Did your birth live up to your expectations?
Now, you all know by now that I’m all for the happiest, most rewarding childbirth experiences ever. I mean, come on. Pretty clear by the Show Title. But in today’s episode with Anna, we’ll discuss the reality that sometimes birth isn’t a fairy tale. Even if it goes relatively well each time, it might not be your “dream birth” I’m really looking forward to unpacking this through Anna’s stories, and I’ll share more of my thoughts, as always, in the episode roundup.
There’s a giveaway going on over on Instagram this week. My good friend Helen is an artist, and one of her specialties are birth related! She paints custom baby in utero designs on pebbles. Check out the details at @happyhomebirthpodcast, and go ahead and give @rosiebluebirdart a like
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- Anna is the mother of 3 babies.
- Her first 2 births were unmedicated at the hospital with midwives. At the time, she was too nervous to give birth at home.
- She feels that her first birth was the perfect amount of time for labor.
- Second birth, family decided to use the hospital again. Her husband was a resident at the time, so their birth in the hospital would be free
- Anna spent most of her second labor in triage. Once she got to her L&D room, she jumped into the birth tub and had a baby 7 minutes later
- Her second birth taught her that she might be able to do things easier at home without all of the transitions of going to the hospital, waiting in triage, etc.
- Her 3rd birth: Her husband agreed to having a homebirth, provided they could find a CNM
- There was a CNM 30 minutes away, and she even scheduled all of the prenatal for when he would be home
- Labor began at 9pm on her due date. Anna went from feeling uncertain that she was in labor to deep, deep labor within just a moment
- Her husband called everyone to the house while Anna roared through contractions in the shower
- Because everything happened so quickly, the midwife did’t have time to grab gloves, so Anna’s husband was able to catch the baby. He narrated the whole thing.
- “I wasn’t sure I was in labor until she was basically born”
- “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay”
As we head into the episode roundup, I really want to discuss this quote from Anna: “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay.”
As I mentioned in the episode, and as is abundantly clear in my childbirth education program, the goal is an empowered birthing experience. And truth be told, I believe there is SO MUCH we can do to move the needle in the direction of this outcome. Taking preparation seriously, working with our mindset, learning the tools and techniques that can encourage presence… it can all do so much. In fact, the results my founding members have experienced through Happy Homebirth Academy really make me feel this is possible for so may. But at the same time, we’ve got to remember that birth isn’t a fairy tale or a pinterest pin. It varies vastly, and your perception of the events can be just as varied. I say this as a reminder to be kind to yourself. Even if on the outside you had a birth that was “good” or “positive”, remember that your feelings of the situation are valid and worth discussing.
And this brings me to another point, which is NOT related to Anna’s experience, but a tangent I arrived at later: Remember that not everything is as it seems. Social media is flooded with the most gorgeous birth photos, and perhaps it leaves you feeling like your experience was somehow less. Please remember that the beautiful photo of the mother glowing with twinkle lights behind her might have been taken mere minutes after that mother barfed her entire lunch on her midwife’s shoes. Birth. It’s messy and unpredictable and beautiful and everything in between.