Friday, May 31, 2013

Have an Imperfect Birth

What is this perfect birth women talk about? Have you ever stopped to question the sentiment that perfect women can plan a perfect birth?

You don't have to be perfect to experience a physiologically normal pregnancy and birth. You don't have to be perfectly fit, at the prime of your life, with a perfect partner and rolling in money. You don't have to know everything, you don't have to be super educated, you don't have to be special in any way.

I've seen the "perfect birth campaign" in the natural community and it's the same as the "breast is best campaign." It's judgmental and misleading. Please don't lump me into it. It seems people hear about some of my birth experiences and right away have a tendency to think that everything went perfectly and worked out just right so I was able to "attain" the "perfect" birth.

Well, I have news for you. Pregnancy and birth will always have curveballs, for every woman. But you can still find ways to support the body and the process. Pregnancy and birth will never go exactly how you plan and you can't control them no matter how many resources you have at your hands. It's not all luck and it's not only for the select or elite.

Regardless of the unpredictability of life, satisfying birth is in your grasp. Let me remind you of some of the nitty details that seem to get lost when people hear about my birth my severe pelvic injuries from gymnastics. Or my compound homozygous genetic DEFECT. Or dealing with gluten sensitivity and casein allergy while still securing a nourishing diet.

What about my babies growing large and positioning themselves in interesting ways? How about some actual complications, too. I've had major hemorrhages after each birth. I've retained my placentas and needed to coax them out as they don't spontaneously release. They are all anterior, w/ battledore insertions and they show clotting on the maternal side. Or how about my scarred perineum from a sports injury, that I tear pretty badly after each birth?

C'mon! If I can do it then I know you can do it! I'm an eccentric, short little woman who hates exercise. I have joint pain and I grow huge babies and most likely if I had an OB and hospital birth I'd have scheduled c-sections each time. I'm not an exception in a good way. I'm not special or amazing. I've merely evaded the well-trodden road. I wouldn't be some kind of goddess in a hospital, firmly declining interventions and miraculously birthing a baby on my back in the 8.3 hours allotted. Everything about me and my babies screams for c-sections.

Don't throw away your commitment to an unhindered birth under the guise of not being good enough or perfect enough. No matter what life is throwing your wary, you are absolutely deserving of an evidence-based birth with supportive birth attendants (or none as you desire). Birth is messy, unpredictable and as safe as life gets. Things might happen that you don't want to happen, but you can still maintain autonomy and still feel satisfied afterwards. Birth isn't about perfection; it's about living life large and experiencing the full spectrum of human relationships. Go for it!

The longest and most painful 5 hours of my life...still cherish it!

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