Look, I know that there are real asshole “natural birth” advocates that will stomp all over anyone that does anything less than a med and intervention free water birth with the Dali Lama present in complete silence. I will tell you right now that those people are assholes who are probably going to drive their children right into the Young Republican club in high school, much to their patchouli scented dismay.
Those people are idiots.
I have a lot of friends who said “give me the drugs, I dont want to feel SHIT” and went on to have calming childbirths with healthy and happy babies. And I have never once - not out loud or in my head - “judged” them for that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting to have the birth that you WANT.
In the same right, there are some of us who view birth as a challenge, much like running a marathon. To me, giving birth naturally was something that interested me - therefore it was a challenge I posed to myself. I researched everything I could, I prepped myself for it - mentally and physically. I put in a lot of work, before delivery and during, to push my body to that limit. I have a lot of reasons I wanted to do it the way I did, and Im always happy to talk about those reasons - because if it werent for someone talking to me about it, I dont think I would have understood what the benefits were and why people choose to do it that way. Talking about those reasons, to an audience that is receptive, is not me putting you down for what youve done.
Heres a difference between me judging you and me talking to you:
Person who is pregnant: Im due in a week and I have already set up my epidural. I dont want to feel a thing.
Me: OMG, pain meds are going to kill your baby. You are a horrible mother. Epidurals are the devil and you obviously dont value the entire earth because youre setting the whole planet up for failure.
That is judging.
Person who is pregnant: I just saw some information on natural birth and it intrigues me. Id really like to do it that way
Me: My natural birth was awesome - one of the best days of my life. Here are some other things you can research to prepare for a natural birth. It really is an awesome way to have your baby and I promise you youll understand why we all are so crazy for it now.
That is not judging.
Im proud of what my body was able to do. Im proud of myself for setting a goal and sticking to it. I dont understand why the fact that I had this amazing labor experience should really affect anyone else - unless, of course, I tell them that they are somehow less of a person for not doing it exactly like me.
Its something I discovered that I love talking about, I love reading about and that I will continue to want to discuss because Im passionate about it.
I will never ask you “did you get medication?”.
If you tell me you did, I will congratulate you on doing what was best for you.
I wont assume you want to listen to the reasons why I chose to birth the way I did.
If you ask me, I will tell you.
I dont judge you. I dont think Im better than you. I dont secretly assume you dont care about your body, your child, or your life. I do assume that your experience was different than mine.
If someone opens the door to talk about how they want to try to do it the way I did it, I will always offer help in that area. If they should not want that help, I wont push it.
I will be proud of myself for doing it naturally twice. I will be exceptionally proud of myself for hating how my first birth was and finding ways to change that. My first birth was traumatic, my second was healing and for that I will be not only grateful, but I will express that emotion.
If you can say “I had an epidural and it was awesome” then I can say “I did it natural and it was awesome”.
I dont assume youre judging me when you say “I dont want to feel pain, thats crazy”. And maybe you are judging me. But Im secure enough with my choice to not really care because my birth was so amazing I cant wait to do it again. Not only am I not scared, Im excited.
ETA: It was brought to my attention that maybe *I* am being a birth victim for giving a shit what anyone in the world thinks about how *I* gave birth. And actually, that is a very valid point. (This person often has valid points, but dont tell her I said that)
Look, Im not afraid to admit when Ive acted like an asshole, and maybe this is one of those cases. I wrote a blog about something that was emotional to me (which is what I use this blog for - it doesnt need to go on Facebook for the world to see and I assume that whoever reads this blog is someone who is interested in the things I have to say). So I did get my emotions out on this site, but that doesnt mean they are “right”.
My birth is something that was very special to me. I know that a lot of people think thats crazy, and I respect that. So there is a large possibility that I got over emotional about comments that were made (and its not just one comment or one person) to me over the last 2 months.
I vow to lighten up about it. If Im going to tell other people to be secure and stop feeling judged then I damn well better be ready to take my own advice.
You live and you learn :)