What's the worst thing about childbirth?
Forget the pain, the stretching and the climb the wall, "Shit there's no turning back" fear. You then have to face the gauntlet of being judged on the methods by which your child arrived. Did you opt for every drug going? Or did you instead bite down on a bit of bark, freshly plucked from the garden, whilst you squatted over a bucket, birthing au naturel.
SERIOUSLY who gives a shit?!
Apparently a hell of a lot of people! Don't they realise that it's none of their business whether you pushed your baby out through a teeny hole in your body or whether a surgeon had to slice a hole in your tummy to get your baby out. Why, oh why are people so bothered? And why do us mums feel like we are being scored or failed depending on our birthing methods and choices?
Does it make us lesser human beings if we choose to have pain relief to aide the safe arrival of our baby? And why do some women feel the need to proclaim on their Facebook status and to anyone who will listen that they did it the "natural" way and did not "give in" by opting for pain relief or a c-section. NEWSFLASH! Giving birth is not a competition.
As mums we all have our own plans concerning how to achieve the best birth experience for ourselves. Mine was (and judge me if you want I frankly don't give a shit) to get as far as I could with breathing techniques and then opt for a big fat epidural to get me through the rest. However, as all us pro creators are aware, childbirth happens when you're busy making birth plans. An hour into my epidural and its magical, pain eradicating powers ceased working and instead dumped me alone in the wilderness, grunting, screaming and willing for any form of warrior prowess to conjure itself up and get "this baby out of me as fast as possible". So did I have a "natural" birth? I am not ashamed to admit that the pain, stretching and downright speed of it all felt anything but natural.
Do I feel smug or better than the next mum because I had to endure the unspeakable pain of pushing my baby out into the world drug free? Do I feel this makes me a better or stronger person compared to a woman who had an elected c-section? Hell no, the only thing I feel is pissed off that the epidural didn't work and that the birth I had planned was snatched out of my hands, leaving me in total shock and bewilderment.
Surely, getting your baby here in the safest way for both baby and mum is what should be the main concern when discussing childbirth? Surely, asking a mum how her birth experience was for her should be the only question? Instead of judging and scoring women on the types of birth they end up having, the main aim should be to ensure that all mums (despite the obvious physical pain they may experience) feel satisfied with their birth experience and that it hasn't traumatised them to the point where it is now effecting their new life as being a mum.
You see that's the thing about opinions on childbirth. The negative effects of certain opinions can cause a serious domino effect in the life of a mum, leaving her traumatised if she didn't have the birth she had planned and hoped for and then feeling judged by those who feel she should have done it differently.
This woman and millions of others like her needs to be given a break and a huge congratulatory pat on the back. Not only has she brought a new life into this world but she has done it under circumstances she had not planned for, wanted or considered. It should be this woman who gets the accolades and who is held high on the birthing pedestals. The woman who despite wanting a home birth is instead rushed into A&E for an emergency c-section, the woman who despite planning pain relief ends up giving birth on the bathroom floor drug free. The woman who after pushing for hours is whipped into surgery to have her most intimate of areas cut to allow her child to be unceremoniously dragged into the world and the woman who, regardless of outside opinion, sticks to her gut instincts in order to have the birth she wants. Therefore, all us women who grow and bring a new person into this world, regardless of the means we choose to do this or the unforeseen circumstances we are dealt, should be applauded not judged.
There is no failure to be found in any female brave enough to go through the process of childbirth, no matter what that process may be. There is no such thing as "giving in" or taking the "easy option" when it comes to childbirth. Instead, the heroic act of childbirth, no matter what shape or form it is delivered in, is one to be bowed down to with awe, respect and rewarded with the admiration it deserves.
Want to discuss how you are feeling about being a mum, warts and all, NO JUDGEMENT? Come join the No Bullshit Mum Revolution and pop into The Confessional to chat to other likeminded and straight talking mums, follow us on Twitter @thebabybible and on the closed Facebook Group by sending your email address to Olivia@the-baby-bible.com All mums welcome!