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Category: childbirth

Still Getting Shit Done

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CBC

The other day I came across this post on Twitter ( or something….I honestly can’t remember the source because PARENTHOOD) of a mom who was tandem nursing her 5 week old twins, while working away on a laptop.   She made some sort of remark about being exhausted, not sleeping, barely functioning, but “still getting shit done”.

Well, honey.   Good for you.

I’m happy that she feels like she can get it all done.  A baby on each boob, not even  healed from the physical aspects of birth let alone the hormonal and emotional ones of becoming a mother, and happily working away.

Being ok with feeling like ass, and barely knowing what day of the week it is, and banging out some projects on your computer.

Jesus Christ.   What the hell is wrong with the world?

And no, I’m not shaming her.   If she wants to be a superstar human and do all of those things and is ok with that, then great.  Go for it.  Be the superhero.

I am lucky to live in Canada, where we have maternity benefits for up to one year after the birth of our child.   The first three months are maternity leave, and then the remaining nine months can be split with our partner pretty much any way we like.

Because even if if we can somehow find a way to work through the exhaustion, stay upright, and make sure that everyone is fed and the laundry is done and still get to work on time, why should we have to?  

In the States, many women get 6 weeks or even less of maternity leave.   Sometimes its completely unpaid.

And I can tell you from experience that going back to work 6 weeks after your baby is born is pretty much the biggest pile of shit ever.   Even when the person you are handing over care to is your husband.

As someone who is self employed, my babies were luckily both born in the summer and I went back to work when the school year began. Otherwise I wold have had no income, and no guarantee that my students would come back to me when I was ready to teach again.   It was so hard.   Because even though my husband was the “primary caregiver”  there is something very difficult to describe about the bond between an infant and her mother.   I was still getting up at night regularly.  I was still dealing with post partum anxiety and hormones.  I was still having a hard time with an unstable pelvis from the birth.  And there was nothing about being separated from my baby that made me feel good.

So, I have been in this woman’s shoes, and luckily for me and for her ( she is an artist) we are able to work primarily from home and decide what our ours of work are.

But what if you have a physically demanding job?   What if your career demands long hours?   High pressure?

We need to start taking better care of our mothers, and us mothers need to be ok with being cared for.

So the problem that I had with the woman’s post about “getting shit done”  is the implication that every woman should be able to and that it is completely normal to literally have a baby under each arm while doing your job.   It’s that this mom feels like she has to inspire other women that they can be a badass mom too.

What if they don’t want to be a badass?  What if you just want to be there for your children without feeling like you aren’t strong enough to balance a career alongside it?   What if you just don’t want the superhero to be the expectation of you?

I get it.   I have to work to.   But I will tell you hands down that the first year of a child’s life is mentally and emotionally exhausting and that having to work during it is not in everyone’s best interest.  There were many times that I felt on the edge.   Like on the fucking brink.

The US needs to get its shit together.   The reality is that many families simply cannot survive on one income anymore. I know we can’t.   But no woman should be forced to go back to work before her vagina is even done bleeding after the birth of her baby.   It’s beyond ridiculous.

All of us moms know we can “get shit done”.   Because we do.  But seriously.    You never ever get those weeks and months back.   The work will always be there waiting for you, but you will never ever regret focusing on your kids while they are tiny.   In that first year ( and beyond), I truly believe the only shit we should be getting done is putting ourselves back together while building a relationship with our tiny humans.   Seriously.   Just give us a break.

The bottom line is that women are constantly in this tug of war between career and family.   Much more so than men.   We are constantly having to sacrifice a piece of ourselves.   And usually, as apparent in the Twitter post about getting shit done, it’s the mom herself that is being sacrificed.   Why is it ok to feel exhausted and sleep deprived all the time?   Why is this how we become superheroes?

I guess for me personally, if there are three things on the table:   Myself, my child, or my job; and I need to sacrifice part of something to keep getting shit done, the first two choices should be non negotiable.

That doesn’t make me selfish.   That doesn’t make me a pussy.   And accepting that I should have to sacrifice my own well being is something I am no longer willing to do.   If I don’t take care of me, then the other two things suffer anyway.

So.  Make your own choice.  But ultimately, stop accepting less than you deserve and then cheering about how you can still make it work.   You shouldn’t fucking have to.

International Woman’s Day Is Every Day

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Wearing red for IWD 2017

Once upon a time, someone at a press conference asked Joss Whedon why he always writes such strong female characters and created stories about them.   ( not a direct quote, but you get the idea).

After a while he concluded it was because people are still asking him that question.

Do you ever notice that?   Nobody would ask a writer or producer or director why there are strong male characters, we just sorta expect that to happen.

But a strong woman character?   How odd.

Today, on International Woman’s Day, I want to acknowledge every single woman out there who has ever had to work twice as hard to get half as far.  I want to acknowledge every woman who made the tough decision to give up their career in order to raise their family.  The woman who gave up the idea of ever having children because the demands of her male dominated field would never tolerate it, no matter what the law says.

For every woman who has said no and had yes stolen from her.  For every woman who raised a child she never wanted and couldn’t afford but loved regardless while a man had the luxury of walking away.

Every little girl who was told she couldn’t, wouldn’t, and didn’t deserve to anyway.  For the little girl who grew up and said fuck that, and did it better than any man.

For every wife who stood by her partner and made it possible for him to succeed while receiving no credit for it.

For every time you wiped a snotty nose or changed a diaper or made it through another day without crying yourself to sleep from exhaustion and frustration while receiving no thank you for the life you are supporting.

For every minute of childbirth that you endured in order to bring the greatest love of your life into this world.

For every woman who ever looked in the mirror and hated herself.  For putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own.

And for every woman who decided what she wanted and got it.   For inspiring other girls and women to do better for themselves.

For every single woman out there, regardless of your heritage, your colour, your sexuality, your socio-economic status, your age, your education.   Regardless of everything.

You are worth more to this world than the world knows.  

Be strong, be demanding, and never ever back down.   Be resilient.  Be epic.

International Woman’s Day is every fucking day.   Joss Whedon gets that.   Be more like Joss Whedon.

 

You’re So Pretty.

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Sorry I’ve been kinda absentee lately, Bitches.

I’ve been at the beach.

Literally.  We have spent the summer in and out of the city and hanging out as a family.  We are super lucky to have a family cottage where we can just escape from all the people and all the things and just decompress.

In theory anyway.  It’s not completely stress free spending 24 hours a day with your children with no work or grocery store or girls nights to escape to.

But that’s another post.

Do you know how many bathing suits I own?

7.

Of the seven, five are bikinis, and 2 are one pieces.

The one pieces I hardly ever wear and actually bought for doing the baby swimming lessons when I was still pretty post partum.  Like they hid something.  Like anybody cared.  I just felt like a one piece was a little more appropriate for that environment.

But once outside?  Fuck it.  I am not spending a day peeling a one piece bathing suit on and off to use the bathroom.  And anybody who’s had a baby knows how often that happens once you have kids, right?  Let’s just say that if I lived in the US, I could probably sue them for the damage they did to my bladder. And that’s not even including the whole “cross your legs when you sneeze” thing.

And of the 5 bikinis, 3 of them are cheap suits that look good, but are starting to get a little stretched out or see through, but are good enough for a private beach.  Because nobody gives a fuck out there.

I bought one ridiculously expensive suit two years ago that helped to “disguise” the wreck that was my lower abdomen after Buddy was born.  It’s one of those ones with a little skirt.  Beautiful, but sometimes the extra material on the skirt is fucking aggravating.

And the last one was a suit I bought years ago, before my breast reduction and way before we had kids.  I’ve kept the bottoms all these years because they were really good quality, fit well and were black, but the top was useless. So yesterday, I went on a quest to find a beautiful, high end top that I could pair with the bottoms.  Think of those cute mismatched suits.

I found one at the specialty store. The place with the fancy French lingerie and bathing suits where the saleslady can’t wait to get in that change room with you and wrestle your titties into a fancy bathing suit top or bra.  They also love to shatter your dreams when they look at you and just by eyeballing your tits through a sundress, guess your bra size and it was nothing like what you thought it was.

Did you know that titties can grow back after you have a breast reduction?  Because babies?

Because always babies.

They ruin everything.  Even your titties.  Sigh.

So anyway.

I bought this beautiful top to pair with the bottoms I had and came home to try the ensemble on together.

The pre baby bottoms with the post baby top.

And Bitches, a little self doubt crept in.

And then you know what happened?

My little Buddy came over to me and said “You’re so pretty Mama.”

“Your hair is pretty. And your eyes are pretty. And your arms are pretty.  And your tummy is pretty. And your lips are pretty. And your legs are pretty. “

So the three year old teaches the lesson we should all remember today.  If only we could see ourselves through the eyes of our children.  Their perception is so innocent, but it is also uncensored and truthful.

I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to hear his little voice say those words to me.  It was the purest, most untarnished compliment I have ever received. He doesn’t care if there is a lump or a bump somewhere, or if my tummy jiggles in places or if my thighs touch.

He just sees me through eyes of love…..and so should I .

And so should you.

 

 

 

Childbearing Has Really Fucked Up My Body

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oppenheimerschmidt.deviantart.com

Everybody knows that doing things like jumping on a trampoline after having children can be dangerous.  I am usually capable of controlling myself down there, but anything that exudes a little bit of force like jumping or sneezing may produce wet spots.  Or coughing.

Or laughing too hard.

Ok.  I pee my pants a little bit now and then.  But whatever.

I just read this amazing article over at The Secret Life of Emily Maine that talks about how common birth injuries are and that there are many ways to treat them if we look past the usual post partum checkups that really only focus on things like bleeding and infection.  Anyway….if you’ve had a child and even years later have pain or incontinence, go and read the article.  The link to it is inside her post that I’ve included above here.

But what about the shit that is not actually an injury, but just weird things that happen to your body after creating and carrying life?

Let’s just start with the extra skin leftover on your stomach.  It’s really fucking annoying.  I feel like everything went back to normal after the first baby, but after number two?  Perma-saggy-belly.  I keep watching episodes of “Skin Tight”  on TLC where people who have lost hundreds of pounds get plastic surgery to remove the excess skin and I am so jealous.

That’s why mom jeans were invented, Bitches.  Because there are just some things that your spawn do to you that can’t be fixed.  I don’t care about stretch marks or wider hips.  But the skin has got to go.  Maybe A GoFundMe page is in my future?

Second, I wanna know what the fuck kind of cruel joke God thinks he’s playing when it comes to facial hair.  If you only knew how much time I spend each week plucking.  And I’m not just taking about eyebrows.

After you turn thirty, and I mean literally the day after you wake up to nurse your hangover from the night before, these little chin hairs start appearing.

And then, after you have two babies, those couple of chin hairs bring some friends.

And then, just to add a little insult to injury, some of those fuckers turn white just to make you feel hairy AND old.  Seriously.  I don’t give a fuck about hormones and whatever.  Stop with the goddamn beard.  Please.

So, once you are done with peeing and wide hips,  the skin and the hair, the exhaustion and irritability, where does it leave you?

A shell of the woman you once were.

And for the first few years, you kinda don’t give a fuck anyway.  You are so tired that all you want to know is where is your coffee cup in the morning and wine bottle at night.

And then 5 years has past, and you start to feel like you’re a person again.  You start to wear something other than yoga pants and old maternity clothes.  You start to give a shit and make a bit of an effort and that’s when the changes hit you.

But you know what else?

I’ll keep plucking and fantasizing about a tummy tuck for the rest of eternity to know that I have created two healthy and happy little sprites.  It’s way more than so many get.

But if any of you want to fund some surgery or electrolysis that would be cool too.

Or we could lobby the government for change…have it included in post partum care.  Right?

 

The Twee Destroyer Of Hearts Is FIVE!

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Photo by the fabulous Alicia Thwaites.

Today my Twee Destroyer of Hearts turns 5.

FIVE!

She is not so twee anymore, but she still breaks your heart into a million pieces with her beautiful smile and crazy personality.

5 years since I became a mother.  5 years since Husband and I embarked on this path to insanity and sleepless nights. 5 years of exhaustion, frustration and bewilderment.  5 years of humility.

5 years of the purest love on the planet.  The love between a mother and her child.

And the thing is, as cliche as it sounds, I really do love her more today than on the day she was born.  I think that when you first give birth, the love is instinctual and raw and biological. Your job, your whole reason for existing (biologically speaking) is to protect and care for your child.  To make sure that your genetics make it and pass down.

But now 5 years have passed and the fog has lifted and I can really see her now.

I don’t have to rely on just my motherly instincts anymore (and let’s just say THANK GOD she survived because I pretty much had no idea what the fuck I was doing most of the time) because she’s turned into this wonderful little human being that I would be drawn to even if she wasn’t mine.

Now I get to love her not just because biology says I have to and babies are delicious; I get to love her because she’s turned into this spirited, empathetic,  intelligent, enthusiastic, gorgeous and creative little person.

I get to love her because honestly, all assholery aside, my daughter is pretty fucking rad.

5 years ago I had this insane, rocket fast delivery of a 7 pound, 14 oz little spitfire.

I am so grateful for her and all she’s done for my life.

Happy Birthday Baby.  My love for you is already so big I feel like there isn’t room in my heart for it. And it just keeps growing.  Have the best day ever.

 

I Don’t Want Your Kid To Be An Asshole, I Just Want To Know That Mine Are Normal

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quoteaddicts.com

Honest to GAWD, you guys.  I cannot take any more of this whine until Mommy loses her shit crap.  Or my mind.  Or my fucking marbles.

Why is it that a (almost) 5 year old’s preferred methods of communication include whining and high pitched screaming.  Don’t forget the waterless tears, because those are my absolute favourite.

I’m not gonna lie.  Yesterday was rough.  There was nothing that got accomplished in this house until the volume of my requests were full out screaming at my children.

It was so rough, that when the bottle of tequila started making sexy eyes at me in the middle of the afternoon, I didn’t ignore his cat calls and tell him not in front of the children.  I made the eyes back.  I fantasized about wrapping my full lips around the neck of the bottle, and taking all of him back.  Every last drop.

Thanks God for fantasies.  They get you through the day.

Despite all the shitty behaviour, and a rainy day where no outside time was really  possible, I gave them one job:  Behave yourselves at the grocery store, and we will visit Dollarama for some crafts.

But oh no, that was just was too high of an expectation.  They couldn’t act like normal humans for 40 minutes.

I seriously just wanted to zipper their mouths shut and tie them to the rocket cart they were driving.  It was horrible.

I didn’t even wait until we got home to yell at them.  I let ‘er lose right there in the truck,in the parking lot.

I just want to feel for one day that I am raising children that will be respectful, obedient human beings.  That I am teaching them the behaviours they need to learn so that they will succeed at school or work.  That they will realize you have to earn things in this life, and they will remember that assholery only gets you so far, and then it all falls apart.

I just want ONE DAY where I feel like I am respected in my own home and that my efforts are recognized by them.  Sometimes they just act so un-appreciatively, and it makes me so sad that they don’t realize how hard I try to make their life awesome.

When someone is always crying or complaining, it sure makes you feel like you are doing a shit job.  And I wonder if every parent out there feels the same way.

So, do you?  Feel like you never get it right that is?

That’s where Tuesday left me, Bitches.  Tell me you’ve been there and that it changes.

Please?

 

 

 

 

This Mom Guilt Thing Is A Real Asshole

For all of you who are parents to more than one child, do you remember what it was like to have to say “goodbye” to your only child when your second was about to arrive?  How did it change your relationship with your oldest?  How do you cope with being two places or everywhere at the same time?

I came across a series of photos online yesterday of moms last moments alone with their firstborns shortly before they birthed their second baby.  I remember that moment so vividly, and I wish so badly that I had a birth photographer to capture it for me.

I remember that I had been in labour for 22 hours already and awake since the day before.  I remember Husband’s mum was there to take care of her while we left to bring our Buddy Earthside  And I remember her standing in her little sundress on the steps and looking at her with the saddest heart ever.

It wasn’t like I wouldn’t see her the next day.  It wasn’t like we were going away for a long time or not coming back.  But we kind of were.

I had to say goodbye to who she was at that moment and embrace a new role for her.  She was no longer going to be my whole world, she was only going to be a part of it.  And I felt like how can I do this to her?  How can I takeaway her job of being the single most important thing in my life and make her share it?  I felt terrible and sad  and selfish for leaving.

In that moment I had to mourn my only child and replace her with a big sister, and as dumb as that sounds it broke my heart into a million pieces.

And of course Buddy was and still is the clingiest, snuggliest, most sensitive little guy ever and is in constant demand of my attention.  He’s almost three and still needs his Mommy fiercely.  So I wonder how my Twee Destroyer of Hearts feels about that.

I wonder if she remembers the almost two years we had alone together or if she just accepts what is.  I wonder if I sometimes ignore her needs because her brother is younger and his needs are more immediate and usually a lot louder.  I wonder if she feels like I love her less because she has a little brother.

Which of course I don’t.  I just feel like I am always out of time, you know?  Like by the time I am done work and dinner and laundry and tending to all the things that need tending, that I have so little time left at the end of the day to just hang out with her and listen to what she wants to tell me.

I feel like the end of everyday is crammed into those final moments on the steps before I left for the hospital.  Like I want nothing more than just to sit there with her but there is always something pulling me away.  And I worry that she thinks I don’t care enough.

I have a lot of guilt lately.  I feel like I am never enough.  To anyone, but especially my babies, and even more especially to her.

The mom guilt is brutal lately, Bitches.  How do you pick yourself up?

 

The Business Of Making Babies: Supporting Midwifery Care

 

M0003964EB Ancient Roman relief carving of a midwife

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Who’s in the business of making babies?

Calm down.  Not me.  I had my two and would be happy to bake another baby-pie for y’alls entertainment, but I think this kitchen is closed.

There are however a whole lot of women out there who are in the business of making babies.

And then there’s the ones in the business of catching them.

MIDWIVES.

I personally did not have a midwife. You can read all about my heroic births here and here if you want a good laugh at my expense. My family doctor is one of those rare ones who does all of her own obstetrics (except when she is on medical leave at the end of your second pregnancy because fuck my life.)  She’s been my doctor since I was seventeen and I felt comfortable with the care and open relationship I have with her.  Had this not have been the case, I would have definitely sought out the care of a midwife rather than an OB.

But unfortunately it’s not that simple.

In Manitoba, we have about 50 practicing midwives, while the demand for midwifery care could support around 200.  That means that only 25 % of women who want to chose this kind of care and birth for their children are able to receive it.  Bitches, this is bullshit.

It is 2016.  Women are supposed to be in charge of their bodies and able to make informed decisions during pregnancy, labour and postpartum.  How is it that we are unable to provide necessary services to mothers and their newborns at a consistent level?

And yes.  Necessary.

How may of you have waited hours in an OB’s office waiting for your 10 minute prenatal appointment?  How many of you have spent the most vulnerable and raw moment of your life with a complete stranger as the resident on call came to catch the baby you were delivering and stitch up your vagina while he chatted casually with the nurses or you?  How many of your choices and desires were ignored or disrespected during labour or delivery because what you wanted was inconvenient for the hospital staff?  How many of you were laughed at or ignored at when you trusted your instincts and what your body was telling you during birth even when you were right?

All of those things happened to me.  And I have an awesome doctor who knows me well.

Midwifery care is different.  It’s personal.  It’s a bond of trust and care and guidance.  Of choices.  And those are all the necessary things you need during childbirth.

And there are some wonderful doctors out there.  Mine included.  But I can tell you from experience that labouring in a hospital and labouring at home are two completely different experiences.  And my doctor doesn’t make house calls.

So, what’s the solution?  Hire more midwives, right?

Not in this province.  First of all, the midwives here have been without a contract for two years.  Their current wages are so far behind the rest of the country that we keep losing the ones we have to other provinces where they are compensated better for the work they do.  They are about to strike, so we are about to have 0 practicing midwives if the province can’t get its shit together and offer them a decent deal.

The other issue is that we don’t really have a current training program.  A few years ago, the University of Manitoba teamed up with the College of the North in The Pas to develop a Midwifery program that included specific training in Aboriginal traditions and cultural sensitivity.

Sounds great right?  Women in rural communities without access to a hospital are the most in need of midwifery care.

Well, over 8 years,the program took in 26 students.  Only 8 graduated, and it cost the taxpayers 8 million dollars.  They have currently halted enrollment since 2015.  So now nobody is getting trained. *Edit:  There has apparently been a new intake of students in the fall of 2015.  Thank you readers!*

What the ever living fuck?  You’re going to invest a million dollars EACH to train these midwives and then you can’t compensate them properly when they are doing the job you deemed it was so critical to invest in?  Not only that, but half of them weren’t even offered full time positions.  So then the midwives we do have are so overworked with their clients that we don’t have enough of them to train the students.  AND SO it goes on.

We also built this beautiful birth center that is grossly underused.  With not enough midwives and doctors not allowed privellages there, it was a waste of money.  We keep trying to pretend like we are supporting women’s health and offering all these services, but we need to have an adequate number of midwives to make it all work.

The province needs to take a look at this.  They need to find a way to recruit, retain and train more midwives.  They need to stop putting the cart before the horse and get back to basics.  And for God’s sake, don’t lose any more of the ones we have.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, demand better care.  Insist that you have choices in your care.  Insist that you are provided all of the options and that they are available to you.  Because birthing in a hospital on a doctors timeline sucks balls sometimes.

 

So This Guy Knocked Up This Girl….And Now He’s Suing Her.

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The other day I read some news story on msn about this guy who’s suing his ex girlfriend for getting pregnant by accident.

Can you even believe this shit?

These two consenting adults had a relationship for a few months, got down and dirty.  She was on the pill, so he didn’t bag his groceries and WHOOPS!  Baby.

So this dickhead is trying to sue her for 4 million dollars because of all the emotional trauma he’s suffered due to an unwanted pregnancy.

First of all, this guy is a doctor.  So he likely knows a little bit about reproduction and that nothing is 100%.  She could have gotten drunk and missed a pill.   She could have been sick and puked up a pill.  She could have taken a medication that interacted and fucked up her pill.  If the idea of an unplanned pregnancy is that fucking traumatizing to you, why would you leave your fate in the hands of some chick you’ve been banging for two months?

Would you leave your fate in her hands about STDs too?  Oh, right.  You did that too.  Because you’re an idiot. Your little friend down south is better off with a raincoat on, and you know it.

Second of all, I laugh in the face of this guys emotional trauma.  Because he can walk away at any point.  Her?  She’s either got to choose to end the life inside her and live with that forever, or keep the child and love it and nurture it and live with that choice forever.  So I’m gonna go ahead and be a sexist bitch and say that if anybody is suffering an emotional trauma here, it’s the mother.

She’s the one who has to endure a pregnancy alone.  Face birth without a partner, face those sleepless nights without a partner.   And Bitches, we all know how much hard work that is.

The judge basically ended up throwing his case out of court and rightly so, in my opinion.  She even refused to allow the parent’s full names to be in the case file for fear that the child would one day grow up and see how their father felt about them.

Maybe the mother should counter sue him for knocking her up and refusing to wear a condom?  How about for suffering the emotional trauma that comes with the realization that you’ve been fucking a total douche canoe for the last few months?

And yes, I get it.  The guy wanted to meet the woman of his dreams, get married, have children later.  That’s his ideal.

But you know what?  Sometimes life hands you shit and it seems overwhelming and you wish it could have happened another way.  But when a child is involved?  A life that, wanted or not, you have helped create?  That is a blessing.  Maybe a disguised one at first, but there is always room to love a baby now matter what the circumstances of their existence are.

So you know what, Dr. Dick?

Just grow the fuck up.

The End.

 

 

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.

ETC.

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.

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