There is a secret in our culture, and it is not that birth is painful, but that women are strong. – Laura Stavoe
Your best birth is up to you. No one else can get you through it. No one else knows your body. No one knows what it feels like to be in your body, what you consider comfortable versus painful, or what makes you afraid versus what makes you feel strong. One of my favorite midwives often said that a woman’s darkest moment in labor is one where she comes to realize that there is no Knight In Shining Armor that will save her from the pain and fear that she faces. Once she comes to terms with that fact, this terrible realization becomes ultimately freeing and beautiful. The mother realizes that the only one who can save her from this darkness is herself.
Andrea and Dee reminded me to let my body do what felt right. That was so strange to me. They never told me not to push, just to listen to what my body felt was right. My bag of water was still intact so as I pushed the bag began to bulge. With one push it popped and geysered above us all to splash everyone in the room. I had no idea this was even possible. My mom had to wipe off Andrea’s glasses so she could see. In that moment I thought, this will be the memorable part of his story. This is the part I will tell everyone that makes it unique. And of course I was wrong.
From Tusca’s Birth Story
I screamed out my last two centimeters while sitting on the toilet. Feeling the radiation descend from my lower torso into my butt, I started bearing down on my own. It felt like thousands of tiny knives cutting all at once but I kept reminding myself that I would be okay. I got into the bathtub, whispering with your father and conspiring against the midwives. I didn’t feel like I needed them anymore . . . you were going to be born and I was going to give birth.
From the Birth of Van
It took me 15 minutes, six intense pushes and a possibility of an episiotomy to bring my son, Van, into this world. It’s almost impossible to describe the feelings and emotions I was going through during those 15 minutes. I couldn’t help but think of my dad, who passed away in December of 2000. Van was born on his birthday. The day couldn’t have been more magical. The little force that was kicking away in my belly for all those months had finally made its way out into the light and into my arms. We did “skin to skin” immediately and he latched on like a champ. My whole being was filled with joy and amazement and from that moment on my life was forever changed.
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