Birth is a personal journey.
From the day I found out I was pregnant with my eldest son, Liam, I knew I wanted to experience a natural birth without the use of drugs or unnecessary interventions from my doctor. Before even beginning to educate myself on pregnancy and labor, there was one thing I was instinctively convinced of: women are ALL made to give birth and do not require much help when the time comes to bring their beautiful babies into the world. I was never for one second afraid of my ability to give birth.
When my husband and I met with our childbirth instructor, Katherine Anderson, this philosophy became even stronger in my mind.
There are so many misconceptions about birth and about cesareans being truly 100% unavoidable (http://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-induction-or-c-section-for-big-baby/.) Episiotomies have no proven benefits and there are other options available, if doctors are willing to be patient and gentle. Every baby is different and so is every woman… failure to progress is not always a reason to speed things up or discuss cesarean birth, especially for a first baby.
A woman is capable of birthing the child she has carried, no matter the weight, and a doctor’s warning of “shoulder dystocia” because of a big baby does not have to be solved by a cesarean — patience, changing positions, and undisturbed birth have proven over and over again to be successful (http://midwifethinking.com/2010/12/03/shoulder-dystocia-the-real-story/). Furthermore, there is no evidence of more shoulder dystocia cases in big babies than in regular sized babies…
With all of these questions in my head, I soon realized that my biggest fear about labor was that my choices would not be respected. Luckily for me, however, I had a strong support system. My husband and I researched our options and were ready to make the choices that were right for our baby. In our case, it was to switch providers at 32 weeks pregnant, from an ob/gyn practice to a midwife group. What felt like a nightmare at the time turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Ultimately, I am proud of myself for having defended my wishes and standing up for what I felt was right for our first baby. I decided I did not want to feel pressured by any doctor telling me what I should or should not do in a situation other than in an emergency. This is why I switched providers so far along in my pregnancy — a bold, uncertain move that now feels like the best decision I ever made.
Every expecting mom should feel the same: educate yourself, don’t give in to something that a doctor wants for you if it doesn’t feel justified or right, and trust that you were born to deliver your baby. There is no greater gift in life and millions of women have done it before you. You can do it! And labor and delivery will not be the “nightmare” you have been taught to believe for years. It will be painful, yes, but manageable if you prepare for it, powerful, and beyond transformative.
I hope you enjoy the site, and gain some confidence in the process. Birth doesn’t have to be a scary experience… even if our society (media, sources of entertainment, and modern medicine especially) seems to think it has to be.