Heal Yourself

An empowered (child)birth.

I have had the privilege of giving birth to three healthy and beautiful babies within the last eight years.

Our first baby was born under the care of capable medical staff and an uninformed mother.

When I gave birth to Claire, other than a generic birth plan that essentially meant nothing to me, I had very little say in the process as a whole. That being the case only by my own doing. As I navigated through our first pregnancy I went to all my appointments and when in labor I followed direction well. I was an easy patient as I expressed very few preferences, opinions or expectations for both my pregnancy and the birth. I then endured a traumatic childbirth which included me passing out from exhaustion, broken blood vessels in my eyes from pushing for so long and so aggressively, a postpartum hemorrhage, two blood transfusions, a catheter and an unforgiving postpartum recovery time.

With all that, the birth of Claire was also the birth of a woman who wanted to do better for herself and for her baby but who wasn’t quite there yet. I still struggle today with how absent I was through that process and how little I contributed to ensuring a safe and peaceful entrance for our first born.

Our second baby was born under the care of capable medical staff and a semi informed mother.

I had begun to explore my options as I learned through the birth of Claire that what was best for me and our baby was to be an active participant during the pregnancy and birth. Yet again I endured another traumatic childbirth that consisted of a postpartum hemorrhage, an intrusive experience in the OR, my body going in to shock and an unforgiving postpartum recovery time.

When Oliver was born I leaned in to my abilities as a mother and my strengths as a woman but to me, I still fell short. The birth of Oliver was still not what I wanted for myself or for him even with the awareness that I gathered from my experience with Claire. We also had changed medical staff and facility yet I was unable to achieve what I wanted with his birth. I concluded that my body was not equipped to give birth and that a traumatic experience is what I would receive and what I had to offer our baby, every time.

Our third baby was born under the care of capable medical staff and an extremely informed mother.

Throughout the pregnancy of Leo I researched, discussed, explored and considered countless options for the childbirth that I desired for myself and for our baby. I was relentless in my efforts and I tirelessly pursued information that empowered me to believe that I was more than capable of receiving and offering a safe and peaceful childbirth. Finally I experienced a rewarding  childbirth that included no birthing trauma at all, no medical intervention, well met expectations and an ideal postpartum time- no emotional baggage, no self defeating thoughts and very little physical discomfort.- you might want to read that again, because I’m not exaggerating, at all!

The birth of Leo was more than I knew I was capable of and I am forever changed from the experience. The birth of Leo has healed me and I am forever grateful for that experience. The birth of Leo was truly a privilege and one that I didn’t recognize as being achievable but looking back I always had the ability within me and I am thankful to have been able to guide myself there.

I share this story in an effort to let you know that you can make informed decisions for yourself and for those whom you have influence over, be that as few as it is. I want you to be able to trust your instincts and to work towards outcomes that you desire, believing that you truly have more power and strength than you have been allowing yourself to believe.

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