“I guess you learned the hard way not to do homebirths, huh?”
My gut reaction: Bleeped out for inappropriate content. LOL.
I share this not to judge or condemn this person (although I hope he reads this), but because it is real. And there was a point in my life in which I probably would have said something similar. Heck, I have asked myself that question. Maybe you’re thinking it now. I could choose to be offended. In fact, it is my first reaction, fueled by pride and defensiveness and frustration and hot emotion. It’s easy to get offended in our culture these days. It’s easy to not like what people around us think, say, do, etc…but we can’t live an offended life. We have to choose to forgive, choose to love the unlovable and have grace for the ones who hurt us. Let us be a group of people that reflect the light of Jesus in our world all around us with our actions and our compassion. I know this because someone has lovingly done this for me.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:12-14
The Lord presented me with a situation. I don’t owe this person (or anyone) an explanation, but I will accept the Lord’s invitation!
Why does birth matter?
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers – strong, competent capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” – Barbara Katz Rothman
“Listen to any group of new parents talking about their birth experience, and here's a phrase you'll almost certainly hear. "At least," someone will say, "the baby was all right. That's all that really matters." That comment will come after one of the group has poured out a story that fell very far short of ideal – a story in which she felt she was ignored, not listened to, disempowered, neglected. A birth that typically started well, but turned into a scary (sometimes terrifying) rollercoaster, from which the new family was left so shaken that they were genuinely grateful that they were even still alive.
Ask any child development specialist, and they'll tell you the same thing: the best predictor of a child's future wellbeing, future educational attainment, future mental health and future happiness is the quality of the bond formed between that child and his or her primary caregivers in the hours, days, months and years after birth. The way a birth pans out affects a father's early bonding with his child, as well as his future relationship with his partner. And all of that is vital in providing the newborn with an environment that's as secure as possible, because security is what every child needs in early life.
When a woman begins her life as a mother feeling low in confidence, unsure about how she feels about her child and unhappy in herself, she won't be as able to give herself to the bonding process as she will if she embarks on motherhood feeling in control, empowered and validated by the experience. Give a new mother confidence, and you give her the best possible start in the hardest job in the world – and that's the best possible start you can give her baby, too. Give her a good birth experience, and the road ahead is at least on a level, and maybe even downhill. Give her a traumatic birth, and you give her a hill to climb – and, of course, she has a baby to carry as well. Birth isn't just about two people still breathing: we're doing the next generation a huge injustice by assuming it is.”
Birth #1 Vivienne (7lbs 4oz): Hospital, OBGYN in Miami, FL. I had a NST at 39 weeks 5 days and she asked me if I was feeling the baby move as much. I guess not? There wasn’t much room! She said she thought I should be induced and I didn’t think to ask why. I’m pretty sure I got the epidural before they started Pitocin. I did NOT want to feel a contraction! I didn’t realize that an epidural meant you had to lie on your back and couldn’t move (gravity, help!). Two hours of pushing (although I had no idea when I was even having a contraction). They mumbled words about an emergency C-section and my friend asked the nurses to do something, they rolled me on to my side, like a beached whale, and out came the baby. But, not without a generous episiotomy by my OB. The episiotomy stitches were the worst. I was constantly falling asleep nursing my daughter. We struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning but went on to breastfeed till she was 3yo.
Birth #2 Joseph (7lbs 11oz): Hospital, Midwives, Doula, Hypnobirth in Gainesville, FL. Educated and empowered! At 40 weeks 5 days I had my first contraction, arrived at the hospital and birthed my son within 40 minutes of arrival. Unmedicated, in whatever position I pleased. Gravity, hallelujah!! I’d never been more proud of myself, my baby and my body!! Latched immediately for an hour and breastfed till 1 yo.
Birth #3 Fiona (7lbs 8oz): Homebirth, Midwives, Doula, Photographer at Home Sweet Home Williston, FL. At 41 weeks 3 days I lost my mucous plug, had bloody show and gave birth to my daughter in our large bathtub within an hour of my birth team arriving! I felt like a goddess. I understood how Kate Middleton could walk out and show off her baby in a pretty dress hours after giving birth. I felt SO good and so proud of our little bundle of joy!! Breastfed till 18 months.
Birth #4 Gideon (9lbs): Homebirth, Midwives, Doula, Photographer at Home Sweet Home Williston, FL, NICU transfer. 41 weeks 4 days I had been 5cm for a week and was desperate for labor to start so I tried castor oil. I gave birth in our newly renovated bathroom, in the soaker tub. It was another fast birth! He was born with a knot in his cord, pale and lifeless. The midwives and our friend Clayton resuscitated him and he was transferred to the NICU, where he spent eight days. He made a miraculous recovery, with no long-term side effects anticipated. In terms of physical recovery, it was my best recovery yet! I had so much energy and hope. Currently exclusively breastfeeding.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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