I Did Not Have A Natural Birth, But I Help Women Who Do
I have always prided myself on not following the crowd. I adore confident, quirky, beat-of-your-own-drum people. I push the boundaries and ask lots of “why?” questions to learn how a rule was made to decide if it is for me.
As a teenager that parked me right at the door of the quintessential pastor’s daughter: rebellious and making my own way. Well, I made my own way into an unplanned teen pregnancy. That story ends well (I had a beautiful baby daughter with the full support of my parents and community), but the story I wish were different was the one of my pregnancy and birth.
At the moment I became pregnant, my curiosity about the ways in which people do things and asking “WHY?” went out the window.
I just knew you go to the hospital, have an epidural and have the baby. Right?
About 8 years ago, a friend invited me to go with her to one of her pre-natal appointments. I was fascinated and surprised by the two-story home we went to that was just down the street from mine. This was not like my pregnancy experience. I didn’t even know birth centers were a thing! I loved the gentle way the midwife talked with her and the time she took with my friend in the comforting examination room (sounds like an oxymoron; “comforting” and “examination” do not go together, right?) I was in awe of the confidence of my friend when I learned she was birthing at home and that the midwife would come to her.
I’m almost 40 years of age and occasionally look back on my life with “shoulda, coulda, woulda” feelings.
At 30, I wish I would have had the confidence to tell that car salesman that particular car did not work for me.
At 20, I wish I hadn’t got that haircut (think bad Rachel-from-friends-cut).
At 17, I wish I would have questioned the process of my pregnancy, labor and birth.
Where did the questioning, curious, beat-of-your-own-drum girl inside me go when I became pregnant? In the end, there is no time for regrets. There is time to yell from the rooftops that pregnant women have options. You can CHOOSE. Hospital? Home? Birth Center? What is right for you?
In 2015, I sought out a childbirth education class I could teach that shared these options in their entirety. Pregnancy, Labor, Birth and Postpartum. At the time, I did not qualify to become a childbirth instructor because of a natural birth requirement. I did not have a natural birth, therefore I did not qualify to teach the curriculum. They did have another option that was in-line with my ultimate goal: to support women’s choices in birth. I became a Birth Boot Camp DOULA.
I support women in whatever kind of birth they CHOOSE.
Recently the natural birth requirement was eliminated and I will begin Birth Boot Camp Instructor training in fall of 2017. I cannot be happier. I did not have a natural birth, but I support women who do.