Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Did It!

These days as I hold my baby boy, I can scarcely believe that only three months have passed since he first came into my world in December. In many ways it seems like he has always been with me, and I quickly realized that life is so much better with him. I'm still at the point where Tuesdays (my one working day of the week) drag on forever in my mind, as though the day was somehow designed to keep me from holding Van in my arms. In the past three months I have had plenty of time to relish his presence and reflect on his birth (in case you missed it earlier, links for part one and part two of the birth story).

I love being a woman, and I feel more like a woman than ever before since giving birth naturally to Van. This, of course, is not to suggest that I was not a real woman after giving medicated births to my first two sons; it means that, for me, the opportunity of letting nature take its course with my labor with Van enabled me to fully realize and participate in the most miraculous process in all of nature. The pain was mine and the triumph was mine. I got to feel every little detail, such as the baby twirling in a circle as he came out of me, and now I get to relish in the knowledge that, like my matriarchal ancestors before me, I gutted it out and now get to tell my story forever.

A lot of people hold the viewpoint that women who have a goal of giving unmedicated births are crazy and wish unncessary pain on themselves. While the latter may be true, the former is certainly not. Part of truly living the human condition is setting goals for oneself and always working toward something to improve upon or obtain. These goals range dramatically from person to person, but a huge number of individuals share the desire to accomplish feats that challenge them physically. Marathon runners, mountain climbers, and thru-hikers are among the many that fall into this category of dreamers; they find themselves training harder to push further distances and climb higher heights than they previously have accomplished in order to feel the personal satisfaction of completing a difficult physical challenge. Women who aspire to natural childbirth are no different. For those that cannot understand this, perhaps it is not for them to understand. While I have zero desire to ever attempt to climb Mt. Everest, it behooves me to cheer for others that do have this goal because it pushes the boundaries of human achievement increasingly further. Nay-saying and otherwise being non-supportive of others' dreams leaves me in the undesirable position of being an a-hole, which is something I like to avoid.

You've seen these stickers on cars before, haven't you? Marathon runners sometimes display them on the rear windows of their vehicles to joyfully announce their ability to sweat out the entirety of a marathon. If I ever ran 26.2 grueling miles, you can bet the farm that I'd have one of these stickers too! (I sometimes lack humility, to be sure.) Every time I would look at that sticker on my car, I'd feel a sense of pride, and I would smile reflecting on the body-busting challenge I had accomplished. Who is with me that women who give unmedicated births should also have a sticker? Maybe something like this, individualized with your baby's weight. I'd totally buy it and brag away.

For the sake of the argument, let's ignore that I don't know how to make a heart with technology.

My birth story was pretty amazing to me, and each day I look back and think about it. Within one week of Van's birth, remembrance of the pain had diminished and I was laughing hysterically at my antics and the words I spoke (or shouted) during the process. I smile thinking of the people I ran out of the room, at the loving words and pleas I shared with Van when he was still in me that day, at the unwavering devotion of my support team, at the triumph and relief when Van came barreling out of my body. I feel capable like never before, and I will always be glad for the decisions that I made that day, even as I was tired and hurting. I feel like I belong in a special club, a club for moms who did it. I feel just like anyone should who pushes herself beyond her comfort zone for the sake of being able to say she did it. And so, reader, I ask you to think: what will you push yourself toward? Whatever it is, as long as it's positive, I encourage you. And once you get there, design yourself a sticker.

You can do it.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post Jenny! Way to go--and way to inspire others to "push" for their goal!