Fairy Tale vs Real Life
So with all of these books, websites, birth plans, options in where to birth, how to birth -medicated, not medicated, scheduled belly birth – are you overwhelmed yet? Or have you just decided or resolved yourself to –“The hospital knows best. I’m just gonna show up and have a baby.” That’s an option. As a matter of fact, it was MY option for my birth. I was terrified of the pain, the little hole she was supposed to squeeze out of (whaaaa??) and after six miscarriages, I had zero faith in my body, in birth and in the process.
My fairytale birth plan went like this: My RN neighbor across the street was going to be my doula and make sure that I had ALL THE MEDS. The meds so well timed, that I wouldn’t feel anything for a week. And then, my baby would magically slip out of that tiny hole and I’d be done. THAT was my fairytale ending… Scheduled surgery was also a viable option that was ok with me. And it would have worked if I wasn’t allergic to ALL THE MEDS. So now what? I cried it out for 2 weeks and then had to come up with an alternate fairytale that didn’t end in tragedy or my demise. I had heard all the horror birth stories -both with meds and without. But then, as if fate stepped in, I began to hear whispers of good birth stories that seemed almost unnatural and unbelievable. That’s where education came in and rewrote the story.
The first thing you have to wrap your head around is that these ”fairytale” births that women post about are actually REAL. As a doula and educator I see them all the time. Women that come out of birth on a high, feel empowered and say their partners were rock stars. It really happens to some women. And what can REALLY blow your mind – these births can while happen medicated, non-medicated, induced AND via belly birth! We tend to dismiss these “unicorn” births because we think that an amazing birth is out of our reach. And amazing birth isn’t always natural, un-medicated with a choir of angels in the room. Education can keep you going with the flow of birth and end with a magical beginning with your baby.
But the real question in my mind is – what reason do we have to dismiss another women’s tale of triumph and power? ESPECIALLY in this day and age, in 2018. We need to check ourselves. Just like we need to support the women with a hard birth story, we need to celebrate the women with the good ones. Celebrating, talking about and sharing the brilliant outcomes in birth inspires the future. And the future we are gathering empowering births for is our children’s future. By adding to the positive change in modern birth culture, we make it a more peaceful and loving “birth fairytale” for our kids someday. If we can just make our baby’s birth a little better than our own, the climate will begin to cultivate a new birth empowerment mentality instead of a fear based one.
We need to switch up our ideals of what our birth should look like, feel like etc. Your baby can come into the world at home, in a hospital, in a birth center or in a car. Baby can exit through the front door(vagina) or through the side door(belly) and their birth can still be awesome. Remember that this is not your birth, it is your baby’s birth. How they come into the world, sets emotional patterns they will always have. Just like our births did with us(our parents were not aware of this, so don’t go blasting anyone). Keep it simple, your baby just needs to come into a warm, loving environment where they will feel safe, protected and loved.
So where do you start? You start by making every day of this pregnancy count. Less stress in your day means baby feels calmer. The more giggles, laughing and sex for you, the more oxytocin(the love hormone) is dropped in your baby’s little water filled home. Your feelings about life, work, this baby joining you and the future of that baby coming in, affect your child. So if there are things to resolve there – do it.
Next – Let go of the “picture” of what birth needs to look like. It hasn’t happened yet so all the stories, especially the bad ones, don’t need to influence your baby’s entrance into the world. Focus on what you want the room to “feel like”. Fairytales make us feel hopeful and happy – what would your baby need in that birth space to feel safe, calm and loved? What makes YOU feel supported and safe – these things will be on your baby’s list too.
And last – Attain the best “outside of hospital” education you can find. These classes(with hopefully no bias) can offer you ideas on what your options are for a safe and calm birth space. Evidenced based information that leaves you feeling empowered, confident and excited for labor and birth can rewrite your birth ideas. We even offer phone in birth consultations at the Birth Education Center where you can run all of your questions by an expert who can help you navigate what is unique to your area of the country.
Pregnancy, labor and birth is all about surrender and letting yourself go with the flow. Education makes that possible. Leaving your baby’s birth up to fate because “we have been having babies since time began” is going to be a crap shoot at best. Parents have got to invest time, patience, practice and sometimes money into what their baby’s birth journey can be. We have simply lost the skills around normal labor and birth. We have also lost the feeling of normalcy for what birth is – it’s NORMAL. Quality education helps restore the technical skills that compliment our bodies innate skills that have been passed down from generations past. No matter what the circumstances – an educated mom with confidence, belief and surrender, can allow for an optimal birth experience for her baby.