It’s so strange to think about how much different my life, thus far, could have turned out…
The birth of our second baby quickly approaches and nearly every person I met over the past week has asked at which hospital I plan to deliver. I find myself at a loss for the words to adequately express what I’m doing. “I’m having a homebirth”, just doesn’t seem to cut it. I never really thought about why, until just now. I mean it. Obviously there’s always the goal of avoiding the “you must be insane” look, but that’s not all there is to it.
In order to really explain what I mean, I think need to clarify something else first: I don’t see myself as super crunchy. I’m sure that sounds ridiculous coming from me, but I’m serious. I care about holistic parenting because I want to give my kids the best chance possible in a world filling with new diseases/illnesses and a seeming over abundance of cancer. I don’t know if my efforts can make a difference or not, but I think going back to basics can’t hurt.
The reason I care about drug free childbirth, breastfeeding, and cloth diapering IS NOT because it makes me feel special, it’s trendy, or even because its good for the environment. I obviously care a lot about pollution and saving the planet for the next generation, as that’s part of protecting all our children, but I won’t pretend my primary concern isn’t my children’s current and future health and well being.
All that being said, I am 100% sure if I had never moved out to Colorado, where there was a free-standing birth center, or seen The Business of Being Born, I would have had a typical hospital birth, epidural and all. I couldn’t be more sure of that. But I did move out there and I did have a friend who told me I had to watch that documentary (even though, at the time, I thought watching a documentary was pretty much the equivalent of pulling my own teeth out).
So, why can’t I just appreciate that people make different choices based on their own comfort level and what’s available near them? What am I trying to accomplish? I basically want to “convert” all future and existing mothers because that’s what happened to me. I had an experience I never, ever thought I would want. I thought birth was scary and painful and I wanted the same thing most women want. But life changed me and my drug-free birth turned out to be the most amazing experience of my life. I don’t remember pain. I remember a lot of hard work and getting to the point where I started to get nervous, but then my midwife came over, kissed me on the forehead, and said “You are doing and AMAZING job”.
It’s just so hard to hear the traumatic birth stories so many women have and not want to show them how different I think labor and birth can be. How just a simple change, such as scenery, support, or procedure, could have changed absolutely everything.