Pregnancy is full of worries. You desperately want everything to go wonderfully right, but your fear kicks in. Google becomes your best and worst friend.
During my first pregnancy, I often found myself crying and my stomach in knots after following an online rabbit trail to mommy blogger horror stories.
Sharing in one another’s trauma is good. It is healing and restorative. These stories have helped others recognize warning signs in their own pregnancies and birth. And perhaps more than anything, these stories are compelling. So they get shared. And re-shared. And liked. And loved. And pretty soon, these are the only stories filling up your feed.
So, what about the countless births that go right? What about the birth stories that are downright boring?
I’m afraid they don’t get told, and they don’t get shared. Newly pregnant, I began wondering if anything did go right during pregnancy and birth. Indeed, there are so many factors that can cause something to go “wrong.” Any woman who has brought forth another human being from their own body knows full well that everything leading up to and throughout is downright miraculous.
But just as things can terribly wrong, they can also go wonderfully right.
My first baby was born on a frigid cold Midwest morning after five hours of labor, a perfect little boy despite his cone head (thank the lawd that went away!). My second baby was born here in Albuquerque at Presbyterian. She came eighteen days early after a particularly spicy Garduno’s dinner. After not even three hours of labor and a short ten minutes of pushing, she arrived fast and furious. And perfect. Everything went right.
Were there challenges along the way? Absolutely! My blood pressure wasn’t the best. I failed my first glucose test. I bled a little too much post-birth. I had post-partum anxiety. I had a miscarriage. I had painful Braxton Hicks from 20 weeks on. My daughter was a little jaundiced. Ok, and seriously I didn’t get my birthing tub like I wanted. (Come on, where is my birth spa people?!)
Were there also advantages that helped my babies arrive in blissful circumstances? Definitely! I have a fabulous, supportive partner. I birthed with doulas (read about that here). I have ginormous birthing hips perfect for pushing out babies. And I have a high tolerance for pain, so birthing without pain meds (while yes, the worst pain of my life) was manageable.
There were worries I could not have foreseen during my pregnancies. And there were advantages working in my favor as well. But my newly pregnant self–the one with so many anxieties I couldn’t even think straight, the one who wanted everything to go perfect to plan, the one terrified of all the things out of my control–that person would have loved to hear and read more birth stories that went wonderfully right. A perfectly boring, perfectly mundane, birth story.
Because birth can and does go wonderfully right.
We love sharing our birth stories at Albuquerque Moms Blog! We also know there are many mommas in our community (and even on our team) who experienced a traumatic birth. If that is you, we extend all of our virtual love to you. Please know you are not alone. There is a birth trauma support group open to the public through the Dar a Luz Birth Center. Please visit their page for more information.