When I allow myself to think of it I cry, or shake, or lie awake at night. I can only describe it in colors. Red and Black. If I had to describe it Iâd say itâs like biting the live end of an electrical wire and being thrashed to and fro like a rag doll, hanging on for dear life, except you arenât hanging on at all but being dragged. I realize this sounds ridiculous, that millions of women do it, that I wasnât actually dying or being tortured or at war. Iâm just a rich American white girl but I am scared shitless nonetheless. More
Birth junkies, “natural” sanctimamas, and even the occasional aggressive mama bear use Facebook in a way that most other sanctimommies don’t. While the common sanctimommy might utilize Facebook to brag, complain, or get enraged about a subject that pertains directly to her, the types of sanctimommies I’m talking about are usually speaking to ALL women and mothers about birth. They see themselves as counselors, coaches, and above all, champions for mothers and the birth process. Fundamentally speaking, I could get on board with some of their philosophies. I admire women who feel in control of their bodies, and I believe in a mother’s intuition. But even more than that, I admire women who have given birth and don’t feel the need to tell everyone every freaking thing about it and why their way is the best way. More
Pregnant Kristen Bell is expecting her first baby with fiancĂ©Â Dax Shepard. And no, she won’t be opting for the birthing pool, a fancy doula, a midwife, and/or natural childbirth. Hell to the no on that from this celebrity mother. More
A harpoon-like pain right through your lady business will do that. More
I don’t have a problem with the natural birth movement. I have a problem with the close-mindedness that exists on both sides of the debate. More
I made sure to tell everyone, from the nurses in admitting to the anesthesiologist as he set up my epidural. He promised me a good experience this time around. It was anything but. More
I was never against the drugs. Drugs, I thought, were for other people. For people who could tolerate long needles shoved up their spinal cords. For people who didnât mind being confined to a bed. I didnât have something to prove when I opted for a natural birthâI was just deeply afraid of doctor intervention. Now, I know this makes little sense when comparing the level of pain one endures during the dreaded ring of fireâthe agonizing sensation that occurs when your baby stretches your vagina to its capacityâbut there is a difference between the fear of the unknown and the fear of needles.
I opted for the unknown. More
I was pretty excited when I first saw earlier this week that the New York Times had written about the increasing popularity and profile of midwives â until I actually read the article, that is.
It’s not that the article, “The Midwife as Status Symbol,” is wrong exactly. Yes, models like Christy Turlington and Gisele Bundchen used midwives. Yes, they are having something of a moment right now. And yes, the public perception of what midwives do and who they are for is changing. The problem is that the Times only presents a tiny piece of the story.
Natural childbirth has become a badge of honor for mothers who endure it. Celebrities everywhere tout their natural bonafides in every birth announcement. Miranda Kerr let the world know that she had to work to get that baby by announcing, “‘I gave birth to him naturally; without any pain medication and it was a long, arduous and difficult labour.” Kelly Preston not only refused drugs, she didn’t even speak. Gisele Bundchen famously irked mothers everywhere when she said that childbirth, “didn’t hurt in the slightest”. Even Jessica Alba proved to the world that she was one centered momma by saying, “I didn’t scream. It was really Zen. The labor was more like meditation.”
So does natural childbirth prove that you’re a better or more committed mother? Does it demonstrate just how willing you are to sacrifice your own comfort for your child’s? Or is it just an all-natural, all-organic, I’m-so-much-better-than-you way to prove your “Top Mama” status?
The birth of my first daughter involved an emergency c-section that, Iâm not ashamed to report, I actually preferred over a vaginal delivery. Thatâs right, I willingly kissed my Jillian Michaels abs goodbye and âchoseâ major abdominal surgery over natural childbirth. My daughter was slow to arrive on the scene and the situation presented to me was this: I had a 50/50 chance that she could emerge the ânaturalâ way or, you know, the other way (via c-section). The choice for me was a no-brainer.
Itâs only when I share my birth story with other moms that I get the feeling I had somehow âcheatedâ myself out of a True Motherhood Experience simply because I wasnât very good at bearing down on a yoga ball, or squatting in a kiddie pool surrounded by moon cake and mulled wine. More
May 2009: I was six weeks from my due date for my second child. My partner, our almost-two-year-old daughter and I were enjoying our last few weeks of being a family of three, and I was getting psyched for a summer with another maternity leave.
Then my partner found a lump in her breast. More
I was upstaged while giving birth to my daughter. Iâd heard of dads trying to take center stage before â chatting with the nurses, befriending the doctors, that type of thing. But never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen to me, mid-delivery. More
Okay, I’ll admit it: I had an epidural while 1.5 centimeters dilated. Twice.
With my first, the anesthesiologist just happened to be available to administer the epidural and I had heard that if you miss your window in which to receive one, you could end up screwed. So I went for it. Thirty hours of labor ensued and, don’t hate me for saying this, but it was a breeze.
With baby number two, I was going for the same thing. I felt slight cramping and â boom â epidural! Only this time it didn’t totally work. More
Within an hour, the epidural had completely worn off on my left side. Utter panic. I had never deluded myself into thinking I could get through labor without pain medication. The plan was: Get epidural. Continue existing until baby is out. There was no Plan B. The doctors tried to give me a second epidural, but the pain in my left side persisted. And it was getting worse. A lot worse. And I was only maybe three centimeters dilated. How would I rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10? What kind of question is that, anyway? More