Yes I freely admit it I am totally and completely addicted to birth. It has been over a month since I gave birth to my little Jesse Forest and I am still on such a birth high that I get giddy and excited every time I recall the rush of pushing him into the world into my waiting hands and bringing him up out of the water to my breast. It is a good thing that I am sane enough to realize how much work parenting can be afterwards so I haven’t gone crazy and started a football team. Although I am on the right track, so far we have had four beautiful boys spaced three years apart. Each birth has been a totally unique experience and helped me to learn and grow.
Birth #1 was by scheduled cesarean because Tony wanted to be born bottom first and the doctors didn’t go for that so I willingly put myself under the knife to bring him into my groggy waiting arms. Unfortunately I was too tired from my general anesthesia to appreciate the moment and held him with joy but was unable to keep my eyes open long enough to examine his beautiful tiny body.
Birth #2 was my biggest regret and after an emergency C-section due to “failure to progress” I got to see my little Sam lifted over the blue curtain for a minute screaming his little head off and then I was separated from my baby. Needless to say the whole experience threw me into a fear of birth and pregnancy and traumatized me from ever wanting to have another child.
Birth #3, my triumph! Thanks to an unplanned pregnancy I faced my biggest fear and approached this birth from a new angle. I actually educated myself and gave myself permission to defy the experts and trust myself and my body. So after two cesareans I had my first VBAC in my basement with a midwife, my mom, husband and boys. After hours and days of labor that didn’t ever want to end I pushed Alex out into my arms in breech presentation. That was the first time I felt the rush and high that turned me into this birth addict. It was the moment that I reached down while his body slipped into my hands and everything stretched to let him free. Like a shot of adrenaline! I was on a high for days reliving that moment and feeling. Despite endless hours of exhausting labor once I held my baby I was ready to run around and dance like a crazed lunatic. I had given birth to my baby in a way that people had told me that I couldn’t do and I had given birth to a new me as well.
Birthing my baby changed my life. I learned so much about giving birth and how backwards birthing has become in our liability-riddled medical model. Giving birth is natural and healthy and should take place in a natural environment not surrounded by fear, lying on a bed with strangers staring between your legs at a place that you haven’t been able to look at yourself for months. I felt like my mind had been blown by the new information I had learned during my pregnancy. People don`t tell you these things. I was naive and innocent when I approached my first two births and put my trust in a system that puts themselves and their fears ahead of me and my experience. What mattered to my care providers was that they were not going to be held responsible for my lack of knowledge and experience so instead of educating me about my body they rescued me from it. They treated my physical symptoms while leaving me with a totally shattered psyche. I was shocked to learn how little birth professionals focus on the psychology of birth when it is such a huge aspect of the birth process. Yeah, our bodies can sometimes manage to give birth on their own, completely drugged up and with no feeling of what`s going on and if turning the synthetic contractions up does not force the baby out then the doctors are there with their surgical instruments to come to the rescue. Thank heavens for modern medicine.
Our brains do work and feeling scared and threatened is not the way to give birth. A prepared mind can make all the difference in an easy birth as can our minds shut down labor and fail to birth a baby if we are in an environment of fear.
Alex`s birth made my mission in life clear. Now that I knew better I could not keep it to myself and let innocent victims fall prey to the surgical knife and let innocent babes be needlessly cut from a mother`s womb if I could make a difference. Yes, I had turned into a birth junkie. Every conversation I had somehow turned to birth and I passionately told everyone I spoke to exactly how birth should be. I enrolled myself in a midwifery program and before long I started attending hospital births as a doula. The more I learned and experienced the more it confirmed my desire to fix birth and fed my addiction to keep going.
Becoming a midwife through distance education with three kids was draining and difficult and despite my drive to provide options in care I was burning out. So to light the flame and get the passion going again I decided it was time for another birth high. So naturally we got pregnant again with our fourth.