You're Not Strong Enough

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

 (this was written by me and published on a different website about 2.5 years ago, but was removed after the business closed. When I originally wrote this there was a comment that this article is saying that moms who use medications or have cesareans are somehow less of moms.  I want to let any of you who may feel that way know that my intent in this article is to be affirming and supportive of those women who have thought about or want to have an unmedicated childbirth, to strengthen them, NOT to tear down moms who don't want or were unable to have it.

Sometimes women need to choose a medicated birth, sometimes despite everything they do, their child must be born by cesarean.  I have the utmost respect and love for all women, no matter what their story is.  It also takes great strength to get through a difficult birth, especially when things don't go the way you had planned.  Those of you whose stories were these, you are warriors! May you know that your experiences have also helped you be the exact mother that your child needs.)

 

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Today there is a lie that is running rampant in our society. Women everywhere are being told they're not strong enough.

You read that right.

From doctors to hospitals to friends and family, if you are of child bearing years or currently expecting, you will hear it everywhere:

"you're going to want that epidural."

"Do yourself a favor and get the epidural"

"there's no way you can do it without pain medicine."

"just get the epidural, there is not a prize for natural birth" 

The underlying message is clear, "you're not strong enough. You need to be rescued from the pain."

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

This probably isn't the first time someone has told you that you weren't good enough, able enough, knowledgeable enough, talented enough, strong enough, or enough of whatever it was you needed to accomplish something in your life.  Sometimes you may have listened to those voices outside of yourself, maybe more times than you'd like to admit. 

But at least one of those times you probably did it anyways. You listened to the voice inside of you saying you CAN do this. And you did it! It was more than likely a difficult road getting there, but it was worth it. Every time you got back up and kept going made you stronger. It's part of what made you who you are today. So it is with birth.

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

The truth is you ARE stronger than you think and you are made to do this. Not only can you do this, but doing this will prepare you for motherhood like nothing else can. Yes, birth can be difficult. Yes, birth, can be hard work, some of the hardest work you've ever done. Yes, it can be painful. Yes, it can push you further than you ever thought possible, and then beyond. Birth is also beautiful and amazing and rewarding and worth every bit of work you do to get there. It is only the first of many things in parenthood that take hard work, patience, and perseverance to succeed.

Being a parent will try you like nothing else you've ever experienced. You will have moments that you feel like you can't go another second, and moments that you wonder how you ever lived your life without this beautiful amazing little person that is your child, along with moments filled with so much love that you feel your heart could burst, often all of these in the same day.

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Don't buy into the lie. Birth is not something you need to be rescued from. In fact, when well meaning people try to rescue you, they unwittingly steal from you something most precious. Labor and birth are a gift. It is the opportunity to see how very strong you really are. It is the opportunity to work with your baby to accomplish something amazing. It is the chance to bond with your husband or significant other in a way that nothing else can duplicate. It is the chance to let your body do what it is made to do, and see it for the intricately designed work of art it is.

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from  Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Image provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond

Birth is not a scary, horrible thing. It is love, beauty, and work all rolled together. My hope is that if the people around you do not believe in you, that you will stand up for yourself and find others who will. That you will birth in a way that you are honored, and protected, able to birth on your own terms. That you can come to the other side of your birthing time and realize that the strength was in you all along. You are strong enough now and you will be then, too. It has always been in you.

Image provided by Professional photographer,  Karina Schuh

Image provided by Professional photographer, Karina Schuh

written by Liz Derry, CPM, LM


Labor and Birth images in this blog entry were provided by birth photographer/ doula Melissa Rodriguez from Bump 2 Baby and Beyond in Corpus Christi, Texas AND final image was provided by Professional photographer, Karina Schuh, from Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Hula Hooping in Labor ?!?

I recently wrote a blog entry on another website I am a part of:

 http://corpuschristimidwife.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/hula-hooping-in-labor/

You can read it in it's entirity at the above link.  Her is a brief excerpt: 

"Not all women will hula hoop or do anything like it in labor, but most women when supported by a caring midwife and in an environment they feel safe in will be able to be more relaxed and work with their body well, and even be able to enjoy  their labor.  Yes, it is possible to enjoy your labor and birth."

and an image from the post: 

hula hooping in late labor. image provided by Trish Motheral Photography out of McAllen

hula hooping in late labor. image provided by Trish Motheral Photography out of McAllen

and there is even a link to the video of this mom hula hooping in labor in that blog.  Enjoy!

Is the Fairy Tale Real? The Truth About Dads at Birth

by Liz Derry, CPM, LM

 (This post when first published online was originally titled "WHAT CAN A DAD DO? FATHERHOOD DURING LABOR, BIRTH, AND BEYOND". )

[an aside as I repost this, when this was originally written I had a few comments about these images and ideas presented being merely a fairy tale.  The truth is, that I see these type of images and behaviors between laboring couples more often than not.  When couples are well supported in their wishes and being watched over by a midwife they trust, it is amazing what happens.  I have also seen dads and moms connect and work together with love in well supported hospital births with a doula present.  Even the most reluctant dad when he feels safe and secure and when he sees that is wife needs him can be there for his wife.  Not all dads are the same.  They each have their own style of support.  This is perfect.  Each mom is different as well, and the father of her child is uniquely suited to help her. I will repost soon the post that talks about ways Dad can help support Mom.]

Today the majority of babies are born to moms and dads in hospitals. A large percentage of these moms will have epidurals. Many of these labors and births will involve mom laying in bed resting, watching tv, surfing the internet, giving the play by play on Facebook. All while Dad does the same. There is very often little interaction between mom and dad leading up to the birth of their baby, and the extent to which dad plays a part is often left to merely being the designated cord cutter.

It doesn't have to be that way. In fact, I truly believe it shouldn't be that way. Labor and birth should be a time of intimacy and love between mother and father that strengthens their bond and helps them enter parenthood closer than ever.  

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It should be a time that husband can marvel at the strength and beauty of his amazing wife, and wife can feel safe in the warmth of her husbands arms. A time that is filled with whispered words of I love you, tender kisses, and deep embraces.

Labor is an opportunity for dad to trust his wife completely. A time to show this trust by not trying to fix her problems or take her pain away, but to walk through it with her. It is a time for him to be completely there for her, without distraction. It is a time for him to support her in ways that only he can.

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Each mother and father are unique. Their relationship similar to that of others yet different in the details. Husband does not have to be someone different for his wife while she labors and births. In fact the very things she loves about him, the reasons that she has chosen him to walk beside her in life, are the things she most needs from him as she works hard to bring their child into their arms. What she needs more than anything else is to have him there for her 100%.

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As they take this journey together, and come to the other side, with the birth of their child, their love for each other will be overflowing.

In that moment that they have transformed from husband and wife to mother and father, they will look at their new baby with wonderment and awe at what they have accomplished together.

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When dad has been an integral part of the labor and birth of his baby, he can't help but want to play an active part in caring for his little one. With the renewed respect and admiration he has for his wife he can't help but look at her with a reverence that filters into their daily lives.

Labor and birth is not just about having a baby. Labor and birth is about making a family. It is about making a strong mother and father who trust each other completely, and will weather the storms of parenthood and life together no matter how strong the winds blow. 

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People often ask why couples choose to give birth naturally without epidurals or other chemical pain relievers. They ask why couples choose to birth with midwives outside of the hospital at home or at birth centers.

If they truly understood what birth could be, if they saw the bonds that form, the love that grows, and the strength and beauty that blossoms out of unhindered birth between a mother and father, they would ask instead why doesn't everyone want to birth this way?

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(all images in this blog post provided by Tiffani Cisneros with www.tiffcphotography.com)