At the end of my prenatal appointment last week, my midwife hugged me and said, “I’m so glad you’re here! You are going to have a beautiful birth!” And I cried happy, thankful tears that this amazing woman and this incredible Birth Center came into my life at just the right moment.
And then I realized, everyone, regardless of the situation, should be encouraged like that about birth.
There are so many different ways and places birth happens. But regardless of what that looks like for each woman, you deserve a beautiful birth.
When I was early on in my first pregnancy, I didn’t even want to think about birth. In fact, I was pretty in denial about the fact that my baby was going to have to come out of me at some point.
You see, I had always made the assumption that whenever I’d have a baby, it might feel like a near-death experience. I attribute this mostly to the way our society and the media scare women about what birth is like. Everything I had ever seen or heard showed women suffering and getting drugs immediately upon arriving to a hospital. So overtime, this became the “norm” for birth in my mind–unmanageable pain, drugs, and a hospital. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with pain medication or a hospital, but there are other ways to give birth, as I’ve recently discovered.)
If you would’ve told me that I’d at some point be giving birth outside of a hospital with midwives, I would’ve laughed at you. Surely me, the ever-anxious, constant worrier could never leave the comforts of a hospital! But I stood up for myself when the norm wasn’t treating me right, and I found my way to a more “normal” experience.
The most empowering things have happened to me this pregnancy–I’ve learned that I always have options, I can stand up for myself, and that I can actually look forward to birth. That’s right, I’m actually excited about this labor and delivery! Perspective changes everything!
So at the end of the day, regardless of where and how you give birth, whether you get all the pain medication possible or none, whether you’re at home or in a hospital, whether you’re having your third C-section or are preparing for your first birth, I hope you have people surrounding you who will tell you what my midwife told me: “You are going to have a beautiful birth!”