Hey Mamas! It’s Mommy Monday – YAY! Today my sweet sister-in-law, Caroline, is sharing part of her story. She has written this beautifully. Every time I am around her I feel supported, loved and cared for. She is obviously a natural at caring for others! I hope you enjoy her story below as much as I did!
Two years ago I became pregnant around Mother’s Day. I was beyond happy and blessed. We became pregnant quick, and I had a very healthy pregnancy. These things are not afforded to all women. Before I became pregnant I had studied to be a Birth Doula, a Labor Assistant. And I was hooked. When I became pregnant myself, I knew how special this time was. And I wanted the opportunity to experience what I had studied and learned to be called a Gentle Birth. It had just become legal where we lived to work with a midwife. I just had this tug on my heart or maybe my gut; let’s call it instinct or a mother’s intuition. I had every desire to do labor (and more) at home, but something told me I needed something different. Labor Day came and our Hospital Birthing Center opened where we had been working with our midwife and her staff. This was a very big deal to be able to have what most considered having the best of both worlds. This would involve having a certified and trained midwife who worked within the Birth Center in a separate part of the L&D section in our local hospital.
We had the healthiest and most beautiful pregnancy! My husband came to all of our appointments and we never were held up or given time restraints. Some days we were there even for a few hours because we had a lot of questions and needed more assistance. We had most of our classes there as well. A lot of our time being pregnant was spent there. This became our extra home. I knew when it came time to leave my laboring at our home and transition to the Birthing Center at our hospital I would feel at ease. Any change during labor can alter birth timing significantly and increase pain. My husband could even call if he had any questions. We talked about our beliefs, concerns and even about sad and happy things which happened while we were pregnant.
I prayed to become a mom and to have the best care working with people who treated me as a person, not as a patient. I had dreamed of a time where I did not have to decide between motherhood and medicine. And of course midwives have an extensive medical education where they are given the time to work with women and do less invasive and more holistic care. This is where the balance comes into play. Our midwives and their staff had privileges within the hospital and worked with OBGYN’s when necessary. We had a blood test to check on certain medical conditions to prepare for if necessary and I had one ultrasound at twenty weeks. I had very few internal checks as well.
As we went through this amazing journey becoming parents I felt mothered into motherhood. I was loved, nurtured and respected. My questions were answered and our worries were resolved with kindness and respect. Now, this can be done with doctors and I am not in the least suggesting it cannot be. However, they just do not have the time to do so and, in most cases, working with women in facilitating natural childbirth is not knowledgeable. We are blessed with doctors who have the audacity to go into a sterile operating room and perform a surgery that keeps moms with their babies and families. I am in awe of this. What a blessing! But, this is not the necessary case for most women.
We also had the opportunity to work with our birth doula. She became an instant family member and definitely mothered me into motherhood. She sent me articles to help when I had questions, attended appointments with us, loved on us, and assisted us when I was in labor in our home. And when it got really scary after our baby arrived she held my hand while I nursed him and prayed with us as I received necessary medical intervention. She even met up with us at our first La Leche League meeting to assist us with our nursing situations.
As moms, we endure so many challenges and health issues for us and our babies. I experienced some of these immediately. After 12 hours of active labor (including a bumpy Jeep ride during morning rush hour traffic), and three hours of pushing/rotating my baby around, my son was born. It was a truly safe and nurturing delivery even with him being born “sunny-sideways up”. However, for reasons unknown, after delivering our son, I hemorrhaged. I had retained no parts of my placenta. No significant tearing. I was healthy otherwise. My labor and delivery was as gentle as could be considering. Very little understanding to why this occurred. But, even with the hemorrhaging, what I witnessed was a miracle of birth and teamwork as my midwives and their staff working together with the OB (who stated he was there if needed). The entire time I was in our queen bed with my husband, and I continued to nurse our baby. Every one explained everything they were doing to me. I will continue to this day to tell the world I had the most beautifully midwife-assisted delivery that medicine helped to keep me alive.
After the shot of Pitocin to stop my bleeding and all the antibiotics, I was alive with my baby. I do remember it all. I remember my midwife telling me I wasn’t going to like where she was about to place a certain medicine. I remember her talking me out of passing out. And I remember… It… All. I received the best care. God wanted me to be here to raise our child. I was gifted the opportunity to stay with my child while being medically healed. I had prayer and Pitocin!
As a new mom, I developed many new relationships as we experienced many nursing situations where we needed assistance. And I became close friends with a few moms I met at our nursing group within the Birth Center. I even retained a part time job where my son comes with me. I have been so truly blessed to live the life I dreamed. SUPPORT is what I had needed, and I have received it in multitudes.
Mothers need to be mothered into motherhood. We deserve to be honored, loved, respected, trusted and be an active participant in decisions being made in regards to pregnancy, labor, delivery, nursing and mothering our children. I pray for every mom to receive this most beautiful care and respect. We get to make these decisions for ourselves. Please know why you want what you are hoping and praying for. Understand you play a role in your child’s arrival. You are not just the oven to bake that bun!
Today is that day you became a mother! It is your second Birth day. A day to be loved and cherished. Not a day to recover from. We are not in competition with one another. We are a part of this most very special tribe where we should be Mothered into Motherhood! Let’s trust ourselves, babies, care providers and supporters. And also remember it’s not just about the outcome. A healthy baby. (Hey, I LOVE BABIES! Especially ours!) It’s also about this chapter in our story to help launch us into our next. Let’s allow ourselves to be Mothered into Motherhood!
A huge THANK YOU to Caroline for being a part of Mommy Monday! I loved reading her story and I’m so happy she got the love and care she needed to truly enjoy her journey into motherhood.
Hope you all enjoyed and have a great Monday!
You can read my Mommy Monday blog about postpartum anxiety and depression HERE.