Parenting

How Your Baby Arrives is the Least Important Thing About Being a Mom

natuarl birthThat moment when my daughter was suddenly outside of my body, instead of hanging out in my womb, was not the most important moment in our relationship. You might find that very hard to believe if you subscribe to the "natural birth at all costs" movement. But it's totally true: It really doesn't matter how your baby comes into this world if you, and your baby, are healthy.

I'm a fan of the home birth movement. I'm also a fan of getting an epidural if you need it, resorting to surgery if it's medically necessary, and anything else that ends with having a healthy baby. But your birth experience is not as important as what comes next -- the actual raising of that baby.

Should you be informed? Yes. Watch movies like More Business of Being Born? Sure. As long as you're not going to feel like a failure of a woman if your birth plan gets tossed out the window due to circumstances beyond your control. Which is what happened to me, and why I wish I'd known then, what I know now.

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My first baby was premature, and an emergency c-section. My amniotic fluid was completely gone and she was breech. I went in to get that baby turned around, and went home four days later with a tiny little girl. It was amazing. Even though I wanted to go natural, and even went so far as to discuss a home birth with my husband. Because I got my baby, and she was beautiful.

When I was pregnant with my son I knew I was going to have a VBAC. Except I wouldn't dilate, and he got bigger and bigger, and later, and later, until he had to be cut out as well. Instead of feeling excited the day I knew I would meet him, I felt disappointed that it didn't go the way I wanted. A negative cloud hung over what should have been an incredible special day. Yes, I got over it. But the fact that I even felt like crap for being given the gift of a healthy baby boy is what's wrong with hardcore birth purists.

So educate yourself. Prepare for the birth of your child, and get excited about this major change in your life. But give yourself a break if things don't go according to your "plan." You'll have the rest of your life to also not control a damn thing about the child you brought into this world.

Did your birth go according to plan?

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