Birth, pregnancy, feeding….what to do, what not to do, the information is everywhere!
It’s an amazing thing, things are finally being speaking about things that have been kept behind closed doors for so long but some of these articles….these opinions…they worry me…..they worry me very much and the impact they have on woman!
When I had my baby girl 4 years ago, I did everything by the book. I ate healthy food, did yoga, swam, read everything I could about natural birth, wrote a birth plan, massaged my perineum…I was ready…..I was set….I was going to have the most amazing natural birth imaginable!
But when my day came things didn’t go exactly to “my plan”.
It started off with little details like sitting on balls, laying in baths, squatting over beds, which all made perfect sense to me beforehand, but when I was there, in the moment, these things went right out the window, they weren’t for me.
However the most significant thing for me was when as my baby girl was about to come into the world and my wonderful obstetrician said to me “Stace, we are going to have to do an episiotomy”.
I screamed out in horror “but I massaged my perineum everyday…how can this be happening?”!
Fear entered me like a freight train and my confidence went straight out the window.
“She must be one of those doctors that love doing unnecessary episiotomies”
“She only wants me to be quick so she can go home”
“I am a woman, I was put on this earth to give birth naturally”
“I have failed”
“I am a failure!!!!!”
When I was about to experience the most magical thing of my life, the moment I had been waiting 9 months for and about to become a mother for the first time, all I could think about is what I had read and….how I had failed!
Do I regret the episiotomy, absolutely not! There is no horror story here!
Do I regret that I had those feelings right when I gave birth to my baby girl? Yes I do!
With my second birth, I knew what to expect, but I wanted to explore more strategies to help with the pain, so I attended a Hypnobirthing Specialist, the only one in 300 kilometres as I lived in a remote area.
We spoke about my previous birth, I explained what had happened, how I was happy about how it went in regards to the episiotomy etc, but that I just wanted to get some more strategies for the pain. She was a good woman, she was coming from a good place in her business with what she was doing and she did have some great meditative breathing techniques to share with me, it was a lovely experience, my mind had changed.
However upon my leaving she whispered in my ear “I shouldn’t say this, but I just wanted to tell you one thing, the obstetrician you had for your previous birth is known for giving woman unnecessary episiotomy’s so just keep that in mind”.
I was gobsmacked!
I was a week off giving birth, I had just explained to her that I was happy with the way my birth went last time, that I was confident, and she made me question all of that in one sentence. I wish she hadn’t said that to me and I wondered how many other women she had said this too, first time mothers who would listen and take every word this woman said as gospel, this made me extremely sad.
Now this is very important, do I believe hypnobirthing works, I absolutely do!
The meditative state and breathing techniques can really help woman on a huge amazing level during birth, many of my friends have had tremendous success with it so please don’t be put off by my story about hypnobirthing itself.
But whether it’s your doctor, your obstetrician, your midwife, your hypnobirthing instructor, if what they are saying doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t feel right, shake it off and find another, just like you would if you had a bad haircut….just find another hairdresser!
However this is what I want to say…and its very very important!
Read everything you can, there is a lot of great information out there, knowledge is power but also know that there are a lot of “opinions” too, so please don’t take them on as gospel, use what makes sense, fills you up and makes you strong and throw everything else away.
No two woman and no two births are the same, don’t compare yourself to others, be mindful of this when people talk about their experience.
If you have drugs to handle the pain…you are not weak!
If you have a caesarean….you did not fail!
If your “plan” doesn’t go to scratch and you find yourself making choices you didn’t think you would….that’s ok…..you did your best at that particular time for you and your baby….that is all that matters…let the rest go!
You are wonderful!
You are amazing!
You just created, grew, carried and gave birth to a beautiful baby!
You….just you…..all you!
Breath them in…this magical being of yours…and forget the rest….this is all that matters now!
Welcome to motherhood my gorgeous one!
The most wonderful journey of your life!
You are going to be amazing xx
These beautiful words were written with love by one of our very own Mindful Mamas, Stacey Fisher.
Stacey is a mother and a health coach who is passionate about mothers’ health and wellbeing.
You can read more from Stacey at Spirited Mother