Ok, so I love “The Office”…
And this post has nothing to do with Battlestar Galactica.
Now that Mother’s Day has passed and we’ve successfully made it through another holiday filled with pointless controversy, I think it’s time to go ahead and bring up something a bit less…well…controversial.
Ready?? I can tell you’re excited. Alright…and the topic is…
BIRTH STORIES!! Yay!!
Ok, so before you seek the BACK button as quickly as your fingers will take you, give me a chance to bring up this subject in a less-than-annoying way. Or at least let me TRY to…and then if I fail miserably and this turns out to be a complete bust, then BACK BUTTON AWAY, my Friends.
So let’s just get this out of the way really quick, shall we?
I have three kids who I birthed vaginally.
Epidurals, an induction, stitches up the ying-yang and a whole lot of “I’m never doing this again!!!” (( …and here I am…again…Hmm. )) My babies were born and we all survived and now they are all annoying, loud little kids with too much energy and endless appetites for everything except for their dinners.
The details, to me, really aren’t important for anyone but me. I’ll be sure to remind them of the pain they caused me as they grow into adulthood, I’m sure. But really…that’s all.
I’ve learned, in my short 7 ish years of Motherhood, that this isn’t the case for all Moms. In fact, the details of birth stories seem to be some of the most controversial topics discussed in ANY Mommy group – ESPECIALLY online. I have made a conscious effort to avoid those things. I already have stress and self-doubt enough for 40 Moms…why add to it?? Plus, my jokes tend to rub a lot of internet people the wrong way.
Like when I call my kids “annoying” or “loud” or “crappy-little-turd-bags”…
…for some reason that makes me sound like I don’t actually like them very much, I guess.
The thing is, this birth stuff really seems to get under people’s skin. It irritates the sanity right out of the minds of any and all people who have ever had any kind of opinion about birth or babies or mothers or vaginas or nature or medicine or science…
…and the sad part is, that’s not an exaggeration.
AND the SADDEST part is…you already knew that.
So, obviously you already know where I personally stand when it comes to my own birth experience. I had epidurals and stitches and you can be damn sure that I took full advantage of any and all pain medication offered to me afterwards. I’m kind of emotional and make a lot of my decisions based on how I feel in the moment. You could say that I like having a plan…in theory. But when it comes down to it, I’m gonna wing it and hope it all works out.
It drives some people nuts.
My husband, for example, isn’t the biggest fan of my “winging it” thing.
But, you know what? It works for me and I have ZERO regrets when it comes to any of my births!! YAY!!
I put a question out into my Friend circle on my Facebook page earlier today. I asked about their personal experiences and whether they had ever been made to feel “less-than” by anyone else for the way that they birthed their children.
Most of them had, at one point or another, been hurt by words of others around them.
Other Moms, other women.
(( Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in, shall we? ))
#thatsucks #wompwomp #wecandobetter!!
I asked Friends because I felt comfortable and safe in having that sort of dialogue on my own page, somewhere that I most likely already knew where each woman was coming from and what they might have to add to the conversation. Honestly I would never in my life EVER ask such a question to a room full of strangers. Ever. Never. NEVERREVERR.
You don’t even have to wonder why, do you…
Think on this, really quick…
I am 28 years old. My sister is 26 and my brother is 22, or something around there – we’re a little bunch of twenty-somethings just milling about life and being adults. My parents are empty-nesters who do just about the same thing. They each have pictures of us hanging in their own offices and as our families grow, they add pictures of their Grandkids to their walls, too.
My Mom gave birth to three babies, her first almost thirty years ago.
Can you guess HOW I came into this world?
I mean, based on my health and intelligence, would you be able to tell me right now whether I was breastfed or bottle fed? Did I have cloth diapers on my cute little butt? Do you think that my growth was stunted or affected by the medical practices of the 80’s?
Did I experience any long term health issues because of laughing gas or forceps?
Maybe an epidural or anesthesia from an emergency c-section caused me to not be able to learn as quickly as other kids my age…
Maybe the fact that she gave birth to me in a car in downtown Chicago caused me to have a fear of taxis and refuse to live in cities with too much smog…
MAYBE she ate only vegetables and took every vitamin and went to every jazzercize class available right up until she breathed through a natural labor and delivery as the nurses wrapped me up in lacy mauve frills and oversized pastel sweatsuits.
Actually, it could be that NONE of these are correct.
I’m not totally sure, to be honest. Maybe it’s a mix of all of them. Maybe I wouldn’t tell you even if I DID know because then you would know a bit more about me than anyone should ever actually want to know…
Can you imagine how many people see pictures of her adult children sitting neatly on her desk and immediately ask her,
“Oh, what lovely adults they’ve become. Did you have them vaginally?”
It’s silly, right? The 80’s were a different time and so were the 90’s, actually. We know more stuff now, more science stuff and health stuff and it turns out you’re NOT supposed to have babies sleep on their stomach…or maybe now you can? Or was it their side?
Medications are poison and ultrasounds cause death. Going without medications is stupid and careless and women have to enjoy pain to choose that route. C-sections are convenient. Babies shouldn’t be convenient. Doctors are the best. Doctors are impersonal. Doulas don’t know everything. Midwives are outdated. Midwives are most passionate. Birth centers are the only natural and caring option.
Wanna know what I have to say to ALL OF THAT???
What a bunch of crap.
Listen, I know you’re opinionated. I know you’re educated. I just know it, because what Mom these days isn’t?? What new Mom hasn’t picked up a book or magazine or tablet or phone and NOT found some kind of reading material focused on persuading the reader to see their point of view or choose their way or make their decision when it comes to birth??
I Google, people…I GOOGLE THE CRAP out of life.
I am not a fan of reading things, usually, simply because I don’t have the flipping time. But if there is something relating to my kids or pregnancy or vaginal whatnots, you can bet I’ve read about it. I’ve read everything there is to read and I’ve re-read it again and again, making sure nothing has changed.
And then, if I’m still not satisfied with the answers, I turn to my most trusted People.
I have friends who are doctors, veterinarians, nurses, teachers, bakers, scientists, pharmacists, nuclear engineers, pizza delivery people, cat people…
I KNOW PEOPLE, OK??
And I’m not afraid to USE their knowledge that I’ve never taken the time to learn for myself!! If I don’t know, I won’t just let it go. I’m gonna figure it out and make a dang decision. EVEN IF you don’t AGREE with that decision, you can be sure – as of RIGHT NOW – that I have researched and read and talked the ears off of someone who knows better than me BEFORE coming to the decision that I have.
I mean...don’t you?
Especially when it comes to your body? Or your kids? Or people you love? Or even PETS that you love???
Yes. You do. Because Google.
And this is why I don’t flipping understand why there is so much controversy when it comes to birth. Seriously, I don’t flipping get it. I JUST DON’T. What the hell, Ladies?? Your fellow woman is experiencing one of the most miraculous, terrifying, painful, incredible, TERRIFYING things that ANY human being can experience!!!
And you REALLY want your FIRST and LAST impression on this woman’s life to be…
“Your epidural just poisoned your baby. Enjoy stunted growth and slow learning.”
Good grief, seriously. Just stop it already. Everyone. Just stop. I have yet to meet a single person in this entire 28 years of life that I have lived who has been convinced to happily change their mind because someone who was louder than them told them to.
This is something I often come back to in almost ALL areas of my life…
(( except for driving…I know…I need to work on it ))
I believe in God, I believe in Jesus. I believe that God is love and I believe that in order to show and share God’s love, the best way to do that is simply to LIVE it. When you see someone hurting, LOVE them. When you see someone stressing, LOVE them. When you see someone celebrating, LOVE them!
Do you think someone who just had their house burn down would benefit MORE from someone coming to them and saying,
“God loves you, everything happens for a reason.”
…or someone coming to them with a pile of blankets and food and an invitation to rest and cry and talk as needed?
Which one, to you, demonstrates God’s love more clearly??
IN THE SAME FLIPPING WAY, if you see a woman choosing an epidural – LOVE them! If you see a woman going through a c-section – LOVE them!! But maybe be careful not to hug them too hard. If you see another woman who has children – LOVE them. Or a woman WITHOUT children – LOVE them.
Do you think someone who just gave birth to a child would benefit MORE from someone coming to them and saying,
“Congratulations on your baby, you’re lucky they survived that water birth.”
OR someone coming to them with a meal for their family and an offer to do their dishes and the opportunity to rest or cry or talk as needed WITHOUT judgment??
Which one demonstrates your genuine interest in their well-being and not just your own opinions???
Sometimes it’s hard, to live out love. Sometimes it feels impossible or unnecessary – especially if you don’t actually believe in God or His love or unconditional love in the first place. But just in those two examples, which one would you prefer – if the person in pain were you??
Love is kindness. Love is patience. Love IS NOT prideful.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Whether you believe in God or not…c-sections or not…medications or not…Santa Claus or not…
…I feel like you can believe in love. I feel like we could all benefit from a little more of THAT kind of love.
Be kind, Friends. Choose love above everything else and see how it changes your life and the lives of those around you. Share love before your opinions and see what kind of difference you experience in your own life.
(( even when you’re driving…ugh… ))