A fellow mom once told me "there are different shades of green." Meaning, my green lifestyle can mean buying organic green lettuce, while you're in your backyard making deodorant from dirt and your unshaven leg hair.
There will always be extremists, but the issue that's been weighing on me is the judgment that is cast on women about their birthing choices.
So many times do I hear that hospitals are evil, homebirths are the way to go, doctors are the devil, and you should eat your own placenta (seriously).
And there are women who feel guilty, read that again feel GUILTY, for having birthed their first child in a hospital, and then experiencing the holy grail of childbirth at home with no medication and whatever else.
Or worse yet, make other women feel guilty.
I have many problems with this: first off, no woman should ever feel guilty about birthing a child, a healthy one at that, ever, in any scenario.
I'm a nurse, so I may be biased about the whole home birthing thing because I know just about every single thing that can go wrong, however I did play with the idea of getting a midwife/doula, having a non-medicated birth, etc.
But the thing that I really want to stress to all you mama's is that you have choices.
The reason I decided to really address this is because I read a lot of blogs, and I read a lot of b.s. on these blogs. And the one that really got to me is a post I read the other day where a pretty popular blogger said " ...and so I told my friend that she didn't have to be induced and that I'd walk with her tomorrow, and to just tell her doctor NO."
Sighghgh... where do I start with that? I was overdue with baby. (and just for the record, I walked my happy ass around my neighborhood every single day, on our most record-breaking summer with 103 degree heat...and still nothing..not even a measly contraction) She came 10 days late, a product of cervidil, pitocin, an epidural, and a vacuum. ...go ahead, gasp... I'll give you a minute to compose yourself...
Back? ok. Moving on. And here's the thing.. I had the most AMAZING, peaceful, wonderful, beautiful birth experience, and I certainly don't feel like I missed out on anything. And my baby didn't come out in a drugged up stupor. And she nursed like a champ right away. And later she developed jaundice (potentially because of the vacuum). But she was fine, and healthy, and beautiful and people were commenting about how alert she was.
BUT. I knew my choices. I knew that my doctor doesn't let you go over 42 weeks. So I knew I was getting induced. I did my research about cytotec vs cervidil and when I asked my doctor which one he was going to use he told me that most prefer cytotec because it works better. I told him that cytotec was not FDA approved - and his open jawed blank look confirmed this - and he said fine, I'll put cervidil on your chart instead. I went in without a birth plan, my plan was to get this baby out safe and healthy.
I labored in the tub, on the ball, and walking around before I asked for the epidural 8 hours later. I had at least met my goal, which was to make it til 8pm before pain medication.
I pushed for four hours until the doctor got the OR ready and said, ok if she doesn't come out with the vacuum you'll be a c-section.
I knew the risks of a vacuum and told him he had one shot to try and get her out ...and he did.
And my beautiful perfect healthy 7lb 12oz bundle of pure heaven was born just a few short minutes later.
Basically, not everybody is a candidate for a home birth or any certain type of birth. Try as you might, you will possibly have a c-section. You may want a pain-med free birth only to realize that the pain is too overwhelming and you need them anyway.
And all of that is ok. It is ok to have pain medication, it is ok if you have to have an induction or a c-section, or a vacuum or forcep delivery. It does not make you weak. Know your options, know what you're willing and not willing to do and then go with the flow a little bit. Do not grieve your delivery. The thing that makes me so incredibly angry is when women who birthed HEALTHY CHILDREN say that they grieved the birth because they did not get to do it the way they wanted to.
Here are my rules of birthing a baby:
1. Have a plan
2. Be prepared to throw said plan out the window
3. Have a good support system, be it your partner, your mama, your neighbor, or the guy that fixed your furnace last year.
4. Know your options. Do your reasearch.
5. Enjoy! It is the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing experience in the entire world.
After all was said and done, I felt empowered and overwhelmed with love. Which is what you should feel after giving life to a baby, no matter how your little one came out.