Friday, December 23, 2011

I Chose a Natural Birth. You Might Not. And That's Cool.

I am SO tired of moms judging other moms for birthing naturally or not. For breastfeeding or not. The recent death of an infant due to his formula and the nasty comments of  "breast is best!" and "that's why I only breast feed!" sickened me. This is our reaction when a child dies? Really? And when that gorgeous picture of a mom giving birth without meds went viral, people commented on how thin she was, how she was screaming. What about about that she was bringing her baby into the world the way she wanted to -- just like you did?

Maybe I'm ranting and perhaps this won't make any sense. But I'm putting it out here anyway.

For Violet's birth I had an epidural and it was beautiful. But the recovery was hell. I had a 'wet tap' and  a monster migraine that required three blood patches and put me in bed flat on my back for 23 hours. When the doctor handed me a bed pan I knew I'd never have an epidural again. I missed Violet's first bath, her first doctor appointment. I cried and cried from the pain and disappointment. So we planned and learned and went natural -- med free-- with Sarah and John.

Was I nervous? Yes. I was blessed that Sarah's labor was 2 1/2 hours long from "Huh, that was a contraction." To "Hi baby!" We barely made it to the hospital. Even if I'd wanted one, an epidural was out of the question. And I did ask that time. Things happened so fast that I couldn't get on top of the contractions and at the end it freaked me out for a few contractions.

John's labor was about 7 hours. And he was med free as well. Another choice by myself and my husband. I did it with Sarah so I knew I could do it with him. I paced. I mooed. I stripped. I made some nurses really uncomfortable.

But. It was my choice. My body.

I always think the worse thing is  if you want an epidural and are denied it.You're not prepared. I knew a lady who lied to her sister repeatedly, telling her the anesthesiologist was on his way when in fact he was never called, so her nephew could be born med free.Why? So he could 'be brought into this world without medication." Meanwhile her sister still talks about the terrible labor she had.

I loved, loved, loved my natural births. Loved. As in, a half hour after Sarah's birth I looked at my husband and said, "I have to do this again." I felt empowered. Beautiful. Awesome in the true definition of the word. And yes, I want every woman to experience that.

But what if you don't? What if you find that an epidural is what you want? If you're not judging me for my natural births then I'm not judging you for yours. It just doesn't make sense.

And breastfeeding. And the death of this innocent baby. We don't know why the mom was formula feeding, and it doesn't matter. But the people who judge? You should be ashamed. You are the ones who judge other mom's for supplementing or choosing formula as well. What if that mom didn't produce any milk? What if, like my Sarah, her baby threw up her breast milk and screamed herself sick until she found the found the right formula to help settle her tiny stomach? What then?

I'm just tired of it all. Stop judging. Start supporting. Stop hating. My God, is this what we're about?