August 6, 2008

We Don't Need Another Hero

My midwife came over the other night and it is getting so exciting discussing our plans and wishes and just how real and close we are to meeting our new baby. I have never felt more sure about having our baby at home, and know that it's something many Moms would love to do, many have done, and many could never see themselves doing.

When I think about how I prefer to give birth, in a quiet, peaceful environment with no medication, I never once have thought about myself trying to be a hero. I have made these choices because they are pleasant to hubby and me, and I wouldn't tough anything like childbirth out just to show it off like some trophy. In my own experience, natural childbirth is much more comfortable for me than medicated. I am confident in my understanding of my body doing what it needs to do and my ability to listen. This is something that I do feel proud of, for myself. It is quite empowering. But it is not heroic.

The miracle of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth are altogether so amazing and supernatural in so many ways- how the baby makes his or her ultimate entrance into our world isn't the extraordinary event. For some parents it's the two pink lines, or the first look in your child's eyes, the counting of their toes, the comparing of their hands to yours, the first time at your breast, their tiny-ness and their very being. Their very life.

We all have a way of doing our own thing. This is mine. To me it is living. It is beautiful. It is new life. It is my life.

61 comments:

  1. I was born at home, and I had an induced labor with epidural for my first. Later, I regretted letting the doctors call the shots and having no say in my birth experience. When my daughter was born three years later, I chose to have her in the hospital because I'd miscarried a year before and was too afraid to do otherwise. But, I had a totally natural birth, other than that, and it was a wonderful experience. I never once felt like I was trying to be brave by making that choice; I wanted to make my own decicions based on how I felt and the kind of experience I wanted to have,and I applaud you for doing the same thing. :)

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  2. this goes right back to what you were saying the other night about how we, as moms, need to support each other's decisions (as long as they are within certain limits!), instead of judging and tearing each other down. this is what you want to do, and you will have an amazing experience. you are right...there is not just one aspect of having a baby that makes it special. i had to have a c-section last time, but did it make the experience of meeting my baby any less special? do i feel robbed? not at all. i have a precious baby, and that's what matters. i'm proud of you!

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  3. Beautiful post. I can't wait to "meet" your little girl!

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  4. This is a beautiful post. Beautiful. I just got kind of weepy on myself. Thank you.

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  5. Beautiful. When I was planning a non-medicated birth, I can't count the number of, "You know, they don't give out medals for that" comments I received.
    So? I didn't do it to be a hero, or to join some sort of elusive club. I did it because it was right for me, for US.

    I cannot wait to hear about your home birth. I am sure it will be an awe-inspiring experience for all involved.

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  6. Very beautifully written. My MIL says it is something you will feel in your heart, I can see this is what is in yours.

    It is a beautiful thing, when I hear about home births it makes me want to try...I hear more and more and almost agree (even though not trying myself) that our bodies will work MUCH better without intervention (I understand emergencies and that we are all different)...but God made us to deliver babies!

    I am sure God will bless this birth!!!

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  7. Oops, I am signed in under my husbands e-mail account...LOL...This is Donna @ www.blessingsoflove.blogspot.com...hehe.

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  8. You already know I am hoping for a drug-free birth this time. The other day I was talking to a friend about it, when someone I have met twice said "When *I* have a baby, I want ALL the drugs, because *I* don't have anything to prove." It really upset me, but I tried not to let it show. I wasn't going to get into it, explaining that I wasn't trying to prove anything to anyone and that I don't judge anyone else's choices. I had a medicated hospital birth with my son and it's just not the experience I am looking for this time around. I was designed to have my baby without IVs of Pitocin and rules about whether or not I am allowed to move from my left side to my right side at that particular moment and I intend to. I don't want a medal or a pat on the back or to prove a point. It really stung to think that she thought that's what it was about, and worse, that maybe other people secretly think that too. You are the perfect homebirth candidate, and I can't wait to hear about it. It's going to be amazing!

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  9. This was very wonderfully written. As my husband and i have had more children we have become more silent about our decisions. The world out there can be very mean and don't listen to what anybody says. It is your body and your baby God bless all of you and remember He is the one who gave you this precious gift. Praise Him through all of this and I am certain it will be a wonderful experience.

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  10. Beautifully written! I hope your birthing experience is all you are hoping for! :o)

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  11. Every birth is different. I personally couldn't fathom it at home, not only because of the need I felt for a doctor's presence but also? Because my house is so dang messy, that I didn't want to look at it and think about all of the work I'd have to do while laboring! And my husband would NOT do a good job post-delivery of cleaning up the mess of labor AND the kids.... Or of making me food. Hmmm.


    I hope it goes as you wish! I hope it is a smooth, easy, fast delivery and that you post a picture within a few hours of her birth because we'll all be JONESING for one!!

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  12. Oh, and you know what? There may NOT be medals given for natural childbirth, but there SHOULD. I've done 3, one with pain meds, one with an epidural and one with no intervention and I freakin DESERVE a medal. THREE in fact.

    I will forward this on to my dh and await my awards...

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  13. What a wonderful post.

    I know that I planned for so much when I was pregnant with my first. I had the birth plan and I had pictured it in my mind.

    Alas, it didn't end up happening that way. But what is important to me is that even though it wasn't according to plan, my baby was healthy and she was delivered.

    I hope that everything for you goes according to plan and your daughter comes into the world safe and secure.

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  14. I hope your birth goes exactly the way you want :) I'm with you on the non-medicated being more comfortable, when I did it naturally I found it less painful and easier to recover from.

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  15. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read the rest of the story!

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  16. I'm just glad you are doing what you know is right for your family. Way too many times I've let others dictate to me what I should or shouldn't do in issues that really are not their decisions to make. You are not walking in fear (as I did for years), but with a sound mind, and power.

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  17. You wrote a wonderful post Steph. I find some of your words just so encouraging. Thank you.

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  18. Maybe I'm just a chicken, but you are a hero to me for wanting to have your baby at home, my best friend was going to do that until there were complications late in her pregnancy, she's due any day now but will have the baby at the hospital.

    I wanted a natural birth and was going to try to do it medication free but in a hospital simply because I was terrified of the thought of giving birth and needed the comfort of knowing I was where we could get medical help immediately if I needed it. Of course, if it had not been my first baby I might not have been quite as scared.

    It all turned out to be a mute point anyway since I had a tumor that had to be removed too so Lil Sugar was born via C-Section. Fortunately I knew ahead of time and was able to accept what needed to happen to ensure a safe delivery and that I would stay healthy so I never felt like I "missed out" on anything.

    Now that I've had a C-Section I'll opt for a hospital birth if we are blessed with another baby, C-Section or natural delivery the second time around, I don't know we'll just have to see what happens when the time comes.

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  19. I'm glad you will speak your mind on it. :) Wondering if you have any suggestions for those of us wanting to do unmedicated birth in a hospital. I am a little worried about them strapping me to the bed and not letting me do what my body needs to.

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  20. Great, now I have that song in my head. LOL

    I don't see Mom's who have baby's at home as her's per say, but as really in touch with their bodies and confident in what will feel best for them.

    I'm beyond excited to hear and hopefully see pictures of your home birth!

    :--) Nell

    PS
    Is it creepy that I've never met you in person and I'm so interested in your birth? LOL

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  21. Did you have the boys at home and w/o medication too?

    After research and our own personal thoughts and experiences, hubby and I would really like for me to go w/o medication. I don't like medications of any kind really... I know some are necessary, but we tend to go w/o medicines (and we are all alive and healthy). However, I've used an epidural with each of my previous pregnancies, so I'm a bit nervous that I won't be able to do it. Questioning if I should even try and wondering if the desire alone to go w/o will be enough.

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  22. Great post! Glad you're doing what's best for you and your baby!

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  23. I'm so excited for you! I don't know if you know, but I am a birth doula and that is exactly what type of birth I want to do when we have our first. Will be praying for you guys!

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  24. Beautiful! Well said.

    I think it is amazing that you want to have a home birth.. to be honest It would terrify me. I get too scared and worried about everything.. anxiety I guess. My husband won't even consider it right now until I ease up a bit! haha..

    Good Luck.. I wish you an easy, beautiful, and fast delivery! You will do great!

    I can't wait to see that precious little girl!

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  25. Dear Steph, I'm new here, and thrilled I stopped by today. I have four babies, three of whom were born at home (the last was born in the hospital because, alas, some just HAVE to be born in the hospital). And I felt exactly like you feel. I wasn't out to prove anything. This was just the RIGHT way for ME. Sometimes I almost felt like other moms resented me, as if they thought that I THOUGHT I was better than they because they wanted pain meds or whatever. The resentment was only one-sided, of course. I think every mom has the right to choose how she's most comfortable during this incredibly sacred time. My choices just happened to be med-free at home. That's how I'M most comfortable.

    And yay! How exciting!

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  26. I think it's great that you've weighed your options and made the decision that's best for you and your family. My hospital experience was pretty botched and crazy ending in a c-section. Maybe I'll blog about it someday. Right now I'm content to mostly forget about it but also to be quite sure that if I'm ever blessed with another pregnancy the birth is going to go very differently. I look forward to reading about your homebirth experience. I pray that all goes well for you. Babies are just too exciting for words! Despite being drugged when Levi came into this world the first glimpse of him is forever pressed into my memory. Sigh!

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  28. Not heroic but birthing and pregnancy is sure is a miracle. To God be the glory he is the one who is in total control we are just his servant!

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  29. I can tell through your writing on the subject how excited and at peace you are with this decision, and I'm so happy for you! I'm sure it will be a wonderful experience, and best of all at the end of it you will meet Ivy!

    Though my birth experience wasn't what I had thought or hoped it would be, the little miracle I held in my arms was the perfect ending (really the beginning) of it!

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  30. I didn't have my babies at home, but I did use a midwife and no drugs or other unnecessary inventions. Thankfully, everything went beautifully and fast! I sometimes feel uncomfortable telling people that I didn't have or want epidurals because I get the impression that they think I'm bragging. I don't think I did anything heroic and I am not looking for praise. But I am very proud of myself that I was able to do it three times (my boy was a ten-pounder) and I have every intention of doing it again if we have another baby. Like you said, my body does better without drugs. And it is empowering. I don't mind saying so.

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  31. Beautiful. I'm excited for you!

    I remember after my unmedicated, natural hospital birth one of the nurses was like, "Well you know you could have taken something." There I was all proud of myself for making it through such an empowering experience and she had to make a stupid comment. I don't understand why everyone is so concerned about how I choose to birth. sheesh. I would love a homebirth next time, but there are a lot of factors that might not make that possible. I know that a natural hospital birth is possible at least.

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  32. I'm so excited for you! :)

    For the moms who want a drug-free birth in the hospital... hire a doula, have an OB or CNM who supports natural birth and when you go to the hospital in labor ask for a nurse experienced in and supportive of drug-free birth. GL!

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  33. Me again... I just had to comment more. :) Don't you just LOVE that your midwife comes to you?

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  34. As someone who is 4days away from my scheduled c-section, I can say that we all have to make the decision about what is right for us and for our babes. Even if I wasn't having a c-section, I would not feel comfortable doing home birth 'cuz of all that has gone on before. I like the peace of mind that I get this way. Just like you get more peace knowing your birth will be how you want it.
    We all make different decisions, none more right than the next. I think there is sometimes this knee-jerk reaction in some people to being told what to do either way. Women didn't like being told they had to give birth in the hospital with drugs so they rallied around home birth/natural child birth. But it is just as wrong for those moms to tell other people that it "has" to be that way too.
    C-section is what is right for me and I would NEVER tell you that you HAD to do it that way. Home birth is what is right for you (and many others) and you would NEVER tell me that I HAVE to do it that way.
    You are being a hero in that you are standing up for what is right for you and giving others the right to do the same.
    Does it sound like I am on a soapbox? I am not trying to be preachy. I just get tired of those looks I get from my more natural friends.... looks of pity almost, like they are glad they aren't me. Oh, well. Thanks for your thoughtful post and your open mind! :)

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  35. You SO blessed me with this post today. Thanks for saying so eloquently what I've been wanting to say. (Can I bring you along to tell my parents?) ;)

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  36. What a beautiful post, and a great way to look at it.
    I certainly remember FEELING like a superhero after giving birth. I thought that if I could do that I could do ANYTHING. :)

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  37. Got to this post late, Everyone already said the things I would like to say. Beautiful post, just beautiful.

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  38. It's funny the vast responses that I've had from people just having a natural birth at a birthing center. From "wow you are brave" to "what are you going to more up in the hills and eat granola all day long." (Seriously my sister in law said that.) When really it's a decision one that my husband and I decided was right for us.

    Who knows, I'm glad you've made the choice that's right for you!! I can't wait to see your little beauty!!!

    Hugs,
    Heidi

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  39. That is a great post... I am so proud of you...

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  40. I loved reading this, Steph. I am so excited for you to have this experience. I can't wait to hear your story and see pics of your new little girl. I'm so happy for you!!

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  41. Aren't those last few weeks so exciting as you anticipate "the moment"?!

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  42. I think it is awesome that you are going to do a homebirth, and what is best for you and your family.

    I wish I was able to do something a little more natural, unfortunately, I have a very small pelvis that wants to hold my babies inside. :) So, another c-section is pretty likely in my case. Oh well, if that's what it takes to have my precious little ones, I'm totally cool with that!

    The end result is what I can't wait for!

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  43. Having never been blessed to give birth myself, but being in the delivery room for one of my best girlfriend's 3rd baby AND the delivery of my 2nd daughter, I can definitely say ALL women who give birth are my personal heroes... no matter how they choose to "do it."

    that was one looongg sentence!

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  44. All I can say is that was so very well said.

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  45. beautiful and i love that you point on your not trying to be heroic. i got that a lot - "you don't have to be a hero". I'm not either - i know my body, i'm confident and that's what i want!
    Great post.

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  46. I'm SO, SO excited for you! GREAT post!

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  47. It is great to read other views even though I am not having a home birth...only 5 weeks to go...(hubby isn't too sure of the homebirth thing). We are happy with our decision. It is encouraging to hear people share what they believe and not worry what others think. We are all different and different things work for each of us. Thanks for sharing.

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  48. I hope it goes great!

    My grandmother had all her children at home -- all 12! There wasn't another option for her.

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  49. I am about 9 weeks and am working on planning a homebirth VBAC. Not only do I think it is the best shot I have to have a natural birth, but I just feel happy and peaceful when I think of doing it at home.

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  50. Amazing post Steph - your an amazing mom...strong, beautiful, soft - perfect! :) Your look on the world is so great too, never looking down on anyone just doing what is right for your family! :)

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  51. Precious thoughts. Prayers and blessings to you and your family as you await the arrival of your little girl.

    And thank you for your comment at 5M4SN...it means a lot.

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  52. Good for you! I love how you put this, that it is your choice and your life. I wish you the best and I'm sure it will be beautiful!
    Genny

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  53. I guess when it really comes down to it, I'm just so proud of you for following your heart. This was a beautiful post Steph.

    p.s. My natural birth with Carter was the best one too!

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  54. You may not feel or want to be herioc, but you are an inspiration to MANY, MANY women. The choices that you've made and continue to make help women know that we can make our own choices too. Thank you for that!

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  55. Amen Sister! I'm the same way. Natural childbirth is very manageable. The pain is not like "broken arm pain." It's for a good reason! I take advil at the first sign of a headache or mentrual cramps. But childbirth? I stay away from the meds.

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  56. This was beautifully written. They way your words capture the love you have for this new life...breathtaking.

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  57. How exciting! She's getting so close to being here! I'll be praying that everything goes smoothly.

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  58. Stephanie...did you read my birth store for my latest baby boy?? I had him at home...my only one I had at home. It was the BEST experience ever.
    http://butterflykiss21.blogspot.com/2008/03/babys-here.html

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  59. Thank you so much for writing this. I know that neither of my births were me trying to be anything or prove anything, they were just me trying to make the best decision I could. And for us that meant away from doctors and drugs. There's nothing heroic in that, or nothing more so than any other mom when she makes decisions for her family.

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