|Aren't they cute together?|
I'm not sure the last time you did it, but 30 minutes walking on a treadmill feels like a really. REALLY. long. time. I'd forgotten that that was what was harder about walking than running. Running wears me out, but it doesn't drag on forever like walking does. The last time I walked regularly was when I was pregnant with Lily. I did it some when I was pregnant with Kimberly, but I had Lily in the stroller and there was stuff to look at and some of the best company to keep me entertained. Today, I just had my brain. After I got over the hump of just thinking about how bored I was, I started thinking about birth. My mind usually turns to birth when I am on the treadmill. Don't ask my why. It seems to turn to birth when I am in the shower too. Or fixing my hair. Or driving in the car. Or sitting around doing nothing. Or when I am seeking it out on the internet. Or when I'm not seeking it out on the internet. I guess I like it.
|Here's that same baby 1 year later|
I started to think about when I first had Lily. There were two people in the world who believed in my ability to have a natural childbirth. My husband and my childbirth educator. Then I did it. I couldn't believe it. Imagine my shock! No sooner had I uttered the words, "I did it," than the naysayers started coming out to try to discount my experience. "Well, you must have had an easy birth." "Well, you just got lucky." "Well, I don't need a natural birth to feel like more of a woman." You know, all those lovely comments that people hear when they accomplish something awesome. It's very similar to that time I was in high school and made a 30 on the ACT the first and only time I ever took it, and after having absolutely no prep classes on it, a kid says, "It must have been easy this year." Oh wow. Thanks, jerk. I guess because *I* managed to do it, it must have been easy.
There were several reasons that I wanted a natural childbirth. The biggest one was my fear of the epidural. As I started to learn more about it, I wanted one, well, just because. I JUST wanted that kind of birth. Is that so wrong? Maybe I romanticized it a little. Maybe I thought a natural birth just seemed so AMAZING. Kind of like I just wanted to play the flute because I wanted to. It's funny how no one has really asked me to justify my desire to play the flute. No one gets mad at me when I say I succeeded at auditions. It's just...being excited about natural childbirth is not allowed for some reason.
But I started to think about how there are many people who think that women want to have natural childbirths so that they can feel like more of a woman. Or that we think we are a better mother because we had a natural childbirth. Or that we think we are a better mother than someone else who didn't have a natural childbirth. Or something like that. I don't know anymore. I've sort of given up trying to figure out what people think.
|My two little cuties that keep me humble|
I admire those woman who are not bothered by what others might perceive as a traumatic or otherwise unsatisfying birth experience. I really do. I'm just not that awesome. Or that strong. I really do need my two deeply satisfying birth experiences to draw strength from when motherhood gets hard. Nothing else in my life has left me feeling like, "I did that? I can do anything!" like those two births have. Nothing. And I really do need those experiences to be the best mother and woman I can be. I didn't do it on my own. Goodness knows I didn't do it on my own. No. I had so much support and help along the way, and I give thanks to my Heavenly Father every day for placing those amazing people in my life that helped me to have such beautiful birth memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.