My body is not a lemon
You know this phrase, right? Most often it’s applied to vehicles, and there are even state and federal laws in place to protect you if you’ve purchased a vehicle/object that is found to be defective only after the purchase.
The idea here is that the object has “numerous, severe issues… [or] flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose.”
But: My body is not a lemon.
There’s so much fear around birth. In media, in stories, in the backs of our minds. Especially for first time mamas, it’s kind of a daunting idea. “You want me to get something the size of THAT out of WHERE?”
But I know – I just know deep inside – that this is what I was CRAFTED to do. To grow, carry, birth, and nurture my little ones. There’s magic in the whole process. From the very beginning to the very end, our bodies and minds are synced together for one incredible purpose. Fear inhibits this whole cycle.
When it was finally time to start our family a few years ago, something just clicked right away. I felt excited, but also kind of restless. We started our prenatal care with an OB/Gyn, and it just didn’t feel right – to me or Alan. The factory approach, being-assigned-a-number, treating this incredible process as an illness rather than the miracle it is. It was hard to pinpoint my restlessness, so I did what I do best - dove into some research.
I started to look for something better, and we found our wonderful birth center in Phoenix, AZ – Babymoon Inn. We transferred prenatal care to them at about 20 weeks, and the difference was astonishing.
We took time to learn about each other – us and the midwives, nurses, and everyone else. We had real conversations, about the physical, mental and emotional states of being. The care was real, true, and deep. I was surrounded by women (and men!) passionate about the care of women and babies, and who had the experience and knowledge to help me through the labor, birth, and postnatal care.
I’ve already written about it here, but my birth with James was not easy. It wasn’t what we hoped for or planned. But NONE of that was due to lack of care or medical expertise from our midwives and birthcenter. We tried everything – me, Alan, mom, our doulas, our midwife. But in that case, going to the hospital was the right move. I’m so incredibly thankful that we were where we needed to be for such an arduous, marathon journey.
But you know what? I know birth can be different. I know every birth IS different, but I have some things on my side this time around that I didn’t before: Knowledge. Confidence. Experience. A willingness to advocate for myself and ask questions I didn’t even know I could ask before. A tribe of mama friends who are the strongest, most beautiful women I’ve ever met. Certainty in myself and my body.
|photo credit: shelly love photography|
There was no question in our minds – mine or Alan’s – that we would choose a birth center again for our second child. We weren’t “scared off”. We’re not going to “go to the hospital this time and do it right.”
I feel a great sense of peace and excitement and certainty this is exactly where we should be, and exactly the path we should be walking.
I’m young, healthy and low-risk. I CAN give birth, and I am empowering myself, educating myself, and trying to be as healthy as I can (amidst all the morning sickness…).
I want to be part of this legacy; I want to fulfill part of my role as a woman. I want to let go for once, and trust. This isn’t something I should try to micromanage. I want to be present, and engaged, and just MARVEL at what I’m capable of. I don’t want to schedule away that mystery and beauty. Enough scheduling is done by me already.
We had our first appointment with the Mountain Midwifery Center on Wednesday, and I’m in love. And even faster than I was before, because I have experiences to compare against and expectations. And Aubre, Kathy, and all of the staff we met with were incredible. Alan was able to attend, which was great. Did you know that I looked up birth centers in Denver before we even moved here? Before we even wanted to start trying again? It’s THAT important to me. I even pestered Joel and the others at MMC to add me to the online community, even though I wasn’t pregnant yet. Being part of this type of supportive community was revolutionary to me in Phoenix as a new mama, and I knew I couldn’t feel really “at home” in Denver until I made some connections.
The midwifery model of care usually has a later first appointment, in the hopes of being able to hear little one’s heartbeat at that first appointment around 10-12 weeks. We came in at 10 weeks, 5 days and our appointment was a little over an hour long.
Did you read that? An HOUR. Dedicated to US. Not rushed. Not checking the clock. Asking questions of each other, listening, taking notes, sharing stories and relating. We were heard and valued, and they were engaged and present.
And then, since we were still a little early to hear kiddo’s heartbeat, Aubre offered us an ultrasound to confirm that everything looked good. I nearly melted, because there he/she was in real life, on screen – waving and bouncing and right on track. Even more incredible.
I am SO happy. I am SO at peace. I am SO looking forward to this birth.
Our decision isn’t right for everyone. And I’m okay with that. But our decision is right for US.