Friday, March 30, 2012

My Life Story: Birth Matters As It Turns Out

A million things I want to say this morning, a million things but The Chief needs to be fed and I need to pull Ever's hair back into her rooster tail pony tail (so she can see, the poor darling) and give my Erin some nourishment before I get to my ten o'clock meeting. Then, there's the part about getting dressed myself, the worst part of the whole day, every day...
I grew up never thinking much of birth, never connecting myself with those long, laborious moments that prefaced my first breath, or what came after, the elation my mother felt of having a pink, screaming baby in her arms.
I always imagined myself a screaming baby, but I'll have to fact check that as well.
Then, after years of trying for a baby, and stints with the latest infertility opportunities I started to think about our births--Chup's and mine--and I wondered if maybe these undiscovered stories were having a play in this unexplained infertility. We went to a clinic where we were hooked up to emotional feedback machines and with a microphone we talked and talked to a therapist about our stories, our heritage, our family, our pain and our joys. When we mentioned certain experiences our bodies would give immense bio feedback posting spikes on the machine's red inked output. This experience opened gateways for us, made us start to wonder how much things matter, that our bodies knew things our minds forgot long ago.
This week as I discovered the truth about my own birth, I spent some honest time crying it out. Feeling discouraged and relieved to know where all this anger started from. I cannot lie, I distrust almost every thing I hear about the nature of women as it pertains to our limits (every I Can't . . . or My Doctor Told Me I Can't . . .) I am so tired of not knowing the truth about us and our bodies, our functionality, our power. I am so tired and so angry, and I've tried the dispassionate route but it's slowly eating away at me. This week proved that to me in a very powerful way.
Which is to say, our stories matter, and to that end, birth matters. Our first story, our arrival here, the day our lives began, may be the most important story, but because of gigantic emotions surrounding our bodies and our births there is a temptation to convince ourselves that births don't matter.
If this sentiment were really true it wouldn't be such an impassioned issue for women. If that were true, I could've posted my birth experience and ideas this week without so much as a whimper. I have over 100 comments on my first birth post of women who are hurt, angry, hopeful, frustrated, confused and lonely (not even including facebook discussions) which prove to me that birth matters.
Can we agree to that at least? We'll have our babies however we'd like, we'll believe what we need to believe about our body and our abilities, we'll fight fear, we'll be proactive, we'll get that epidural, we'll speak of drug-free births, we'll wear our c-section scars like trophies on our skins, but let's all stop saying right now that our bodies and our babies don't matter. Births matter. BIRTHS MATTER.
How could they not matter? And why would we want them to be just another experience? Certainly births can be the every day miracle that they are, not necessarily shrouded with dramatics, but they our mortal rites of passage and they influence us forever. Don't tell me they don't.
These things we hear, these limits we feel, these reasons we aren't achieving what we want--from a healthy medically assisted birth, to an unassisted home birth--let's say these choices matter, they are important and they carry with them our pride as women and as babies. And every time we feel judged or hurt or empowered or tempted to become indifferent let's agree it's because all of it ALL OF IT MATTERS BECAUSE WE MATTER.
The day my grandmother told me I was too fat to conceive, the day my doctor looked at a chart and told me my weight was too high for a healthy birth, the day I went into labor and was told my posterior baby would never come out on his own, the day I pushed a posterior baby out of my body--larger than it has ever been, a baby conceived in a weight my body had never known. ALL OF IT MATTERS.
The reasons my posts hurt you this week? It's because YOUR STORY MATTERS.
Don't tell me it doesn't, that's a lie.
And if you are ever tempted to believe it, come talk to me. I'll tell you the truth no one told me, or my mother, or my mother's mother that our bodies, our choices, our heart matters. And with that power you go and do whatever you'd like, you go to your doctors, your midwives, your husbands and you feel the strength of knowing you matter. Get that epidural, get that induction, foster your own birthing opinions, own that high risk situation, feel the quiet resolve to educate yourself on hynobirthing, whatever, just do it because you matter, because we all matter, because births matter.


Note to Amelia, typos abound I am sure. Go easy on me.