Despite the hectic craziness of our life (which is increasing a bit lately, because we are gearing up to do a long wood firing, beginning hallowe’en night!–my husband and I are potters, and I blog about that part of our lives here). I am also, simultaneously, adoring the experience of mothering this sweet little baby. He is so easy-going and so peaceful, and his new gummy grins and giggles are perfection.
I read/participated in a great thread of facebook earlier this evening. An acquaintance who is active in the natural birth community asked: If you could use one word to describe how you felt about your birth at 1 hour postpartum, 1 month, and 1 year – what would those words be?
My heart was breaking when I read answers like the following:
1 hour: lonely/1 month: angry/1 year: angry
1 hour: failure/I month: sad/1 year: angry
1 hour: disappointed/I month: regret/1 year: regret
I also read some less painful posts like: blur/exhausted/inspired
and the lovely happy/happy/happy
I continue to receive at least a message/email a day (and often more) about Felix’s birth, and I have heard from so many women who have shared with me that viewing my experience has inspired them to pursue natural birth, or helped them to overcome fear about an impending birth. Thank you thank you thank you for your comments and connection. I am actually quite behind in replying to many comments left here on this blog, but I promise I’ll get to them. And I have to emphasize that I truly believe there is nothing at all special about our birth experience, and that every woman can do this. Often all that is required is a shift in perspective, away from fear and the fear of pain.
I strongly believe that postpartum depression is in so many (if not most) cases, due to a birth experience during which the mother feels disempowered. This is a generalization of course, and there are always outlying cases and exceptions. But I think mothers and babies would, on average, be happier if birth was respected in our culture for the powerful, normal, healthy magic that it is.
My honest answer to the hour/month/year question is: 1 hour…ecstasy, 1 month…joy, 1 year….happiness & pride.
I really want more women to feel this way. And this is the reason why I shared our birth online.
What would your answer be to the question of how you feel about your birth, 1 hour, one month and one year on?
PS: No no no. Not that there is “nothing at all special” about our birth experience…but that this kind of specialness and perfection and hilarity and sweetness is, or should be, universal. And that it really is available to you, and your daughter. xo