Hey, there. That's me up above.
I love this picture now but for quite a while, it made me anxious, remembering the way I felt in that moment.
When I shared that picture on FB, everyone commented things like:
But here's the reality: I had just birthed a 9 pound 8oz, 22.5" chunker after weeks or prodromal labor and a long-ass labor.
I was exhausted. I was glad it was finally over. And I knew right away I would NEVER do that again.
The truth is, not everyone loves their birth experience, even if nothing "went wrong".
I delivered in a gorgeous birth center, surrounded by friends and family and the best care providers. I had a natural, un-medicated water birth- the "gold standard" of birth experiences (whatever that means). From an outsider's view, it was perfect. But for me, it kind of sucked.
I felt betrayed by my body because even though I went to the chiropractor religiously, I had an asynclitic baby and crazy painful back labor. I felt like I made the "wrong sounds" during my labor. Labor itself was more painful than I could ever have imagined. I had the shakes right after delivery and couldn't stop my teeth from chattering for what felt like an eternity (it was probably an hour, lol).
Don't get me wrong- I'm so very, very glad I had the birth I did.
I learned so much and it's made me an even better doula. It brought me closer to my husband. It made me realize just how strong I am. It's helped me to better help my clients. And I'm so grateful I have such kind FB friends and family because their comments helped me to see something in those pictures I didn't see right away- the strength and determination. The beauty. The joy. But that peace was a long time coming.
Here's the deal- it's okay to feel however you feel about your birth experience.
You don't owe an explanation to anyone. Turn it over in your mind, talk with your partner, talk with your doula, talk with your midwife or OB, journal it, speak it, live it... it's your truth and it's your right to own those feelings.
We get this about birth. At Fort Worth Doula Associates, we work really, really hard to avoid projecting our experience as your doula onto your feelings about YOUR birth. We want you to feel safe and supported, with room to process and move your way through your experience, free from judgement or side-eye. Want to talk about your birth? So do we! Don't really want to chat? That's cool, too.