Mothering and Life in General
The Natural Birthing Community Needs More Credit
I read another blog post on The Stir. On the one hand, I am glad this mother/woman is happy for her birth. On the other, I feel defensive, like I am in need to protect. I am going to share with you why.
Everyone knows K2’s birth story, I wont bore you with the details. What some of you don’t know is, it was one person, who I met online through a Facebook Page that heard me. This woman is a mother, a birthing educator, a Doula, and someone I will always hold dear to my heart. She is the one person that allowed me to get past enough of my pain, to write my NICU contribution.
Although I started that post when K2 was just a baby, this woman’s strength and her time, was what I needed to get my dark feelings out. During that time, she was the only one that helped me. She was the only one who did not ever turn me away. She never even asked for a penny for her time, and I have never met this wonderful woman in the flesh. Without her, you would not be reading any of this. Not a single word.
This blog post on The Stir, made me feel protective of women who have done nothing but tried to help empower woman. I have never, in the birthing community, EVER felt that my birth was not good enough. I have never felt that I was looked down on. If anything, they where the only ones who took me in, when the medical society left me for damn.
I have spent more than 2 years thinking that K2’s NICU time was my fault. That her having her spinal, being revived, and being born early was my fault. Still DH does not know the entire story, because I can’t look at him, I am so ashamed. I felt that I did not deserve her, that I was not good enough. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only after I could form more than two words without breaking down.
I was shut out, and told that K2 was happy, healthy and growing. That should be all I needed to go on with my life. So many other mothers go in and out of the NICU without any issues later in life. I am dramatic, and just should forget about things. This woman, this Doula, from across the internet gave me a voice.
This woman took the time to read what I had started, and as I cried like a blubbering whale at the keyboard. She waited patiently on the other end. When I told her the birth story, she told me so many things. She educated me on interventions and answered my questions on if my contractions could have been stopped. I continued on with my new-found power, and I asked questions to our Family Nurse. It was then that realized, nothing was my fault.
I still fall apart on birthdays, every April and May. I fall apart when I hear a status on Facebook that someone is going in early to take the baby. I am still not in a safe place where I don’t personalize that. I know I am not that free, yet. I still have nightmares where K2 is dead. I hear anything beep and I have this rage that I fight to control. I know I have much more ground to travel and heal.
It’s the birthing community that holds me tight and tells me my pain, which will never be gone, will help someone else to never have to feel the way I do. To know that my story can help at least one other woman not have to type my words and blink through tears. That means something to me, it’s the only hope I have left to hold on too. That one woman matters to me, and it’s one woman less that understands my pain. Even if that one woman is my daughter.
It all began with one amazing Doula, and when our story went out across the internet, there were more women with support. Today, it’s other mother’s stories that also help me heal. Just one tiny speck after another. I will be put together. The credit in my healing will go out to the community in which this blogger, who might not have meant too, was mocking.
By saying ‘Natural Birthers’ and promoters of ‘Natural Birth’ brag about doing things the earthy way, is not the case at all. In fact, these women share their stories to show women that they can do this. Some of these women have had previous traumatic births. These are the only group of women that will believe in you. They will give you information, that you would not otherwise know. I know no Doctor told me about Pitocin and it’s dangers.
I feel this community, just like the breastfeeding community is extremely misunderstood. In my personal experience, not one member of this community has ever told me that I had to suck it up, to take one for the team because I did not know any better. Not one member of this community turned their back on my hurts and my pains, it was actually those who were proud of their medical births, who alienated me, ignored me, and mocked my pain.
Again, it’s great this mother has amazing feelings for her birth. It’s great that she was in control to know ahead of time she wanted the Epidural. I had an Epidural, I will not judge this mother for having one as well. I had my water broken, so I will never put down another mother for interventions. But I will say this. This blogger really needs to think about the larger picture on this topic.
The Natural Birthers are not pointing fun at anyone, or saying they did something better than anyone else. It’s a great achievement to birth one’s own baby without medications, and now a days, without interventions. Like breastfeeding, any birth needs to be celebrated. We all have to face it, natural birth has science on it’s side, and just like breastfeeding, birthing education needs to be spread around.
This Blogger had a vision of what her birth would be like, what she wanted and what she didn’t. Seems to me, by her writing, everything went according to plan. I just can’t help to think that her examples of women who brag about their natural births, might have had a birth previously like mine and K2’s. That their joy of birthing naturally, helped heal her pain a little more. That in this mother’s previous birth, she did not have a choice, and her birth did not go according to her plan.
To my secret Doula friend,
I have told you so many times and in so many words, thank you for what you have done. When things are looking down, just remember without you, I would not be right where I am. I think of you often, and you will be a part of stories when K2 grows up. K2 might not know you in the flesh, but she will know you by name, and she will know that you helped her Mama not cry so many tears.