by gillian claire: thoughts on childbirth.

5.08.2013

thoughts on childbirth.

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i took these photos and wrote these words near asher’s first birthday. they have sat on my computer since then, but i love them and want to share, almost a year later ;)
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of course we mothers all say it and it is true now for me as well: i can’t believe a year has passed. it’s so funny and amazing for me to look back upon my life at all the separate seasons that i’ve gone through. roman’s birth changed me in a million ways. going through childbirth for the first time was fascinating and life altering. i remember for the longest time i would just think back to his birth in wonder.
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having roman introduced me to a million ideas and interests that i never knew i’d have. i literally fell in love with breastfeeding. i fell in love with the family bed. i became enamored with baby wearing. and then my interest in natural childbirth was born. there are really several reasons that I became interested in natural childbirth. 1. i found out during roman’s birth that i have scoliosis which apparently made it difficult for me to correctly receive the epidural. related to that, i had a tough recovery from his birth and i hoped to just avoid both of those problems right off the bat. 2. roman’s birth was a textbook picture perfect birth. my ob even thanked me for such a great birth. i remember feeling like God would bless me with a lovely birth because my pregnancy was absolutely horrifying. 3. the challenge. and 4. i purely just totally head over heels fell in love with the idea of natural childbirth.
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natural childbirth in the end doesn’t change a thing. birth is birth and motherhood is what truly matters. but for me, i just wanted it so much. i don’t know how else to explain it. it was just a natural extension of all the things that make my heartbeat. i read anything i could get my hands on about birth. i planned and hoped and dreamed. i struggle intensely with fear, so of course I was terrified of natural childbirth. but i was also obsessed. thinking about pulling my baby out of the water and into my arms and feeling that euphoria of doing it my own way just made me feel real.
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and after laboring all through the evening, night and morning at home, laboring in the car on the hour long country drive, laboring at wendy’s and laboring at the hospital for about four hours, i really did it. it was different than what i had read. it was perfect in a lot of ways. except the pain of course. does that even make sense? no, no of course it doesn’t. but birth really doesn’t make any sense at all. in whatever context you give birth, it is magical and wonderful and horrible and painful and blissful and perfect all wrapped into one. it doesn’t make sense and yet it makes more sense than anything in the world. i think that is why i love it so much. i guess i felt like by doing it natural, maybe i could get closer to it. and maybe, just maybe, by touching birth, i could hold onto its magic a little longer, and carry it with me a little stronger in my soul. oh there are literally a hundred things I could say about natural childbirth. i am so totally passionate about it.
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alas, here i am over a year later. my thoughts about my birth with asher are a tangled web of different things. I have so many words and raw tender feelings. in the end, my birth was completely and utterly intervention free and it was amazing and went beautifully. it was a fleeting moment in my life. it doesn’t make me a better mother or a better person. at all. but it is part of my story. it is a dream and a hope fulfilled. which is also the way I would describe asher’s presence in my life. 

3 comments:

  1. Gillian, you write so beautifully. I so wish I could have had a more natural childbirth experience. I tried and I labored and I wanted so badly for my body to cooperate and for Henry to come naturally, but it just didn't happen. And you are right - it doesn't truly matter how they come, it's still magical in it's own way.

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  2. I love this. These are a lot of thoughts I've had thinking over the last year about how Mace's birth was (fine, painful, weird, gross, great, etc) and how I hope it is the next time. I think I was so ill-informed of exactly WHAT was going to happen when I truly went in to labor....that I just did what the doctors said, etc. I didn't know.....what I didn't know! Now that I've been there, done that, if/when I do this again, there may be some things that go differently! xo

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  3. You are so right! I am so thankful I was able to deliver intervention free, but it does not make me a better mother. It was all just part of this life of learning. Beautiful words, you gave me goosebumps!

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