Sunday, March 9, 2014

Birth Stories and why they are a big deal

I saw a post on Facebook recently that questioned a mom's motives when she posted an announcement on her own social media page that her son had been born.  She gave the usual stats:  height, weight, name but added that the baby was born through natural childbirth.  So the question on Facebook was is this mom trying to demean mom's who had not had a natural childbirth.


This is a mom sharing the birth of her son.  This is a big deal!  And you know what else?

It is her story to tell.  That is a detail of the birth.  One that is important to her.  I highly doubt hours after giving birth does she have the energy to start a war on Facebook or Twitter over the proper way to birth a baby.  It was an innocent, yet factual, detail.

If you just brought home a child that you adopted, I bet part of your story is the adoption process.  Right?

So why does everyone get so insecure and assume that a tiny detail of someone else's birth that they have never met has anything to do with them personally?

I want to find the humor in this, but honestly I just see sadness.  How has it gotten to the point that as mom's we feel the need to compete over every little detail of being a mom.  And the birth story is only the beginning.  Next up is the hot debate over staying home or going back to work.  I'll save my story on that for another post.

Birth stories are important.  Why?  Because they are part of your history and the beginning of your child's life story.

My 2 son's had very different births and I want them to know every detail they want to know.  I want them to know how I felt in labor, what I was think about and what I witnessed as a result of their birth.  I want them to know how seeing them for the first time changed me and changed their dad.

I want my first son, Garrett, to know that I fought for his birth for almost 24 hours.  I loved him through every pain, every contraction, every breath and as he was born I watched as my husband became a father for the very first time.  That is a detail I will never forget and a detail I want Garrett to know.  Garrett is our first born and he gets the honor of making a man a dad.  I'm glad I was able to give birth naturally and have the opportunity to witness that miracle.  It was a blessing for sure.  That is not to say I couldn't have witnessed this same thing with an epidural or after a c-section, but in my story I gave birth naturally and that is just a factual detail of his birth.  That is the story as it happened.  You can read the full story here.

With my second son, Blake, I want him to know how excited I was to meet him and how he kept me waiting.  I even want him to know that I got impatient with him and at 41 weeks and 5 days I asked for some assistance in getting him to make his entrance and that the membrane sweep worked and at 41 weeks, 6 days after only 4 hours of contractions I gave birth to him drug free in a pool of water.  I want him to know that I pulled him from the water and touched and held him before anyone else and how tiny I remember him being even though it turned out he was 9 lbs 6.8 ounces.  I remember thinking how odd it was that his hair was so dark and yet immediately he looked just like his brother.  I want him to know how cool I thought it was that I got to be the one to cut his cord and sever our ties creating the first step towards his independence.  I want him to know that Garrett fell in love with him the moment he met him and how amazed I was that a 2 year old could instantly understand that Blake was ours and would be forever.  I want him to know that I honestly didn't know what to expect when it came to being the mom of 2 boys or how I would manage, but at that moment I knew our life was perfect and our family was complete.  I want him to know the quick decisions his daddy and I had to make when I started hemorrhaging and how everything we consented to was to ensure that I would be around to be his and Garrett's mom.  You can read the full story here.

These are my stories, the abbreviated social media version anyway, of my stories.  Key word being "my."  No detail was given in the hopes of making someone else feel bad about themselves or to sway someone else to do it my way.  It is just my story.

I chose natural childbirth because I did the research and that is what I felt most comfortable doing, but at the end of the day all that mattered is that I had two healthy babies and that we finally became parents.

So my advice to all mom's is to not see another story as a reflection of you.  My story isn't about you.  I share it is because I'm so amazed and thankful that I was given the opportunity to even have a birth story.  I truly believe that pregnancy and birth is a miracle and no matter how I got there or how the story turned out, it is my story to own and cherish.  Why spend any precious moments on insecurity comparing your story to any one else?  Your story is amazing and no other mom's story can trump yours because it isn't about that.   Whatever your story may be, own it and cherish it and understand that your story is yours for a reason.  Be confident in your choices and the miracle that was born no matter the circumstances.