I’m guessing very few, if any, and this makes me immeasurably sad to my core. I believe every birth story deserves to be shared. Every traumatic story needs to be voiced. Every woman who has a bad birth experience needs to be heard and needs to heal. However, I strongly feel that women who have powerful, ecstatic, enjoyable, pleasurable birth experiences need to share their stories much louder than they do, and to many more people than they do. I desperately want all pregnant mummas, all women planning on falling pregnant, all men, all teenagers, and all kids, to hear that birth can be great.
Birth can be a sublimely primal, rewarding, fulfilling, and thrilling process that leaves women marveling at how incredibly strong and capable they are.
Unfortunately, most women do not know that birth can be great and that birthing can be a relatively easy and simple process. Women are conditioned to believe that birth is scary and the most painful thing you’ll go through, that it’s an example of the fundamental flaw in our make-up, that it is likely to be a medical emergency ending with a caesarean. These messages are rife and are passed to us by friends and family, by TV shows and movies, and even by strangers. We’ve all heard them, and it does nothing to help the women and men, boys and girls listening to them. All it does is instill more fear and more distrust in the birth process. The knock-on effect of this is to disempower women who will one day give birth, leading to potentially more traumatic experiences.
For some upcoming blog posts I’m going to talk about some insanely positive birth experiences from the mouths of women who had them. I’m going to be bringing voice to some rockin’ mums who birthed their babies at home free of unnecessary medical intervention, free of fear, in supportive and loving environments and with total trust in the magic of birth. These are the stories I want to share because I passionately believe they need to be heard equally as much as the traumatic ones.
I do hope from the traumatic stories that are so commonly shared that women take heed.
Rather than just hear horror stories and think ‘birth has to be the shittest thing a woman can go through’, enquire about why that experience was shit for that mum.
What key things happened?
What can you learn from it?
I guarantee you, every woman that birthed their babies at home in Australia was well educated about birth. They researched the fuck out of the risks and benefits of home birth versus hospital birth. They fully prepared emotionally and physically for it, they found the very best support, they created an environment that kept out the fear and stress and allowed in only love, trust and compassion, and they showed up to their birth, owning it and in total control. They knew it would be hard work, they knew it would be intense, and they dug deep and gained momentous glory from the process.
Women who ‘go with the flow’, who are unprepared, who have no birth plan, who don’t understand the emotional stages as well as the physical stages of labour, who haven’t dealt with past fears/hurts/traumas, who don’t know how to advocate for themselves, who know nothing about movement and positioning or other comfort measures for labour and birth, will very unlikely have a positive, trauma free birth.
So I am super duper excited that from next week I’ll be able to start sharing some awesome stories with you, thanks to the brilliant women of Australia who have reached out to me. These stories will ALL be home births, and not because I have anything against hospital birth (I gave birth in a public hospital and also had a freaking awesome experience) but it’s because these are the stories that you even more rarely hear. I want to debunk the commonly held beliefs that home birth mummas are hippy women, who live off grid and care more about their experience then the health of their baby (spoiler: this couldn’t be further from the truth). And I also want to highlight how unnecessary medical intervention is when certain other things are in place to keep labour and birth flowing beautifully.
First up next week will be Zoe and her two home births. She’s an educated, professional woman who reached peak, transcending experiences during labour and birth and who said it was better than any drug she ever had. Not only that, she loved her first labour and birth so much (at around 6 hours from start to finish), she wanted her next labour to be longer so she had time to enjoy it even more! Which it was and which she did!
Her story leaves me on such a high, I can’t wait to hear how it leaves you feeling when you read it too.