(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.)
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.