and inspire one another. Support one another. Love one another. The birth process is the magical part, let every mom have her own. Don’t push your experience on someone else.
Sharing your beliefs is cool. Providing information is helpful. Being fanatical makes it impossible for you to hear anybody elses feelings, thoughts, beliefs or experiences but your own. Don’t be that person.