Childbirth- no right way?

Things are going on in my church. I don't care.
Or I don't care enough about it to write about it.
It'll happen, and it'll happen how it happens without my voice here.
And even more, if the new pope doesn't do anything bold, which he probably won't do, it probably won't matter to my Catholic self for a long time.  And then, I/we might be over this Catholic thing anyway.

So instead I want to write about childbirth. 

This past week I was reading this book. I liked it.
I liked it a lot.  It's about parenting in France. It was very amusing. And instead of reading it as a "parenting advice book" I read it for entertainment. It was fun.  Anyway, at one point she writes about where she has her babies, and how, and what medicine or not and  I didn't have any emotional reaction to it.  And, this is new for me.  A year ago, when I was 9 months pregnant I might have freaked out.

A year after having a VBAC, 3 years after an attempted homebirth and a C-Section  and after tons and tons and tons of parenting I just don't think there is a right way or a wrong way or a natural way or an unnatural way to do this labor thing. There is no shame in how we go about getting people out of us- if we have our dignity in tact.  Whatever sets us up to do the ton and ton and ton of parenting that is in the path before us...that's what we need.

I think before I wanted to have a kind of birth because who it would make me. It was about me. And though I think that is okay and I am glad I have so many options in the state of Washington, I just don't feel particularly invested one way or the other (anymore).   Other than having options- I really believe that each woman (or couple) should decide.  Really, I do. I am one hell of an opinionated person, and for me my opinions have softened.  I think that having a planned c-section for each and every labor could really be a good choice for some people...and an unassisted homebirth could be right for others...

If we have another baby (seriously not answering that question) I actually don't have a strong opinion on how she is born.  Whatever if I have another c-section. Whatever if I have the baby in the back of a taxi. Because at the end of the day, I am a woman. Period. And getting people out of us is just the beginning of this parenting thing.

I am a woman.
Without clauses, or anything else.

I am a Mama.
And what makes me a Mama is not how I labor or how they get out of me.
And being a Mama requires tons and tons and tons of parenting. That's the real labor.


  1. Timely post, as always, Rachel! I've been looking over the mountains of paperwork we have to fill out before the baby arrives and ran across the birth plan worksheet. Which I'm surprisingly feeling a bit "meh" about. Of course, I have a lovely vision of our daughter's ideal birth but I'm really not overly attached to it these days. I don't feel passive and, as always, we are armed with lots of knowledge of what's medically necessary and what are common hospital practices (thanks to Patrick) but my opinions about how it "should" be aren't really definite anymore.

    Perhaps pregnancy is teaching me about how little control I have over most things in my life. Lately, I've heard some terrible, personal accounts of labor and delivery in developing nations...mostly that women have NO prenatal care and how many actually do die in childbirth as a result. I feel like that has tempered my "right" to a specific birth experience. The best thing about my experience, regardless of how it happens, is that, most likely, me and my daughter get to live. Right now, that's enough for me.

  2. Heard about you from (which everyone should read - man, woman, parent or not). She said your writing was lovely and she's right. Great post.

    Sorry to hear that things have been tough lately. As hard as it may have been to share all of that with the world, it helps others to know that we ALL struggle. So, thanks.

    1. Thanks so much for your generous and kind words.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts