"Birth is empowering."
I keep seeing this all over Facebook right now. Being friends with midwives and doulas and mamas who support mom's voice during birth, it's inevitable, this seeing. And I'm sure it's true.
But I don't feel it.
I mean, what makes a birth empowering? Is it the labor? Is it the actual pushing out of the baby? Is it the moment you reach for your baby and he/she is on your chest and the umbilical cord is still pumping life into that little body? Is it all of the above? None of it?
I've been called brave. Not really. I did what I was told to do. What I really feel like, in this moment, is robbed. Robbed of whatever part of birthing is supposed to be empowering.
I wish I had someone or something to blame, to label "thief". But I don't. It just happened. It wasn't Bean's fault, or my midwife's, or Bear's or mine or God's. It would be so much easier to point the finger, but there's nowhere to point it.
If I point it at all, of course it's at myself. I remember my midwife telling me that I was 8cm and could push if I wanted, she would just have to push back the cervical lip over Bean's head. I can't count the number of times I've wondered if things had been different if I had let her, instead of wanting to wait till I was fully dilated.
And, yes, I realize I am immensely blessed with my beautiful son, who turned 2 months yesterday. Blessed to have my health and body almost back to normal. Blessed to be able to exclusively breastfeed my child. Blessed that we are both alive. Blessed to have a partner who has continued to be my rock in my lowest times, as well as my highest. Blessed to have a partner who loves us both so fully and unconditionally, and who never complains about the 3 a.m. diaper change. Believe me, I count my blessings every day.
Tell me, what is it about birth that is empowering? Because, right now, I feel so powerless.
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.