When it comes to childbirth and babies, I am lucky.
I grew up an only child and grandchild. Because of my small family, I didn’t grow up going to a bunch of weddings, and I certainly didn’t meet a lot of new babies.
The first time I ever visited a mom and newborn in the hospital, I was about 25 years old. I was living in Mexico at the time, and our friends had just had a baby. I entered this small hospital, visited my friend, and then asked, “Where’s the baby?” I was told he was in the other room, in the nursery. I was horrified!
Now don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of women who have done this and it works for them. That’s great. I’m not here to say that’s not the right decision. But I knew immediately that it was not the right decision for me.
After that, anyone I met that had a baby, I would ask them to explain to me, “But do they take the baby? What if I don’t want them to take the baby?” The whole thing felt unsettling to me, but hospitals are where you have babies, right? What can you do?
Cut to 2006 where I’m at a pretty random Miami female blogger gathering and someone shared her birth story with us. Her son was born in a birth center with a midwife. I had never heard of such a thing. As she continued to describe it, hypnobirthing and all, I knew immediately that it was for me.
I recently wrote this woman, my natural birth inspiration, a thank you note. I was thanking her because this single conversation helped to shape my future as a crunchy mom.
My first son was born at a birth center with the assistance of midwives. My second son was born at home with a midwife, not 2 feet from where I am sitting right now.
There is so much that I have learned about food and medicine in the past year or so that I wish I had known before. But I am so lucky to have learned about natural childbirth before it was too late.
I’m sure it saved me from a c-section, which undoubtedly saved me from a 2nd cesarean. It made me question things like circumcision and vaccines, which I always had taken as a given.
These are the kind of decisions that are so critical; they cannot be undone. We have to make these decisions in the very first days of parenthood, when we are new and scared, and exhausted.
This is why I count myself as lucky: Lucky to have learned what I learned when I learned it.
Now the trick is to figure out how we get information to people that desire it, before it’s too late. That’s my next plan of action!
Do you have life lessons that you learned at the right time? Or a little too late? Please share!
PS: Have a question for me about natural childbirth or anything else? Ask Rebecca!