My little one is my sixth child. I know my birthing body very well...I am made for birth. More than just my child baring hips and ample milk makers, I fall into that lovely obsessive cult known lovingly as "birth junkies".
I am educated regarding birth, I am confident of this fact.
I know cesarean sections are over performed, I know interventions can lead to complications, I also know that a happy birth is a healthy birth...so above all else I respect a momma's right to birth however she chooses.
I believe interventions can be forced on mommas, i believe that women must be informed and strongly advocate for themselves.
I know many c-sections are performed without being medically warranted, and I suppose I believed that being educated about the true need of a section was enough to avoid one.
My choice was to homebirth, as I have before.
My cesarean section was medically necessary.
I know we as women need to find our inner strength..to have trust in our bodies. I know the lessons I learned when i felt life enter our world from between my legs. I knew then that my ancestors...that all mothers- known and unknown were guiding me on a level of unseen sacred sisterhood.
I know it well.
I believe this awakened knowledge should be shared with any woman struggling to find her power on the cusp of childbirth. It is a gift, feeling that grip of primal intensity...a gift to be shared in the hopes of dissipating fear and revealing natural, holy strength.
So here I am wondering...
What do I do now..??
What do we do when our births are terrifying?
How do mommas who have experienced traumatic deliveries process our stories?
Women have been taught that birth is scary since we were little girls. It isn't a truth, not one that defines our experience or need influence our bodies. This leaves me struggling. How do we share and support each other without adding to the fear mongering?
Stories that once brightened my day...images of wrinkled vernix covered babes, exasperated mothers, their faces showing the impossible depth of their love...truths that once made my heart sing are now painful reminders of a violent journey I am still healing from.
What we all deserve in birth, it doesn't happen for us all.
Birth happens within a spectrum...varying choices and situations will influence our birth's. Within that wide spectrum we know to aim for connection, informed choice, bonding between momma and her babe. Even cesareans are increasingly factoring in the known importance of a positive birth experience.
So what do we do when we fall short of those goals? When life saving urgency trumps all else?
It was scary. There was fear.
When lotus birth was replaced with umbilical lines. When first latch was instead an ng tube. Organic blankets were untouched, and cooling blankets wrapped our baby...when all your plans for a beautiful birth were lost to immediate fears for your child's survival...where do you belong in the birthing community?
I would never have dreamed I would say this, but not all birth is beautiful.
I want to find a place to own this fact without spreading fear.
Because the fear is not necessary...but it is valid.
It is an authentic response to suffering, mine and my son's.
Fear does not protect anyone from experiences like mine.
Women suffering ptsd deserve support, and a venue to share our journey's...but women also deserve to approach their births present in their own reality- not weighed down by the experiences of others. I don't know how to navigate these two facts.
Birth is not by nature a medical emergency, it is not an illness. Our bodies are fundamentally formed to create life and bring it safely into the world should we choose to do so.
Rarely a medical emergency will overlap into the world of the sacred. We are blessed we have safety measures if necessary.
The world of birth can't be defined by worst case scenarios.
When fear bubbles up in an expectant momma I ask...what is the source? Is it your voice? Is it the voices of the past, of misogyny or medical pressure, unsupportive peers or family...is the manner in which birth has been portrayed to you over the years?
Or -is it your voice? From deep inside...because along side that Earth shaking momma power is a fierce warrior like need to protect our young. We are momma bears. This instinct can wear a mask that looks like fear. We as women aren't always used to allowing our power out.
I don't want my birth to be a confusing source of potential fear for other mommas. My fierce need to protect my baby manifested in extreme medical intervention. I was willing to be thrust into a terrifying and painful situation to protect the life of my son...because it was necessary.
I didn't choose it, it isn't ideal- but it is rooted in the same primal instincts that see us planning gentle, magical births...it is the need to protect.
It was scary.
There was fear...
It forced me to accept what needed to happen.
...I trust those feelings. They came from me.