Birth Isn't Always Beautiful
Can we be real for a minute?
I was wandering through the world of Google today on a search for birth quotes. I stumbled upon a birth affirmation that caught my eye.
"Birth is Joyous." and "My birth is easy."
I read those and it catapulted me back to the beginning of my doula career... A time when I was fairly certain that my job was to make sure women had a very specific kind of birth.
I was supporting a woman who had a birth plan that was very "natural" by design. She wanted a vaginal birth with a midwife that did not include any pain medication or interventions. Due to some complications, much of her birth plan had to change in a single second.
She looked at me and said, "I'm so disappointed."
Her midwife quickly leaned forward and said, "That is a very valid feeling."
Disappointment: It is a very valid feeling.
Those 6 words changed my view on birth. Because, despite what all the quotes and birth affirmations say, birth isn't always beautiful. We don't always feel powerful. We don't always feel strong. We don't always look like goddesses.
Sometimes a part of labor or an entire birth experience simply sucks.
And guess what? That's a valid feeling. It's a real, honest, valid feeling.
Birth can be beautiful. Sometimes it takes a few years before a woman can look back and see the beauty, but it is often a BEAUTIFUL experience.
That doesn't mean everyone will have (or has to have) a beautiful experience during birth. Sometimes it might feel 'ugly' because a woman felt disrespected or unheard by her doctor. It could be 'unpleasant' because it went so far from the original birth plan. Maybe it leaves a bitter or angry feeling because of the loss of the baby.
Those feelings are all valid.
A "bad birth experience" doesn't change how much we love our children. It doesn't take away from who we are as a mother, a woman, etc. It's okay to allow ourselves to feel the negative feelings, too. They're just as real and just as important.