Why I Chose a Natural Birth
Not everyone gets to share a happy birth story. Most of them are happy in the end, but the experience isn't always what we imagined. It's very difficult when new mamas do all that they can to prepare and plan for the birth of their dreams and it just doesn't work out that way.
What's really amazing is that less women are dying and more babies are living than ever before (thank you, modern science). But there are some who still turn to old school methods to welcome their baby into the world with midwives and home-births. And a lot of people scrutinize it. I believe (as a Balanced Mama) that there is a place for both.
There is a place, in today's world, for hospitals and science, and there's still room for midwives and miracles. Although some of my friends like to categorize me as "granola," I think of myself more as a hybrid. There are certain aspects of the way we eat or live that are more extreme or more natural than others, and I'm really ok with that.
My kid eats organic mac n cheese, more than half of his toys are plastic, and he watches tv or a movie almost every day. There's no place for perfection here. However, when it comes to his medical care, the chemicals he is exposed to, and our birth experience, some people would say we're a little more "crunchy."
Studying to become a holistic health coach, I was influenced by a lot of really smart people in the world of natural health and nutrition. I continued to follow many of these experts via books and social media. I also built personal relationships with local practitioners and made new friends with similar interests on facebook and instagram. So I had quite a few people to turn to for information when I started to plan our big day.
After my first trimester, (and working with an OBGYN) I did some research. I was told about the documentary "The Business of Being Born" by Ricki Lake, and I'm so glad I found it. I immediately downloaded the sequels and quickly became obsessed with the idea of having an out of hospital birth.
If there were women all over the world having babies in their bathtubs with people around them who were calm and loving while experiencing this ecstatic birth experience, than why couldn't I? The stories I was reading about and watching on YouTube involved a spiritual sense in their births and I wanted in. I was thoroughly convinced that we would be one of them as long as we didn't have any major medical issues holding us back.
Thankfully, my husband was on board and we contacted the closest midwife and birth center we could find. (We were in the West LA area at the time and highly recommend the Art of Birthing Center in Marina Del Rey.)
The point of this post is to share with you that sometimes, it does work out. Sometimes there is heartache and sometimes it's hard. I know that. Sometimes it's hard to share when things go well, just like it's hard to share the sad stories too. No one is perfect and every one of us is on our own journey.
I can't say that there were not any doubts or fears when I was pregnant or even that I don't have concerns for if there is another baby in our future one day. In life, there are no guarantees. But what I will say is, the day I gave birth to my son, those 8 or 9 hours were legitimately the most powerful, significant and life-changing hours of my life and I will be forever grateful for the experience I had. Here's our story.