I remembered that there was something else I’ve been wanting to share for awhile about Everett’s birth and just forgot to pop it in my post from yesterday. It’s something I put in a letter to a friend who gave birth in December; as is often the case, I find writing letters to be one of the most thought-clarifying activities ever, and this was no exception:
“While I try not to be too arrogant about having an all-natural birth, I think it is something to be commended in our world today.* When B— came to see us just a few hours after Everett was born, she gave me a hug and said, “I’m so proud of you!” and that was probably the best thing I heard all day. That being said, I also feel that it’s tremendously humbling, and as crazy hard as it was, an honor to have experienced it. I’ve had many conversations with my doula about it and we agree that the experience of labor really sets the stage for parenthood in all its wildness and beauty, and I feel as if it is a very visceral and physical manifestation of what God requires of us every day: a complete surrender of control to allow His beautifully designed creation to do it’s wonderful work, to bear that otherworldly pain through prayer and meditation and reliance upon our community, and to faithfully receive into our arms a new life and the humbling honor of being called to parent. I also feel that on a very basic level my perspective on my own body and pain has completely changed for the better. While they had their own life-changing experience, I almost feel sorry for our husbands that they will never get to experience what we have!”
*please please please don’t read any judgment into the way I speak about so called all-natural childbirth. I firmly believe that our bodies are good at telling us what they need, and that sometimes what they need is some relief from distracting pain and exhaustion to get a job done, sometimes they need help from a surgical procedure, and sometimes they just need to be left alone. I am grateful for my experience, but like I said yesterday, everyone’s is different and uniquely special.
This same friend (who did give me full permission to publish this, just fyi) just sent me her amazing birth story, written as a letter to her little boy, which of course gave me all kinds of ideas and reminded me of all kinds of things that I want to go back and change in mine! Ah well, perhaps I will keep adapting it, perhaps my perspective on it will continually change, and maybe new things will pop into my memory over and over. I also hope to get Eric to write it from his point of view; I didn’t want to speak for him in my writing but I know he has a lot to say about the experience!