Archive for ‘Why’

May 14, 2013

The Birth of The Twins

I was barely 18 when I discovered I was expecting. Living in motels and a car my boyfriend and I had bought together so we’d have somewhere to stay when we had no money, to say I was unable to handle much more is an incredible understatement. I bounced from job to job, not able or willing to hold down a steady job because I was an immature kid. My boyfriend had been at the same job for 4 years and took an additional one to help, but it was still not nearly enough to help us afford a place and the car payment.

Upon discovery of our impending arrival, I was scheduled to have an u/s since we had no idea how far along I was. A friend drove me to the hospital and we arrived a few minutes late and my boyfriend met us there. My friend left and my boyfriend and I entered the room and I was told to lie down on the table and lift my shirt. I remember the u/s screen, what looked like a weird computer, was up behind my head so that I had to angle my head and neck just right to see but not turn so much that the technician couldn’t see the baby.

The next exchange changed my life more than I ever could have imagined.

“Oh look at that! There’s two,” said the ultrasound technician in a monotone voice that was not worthy of what she’d just said.

I flipped around so I could see better, “You’re joking right?!”

“No, no. See..” she said as she pointed out two beating hearts. “One, two.”

My heart sank. Two. Not one. The technician looked at me quizzically and I tried to feign happiness. I shot a glance at my boyfriend who nervously eyed the ground. “Oh God,” I thought, “He’s going to leave me for sure now.”

Somehow I made it through those first few months of pregnancy. I held on the best I could to my sanity and managed to alienate my boyfriend at the same time. I look back now and think I was doing it on purpose. I was protecting myself and giving him the pass to go if he wanted. I am nobody’s obligation.

During my 4th month of pregnancy, my boyfriend finally worked up the courage to tell me he’d joined the military. And he was leaving for boot camp the following day. He was not leaving ME, he insisted. After finding out I was pregnant, I finagled us both into my dad’s house. It was temporary. Very temporary. But S, my boyfriend, felt he wouldn’t kick me out if he left. He felt sure of it. And he felt positive he could not raise two babies on his meager income.

I was angry and felt betrayed. Feeling broken and full of rage, I spit venom filled words at him and then begged him with my whole heart to stay. I willed him to stay with everything in me, but the next morning he kissed me goodbye and drove away. He said it was for the best.

A few weeks later, at my appointment with my perinatologist (specialized doctor in high risk pregnancies), I discovered that my cervix was not doing it’s job. It’s was very short and ready to begin dilation. I was approaching 5 months pregnant and it was way too early to deliver the babies safely. I was placed on strict bedrest, had to quit my job, and was only allowed to sit up to eat or go to the bathroom. I was also told baby B had short limbs and may be a little person. The terror I felt upon realization that I was pregnant with twins could never compare to how devastated I felt about the possibility of losing my babies or one having some sort of developmental problem.

So I laid around watching television and reading books for the next 4 months. I watched a lot of A Baby Story and Birth Day from TLC and Discovery. My view of what a “normal” birth was was terribly skewed. At the time I was also living with my step-mom. She is a NICU charge nurse and has been for many years. I remember bringing up home birth once because a water birth (something I’d seen in a rare, HAPPY home birth show on Discovery) made me interested and she replied with something like, “People that have babies at home are stupid. They are risking their babies lives!” I never asked about it again. And I began to believe the same.

Throughout my pregnancy, I was prepared for the possibility of a cesarean. I was scared of one, but not because I was concerned about risks to the babies or myself. I had no idea. I blindly believed it was just as safe, if not safer than a vaginal delivery. I just didn’t like the idea of being cut open.

At my last doctor’s appointment, I was told my blood pressure was high (how high? I can’t answer that. I never asked.) and that there was protein in my urine. I was so swollen there was a stretch mark on one of my ankles and I had developed this weird, hanging belly underneath my pregnant belly. I remember being totally grossed out by it. My doctor offered to induce the same day, but I remember thinking I needed to prepare myself (like, shave) and asked to wait a day. She agreed and told me to arrive at 7am the following morning.

I don’t think I slept at all that night. The next morning we were on the road at 6am. The hospital was 45 minutes away. I was so nervous and yet so excited to just get them OUT! I was miserable and angry that I’d had to lay in bed for all that time. I was so selfish. I remember starving, but not eating anything. I assumed I could eat at the hospital.

We arrived right on time and they got me changed into one of those awful gowns and with no back. I climbed into the bed and they inserted an IV right away. The nurse who inserted it apparently did not know what she was doing and when she tried to place the needle, blood shot out of my wrist and onto her and me. She flipped out, dropped my hand and nearly ran away, but my step-mom was there and she stepped forward and the nurse regained composure and corrected her mistake. Cold fluids went into my arm and all I couild think was how badly it burned. I hated that stupid IV. More than a few times I thought about trying to take it out, but I knew I couldn’t accomplish it without someone noticing. Just as I got used to the fluids they were pushing, they added pitocin to the mix. Magnesium sulfate, pitocin, and saline.

Aside from the coldness flowing into my arm, I felt fine. They said I was having regular contractions, but I don’t recall really feeling them. I remember feeling like I needed to poop, but that was it. No pain.

When I was 4 centimeters, the nurse mentioned whenever I wanted the epidural I could have it. I hadn’t given much thought to this. What kind of brave soul has a baby without an epidural!?? I wasn’t feeling any pain and I thought I really didn’t want to so I opted for the epidural immediately. About 45 minutes later, still feeling no pain, the anesthesiologist arrived to place the epidural. They had me sit up, turn to the side of the bed with my feet hanging down and put my head down. I remember him telling me to be very still. He said it like 8 times. Then he said if I wasn’t, he could really injure me. I began to rethink my decision, but it felt too late to say anything. As he placed the catheter, I burst into tears. Sobbing uncontrollably into my step-mom’s shoulder, I remember thinking how sad it was that my boyfriend was not there for the birth of his children. I also remember saying aloud, “I don’t even know why I’m crying,” and feeling so embarrassed.

The epidural did it’s job mostly, but I remember feeling some in my bottom. I could feel the contractions down there, but no where else. I remember feeling a lot of pressure. It was so boring, laying there with nothing to do and waiting to be dilated enough to push the babies out. It was not at all like you see in the movies or on TV. It was not chaos and screaming, but nor was it calm and peaceful. I felt so anxious. I hated the whole experience and I wanted it to end.

Finally I was complete. My doctor and a team of nurses and technicians wheeled me into the OR, just in case. I remembered seeing a birth on TV where the mother pushed one baby out vaginally, but then had a cesarean for the other baby. I was so scared of the same happening to me.

Once in the OR, they placed another IV in my hand, just in case. Everyone got into scrubs and face masks, just in case. They got out all the equipment and the scalpel tray, just in case. The placed an oxygen mask, just in case. My doctor began instructing me to push and I did just as I was asked. She sounded so proud of me, “Great job! You can do it! Keep going!” and so I did. I could sort of feel things, but not completely so I only had her count and timing to guide me.

My first baby slid out, a baby boy, C. He was shown to me for a millisecond and then whisked away to be cleaned up and wrapped like a burrito. My doctor instructed me not to push in what sounded like a worried tone and then said quietly to someone else,”She’s bleeding way too much.” She explained that I’d torn “a little bit” and that I needed to stop pushing and wait for her to stich me up. Baby B up until this point had been breech, but quickly flipped around once her brother was safely out.

With stiching over for now, I was told to begin pushing again. I did and just a few pushes later D was born, a little girl. Once again they showed her to me and then whisked her off for the same treatment her brother had received. My doctor exclaimed, “Well that was the perfect twin birth,” looking very pleased with herself.

They placed both babies on my chest, but laying flat on my back, legs spread eagle getting stiched again, and beyond exhausted and numb from the waist down I barely mustered the strength to lift my head and stroke their heads. We were moved to Mother and Baby.

My step-mom wanted to be the first to bathe them and I honestly didn’t care. I kind of wanted them to take the babies and let me sleep. They tried to get me to breastfeed, but I and both babies were so out of it it wasn’t successful. They finally left and I was allowed to sleep.

C weighed 6lbs 10oz and was 20inches long. D weighed 5lbs 15oz and was 19 inches long. Both perfect.

I am sure there is much more I don’t recall. At the end of it all, the only thing I clearly remember was wanting sleep and a willingness to do anything to get it. I regret that induction so much. I regret not asking more questions, not spending those months on bedrest learning about pregnancy and childbirth with forms of information that weren’t medically slanted. Once I was fully alert and felt back to myself again, I knew with every part of my being that I NEVER wanted to do birth that way ever again.

Their father finally met them when they were 2.5 months old, after successfully completing boot camp. We married shortly after and have been together ever since.

March 17, 2013

Whole or Circumcised; Does It Really Matter?

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I was 18 when I discovered I was pregnant with twins in 2002. I had only been sexually active for 6 weeks. 6 weeks!!! I was in shock, I was terrified, and not once did the question of whether or not I would circumcise (if I was blessed with one – or two – boys) enter my thoughts. For me, this was a given. In the complete and total haze that surrounded me during those months of trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I would soon be a mother to not just one, but two little babies, whether or not to circumcise did not cross my mind. It was not confusing. It was not difficult. It did not weigh on me. I did not feel heavy in my chest when I thought about it. In fact, I did not think about it before the arrival of The Twins much at all. Like I said, it was a given. Of course I would circumcise any son of mine. Why wouldn’t I?

My husband has told me that just before the birth of the twins, we briefly discussed whether or not to circumcise our son. We were also expecting a daughter. He says I became angry when he broached the subject and that I couldn’t understand why he would even question the decision. He recalls it was a big enough reaction for him to let it go. I do not recall this exchange, but remembering the person I was back then, I certainly can’t say it isn’t true.

Oh, how I wish it weren’t true.

The Twins were born just 1 week, 1 day shy of 40 weeks. I developed pre-eclampsia and was induced. It took me a couple of days to fall in love with my babies, but once I did I was hit hard with a fierce love like I’d never known before. They were instantly my reason for existing and I immediately knew my life would never be the same.

When we took them for their 1 week check up, I knew it was also circumcision time. We were informed at the appointment that my state insurance would not cover circumcision since it is cosmetic and that I would need to pay out of pocket if I still wanted my son to have the surgery. I hesitated, but only because I did not have 100 dollars to spend on something like circumcision. My step-mom offered to pay for the procedure, as long as we paid her back. I agreed and she paid the woman behind the counter.

I sat nervously in the waiting room, but the nerves were more about the car ride home since we lived almost an hour away from the doctor’s office and The Twins did not like riding in the car. I had no idea what was about to happen to my little boy, despite knowing that circumcision involved cutting off some skin from the head of the penis. I knew they would cut him, I knew it could hurt, but I also thought I knew that it was numbed, that he wouldn’t feel much, if any pain, that it was easier on him now than when he was an adult, that this was in his best interest for a healthy future, and that he would definitely be made fun of if we did not do this for him.

A medical assistant came out to get us and we were guided through the halls to a room. The twins were undressed and weighed, measured from head to toe and the pediatrician looked each of them over. They fussed a little bit, but nothing traumatic. Both were gaining weight well and seemed happy. I was allowed to dress my daughter, but they took my little boy to get him ready for his surgery. I blurted out a question about anesthesia, and they assured me they would numb him first. I began to feel a huge pit in my stomach. I started seeing silver utensils and blue sheets and suddenly I needed to leave the room. I said I couldn’t stay, but did not want to leave him. My step-mom stepped up again, offering to stay with him. I was unsure, but took her offer since I needed to feed my little girl.

I am going to stop right here and say, you should all know as I write this I keep having to pause and breathe and try to take in the experience all over again without completely falling apart. I hate remembering. My palms are sweaty, my heart is racing, and I am hot all over. I am back in that waiting room. I am sitting there, knowing they are about to hurt my little boy and feeling like I really need to go get him, but also trapped in this sort of …power struggle within myself. Do I go and get him and let him keep that “disgusting flap of skin” or do I let them hurt him, knowing I am making a “painful, but necessary” decision? I decide to feed my daughter.

I am looking into my little girls eyes and a lump in my throat starts to rise. The tears are coming, but I am fighting them back. Suddenly I hear a scream of alarming proportions rush down the hall right to me. It is my little boy. It is my new baby. He is screaming in pain, screaming for help, and now my tears fall. They fall hard. Again I am overcome with the strong desire to go save him, go help him, go stop them, but I cannot will myself to do it.

“It’s already happening,” I think. “If I go back there now, I’ll just make it worse. Surely it’s almost over.”

His screams roar on for what feels like an eternity. I feel like I am trapped in a soundproofed room and only I can hear him. Everyone around me moves normally, like nothing is going on, like this is completely and totally okay. Like this happens every day. Like it isn’t new, it isn’t alarming, it’s .. no big deal.

Finally. Finally my little boy is brought out to me. He is wrapped up and covered and he looks like a peaceful, sleeping baby. He looks nothing like the little boy I just heard screaming across the office. And for a second, I question whether it was him at all. But deep within I know it was. I know it was. I’m sick, but looking at his peaceful face it’s hard to believe it was anything but easy.

The days following are difficult. I am instructed to put silver nitrate on his penis and globs of Vaseline to help his penis keep from sticking to anything it touches. Diaper changes are nightmares. He screams just like he did when I wasn’t there to comfort him. No matter what I put on his penis, it still sticks to the diaper. He cries ferociously every time he urinates and I find myself changing him much more frequently, worried some feces or urine will cause an infection. He sleeps a lot, which is not normal for him, and he eats minimally. Within 10 days, it is healed completely and it’s like it never happened.

Fast forward 4 years and I am pregnant again. We are expecting another little boy, The Monkey, and 20 weeks into this pregnancy the topic of circumcision pops up on my pregnancy board. Lots of people are doing it, some are not, some think that’s weird, others don’t know what to think and suddenly it hits me that I am going to have to make this decision again. I am going to have to go through that again. I am going to have to put my baby through it again.

Oh God. What now??

This is where it all changes. I hear what a couple of mothers I trust have to say about it and suddenly, circumcision doesn’t feel so cut and dry. It feels like I have a choice, like I am not doomed to feel pushed into that same corner and unable to protect my child. This time, it feels like maybe I don’t have to hurt my baby at all.

I ask my husband what he thinks about not circumcising our son, and this time he is the one who gets defensive. I explain to him where I’m coming from – that a foreskin is much more than a flap of skin, that it really, really hurts the baby and I know because I lived through it the first time (he was away at military training) and so did our first born son. I explain that it was traumatizing for us both and if we can avoid it, and it seems like several moms are starting to, maybe we should. I feel confused and start to question keeping our little guy whole. What about our firstborn son? Will he feel weird because he is circumcised and our second son isn’t? How is that “fair?” Within days I realize that way of thinking is completely ridiculous. I cannot allow the guilt I feel over circumcising my first son, C, push me into circumcising our second son to prevent questions and having to be honest about what I chose for him. We decide not to circumcise.

When The Monkey is born and they ask if we want him circumcised for the 3rd time, we keep saying no. I hesitate once because I am a worrier and I worry about things I have not lived through, but in the end we leave the hospital with our son intact. I, nor any of my future sons, will ever have to encounter the anguish and upset C and I were faced with previously. A huge weight feels lifted and I am so happy with our decision.

When we got pregnant with Doodle, it was a no brainer. Obviously, he would remain whole as well. Isn’t it amazing the complete 180 we did from just 7 years previously when we had The Twins? Doodle and The Monkey are whole and our eldest son, C, is not. I regret it every day.

I recently discussed the choice I made for C with him. He is 10 and the conversation was inadvertently brought up. I couldn’t lie.. so I had to tell him the truth. It was a pretty brief discussion because within a few minutes C looked horrified and asked me to stop talking. It was heartbreaking. I had thought about how we’d discuss it a million times. How maybe he’d forgive me, maybe he’d realize I didn’t know what I was taking from him. Maybe he would be okay and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, like so many men claim it’s not. I had no idea it would go the way it went and I was not at all prepared for his reaction.

The reality of what circumcision is, is scary. It is heartbreaking. It is unnecessary and should not be a decision made lightly by people who it will not affect in the future. It should be thoroughly thought through before the choice is made for someone else and you should consider how your child will react 10, 15, or 20 years from now when you have to explain why you did what you did.

This is the age of the internet, of information at your fingertips in less than 2 seconds, and everyone – everyone – has the ability to fully research these choices we are making for our children. Especially one as prominent as circumcision. I don’t care where you live, you have to be aware now that circumcision is controversial and there are tons of studies and theories and ideas out there. This decision is not an easy one to make unless you let yourself be guided by someone else. Do the research. Read. Talk to people. Talk to mothers, talk to men, talk to anyone who is willing to chat. Circumcision may not have seemed like a big deal 10 years ago, but today it has become a very big issue – and with good reason! So don’t do something you may regret without being sure you can and will take responsibility for whatever outcome.

We research car seats, cribs, blankets, diapers, hospitals, doctors, formula, all in the name of keeping our babies as safe as possible, but when it comes to a procedure that can kill our children, and does kill at least 100 babies every year, we don’t give it a second thought. It is social conditioning and we have become numb to the horror of circumcision.

Maybe you totally disagree with me. Maybe you prefer cut men. Maybe you yourself prefer your cut penis. Maybe you are worried your child will be made fun of, should look like Daddy, could get penile cancer, be more likely to get STDs, HIV, etc all from not getting circumcised so you still think circumcision is best. And you know what? That’s not my business. All I am asking of you, to try and help you avoid the pain my son and I have been through, is look into it. Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel offended by my stance on this topic because you feel confident in yours? The only way to get that is to become educated on the subject and then make a decision.

You can start here:

Whole or circumcised, does it really matter? I think it does. Do you?

November 10, 2011

Why is Everything So Controversial?

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As I watched (and stayed out of) the conversations on several birthing communities yesterday about The Duggars, I came to the realization that nothing will ever be perfect for everyone. It’s impossible. And that’s okay. But I also realized that we are an incredibly judgmental people even when we claim to be open minded.

You may well be open minded about some things. You may stray from the beaten path over things you feel make you totally progressive, but we all still have our hang ups. We still judge when we face something we cannot wrap our brains around. We still get up in arms when we don’t understand someone else’s choices.

When I originally learned about The Duggars, I was shocked. Dare I say it, a little bit disgusted. Yes, disgusted. I thought about overpopulation, their carbon footprint, why have that many children, what is she doing to her body, how do the kids cope with all that chaos, how can they possibly give each child what he or she needs, how are they helping them each grow individually, WHY would they choose this???? I had so many questions. I had zero answers. And I had zero understanding.

Typically when I don’t understand someone’s choices, if it is not harming anyone, I try to accept it. With The Duggars constantly in the media though, I could not just accept and move on. They were there all the time, flaunting their giant family, showing off their perfect children, announcing yet another pregnancy and I became annoyed.

Then they became pregnant with #19, Josie. This pregnancy Michelle became pre-eclamptic with, the innocent baby was born at 25 weeks, the family spent months in the NICU with Josie, praying over her and hoping she’d survive.

They had to be done now. Right? Her body was clearly saying it was done. God was obviously showing her she needed to stop. He was telling them both it was time to move forward in life, focus on their 19 children, and enjoy watching them grow and have their own families. Surely after such a traumatic time and obviously very blessed, they would finally stop having children.

And then they didn’t. Yesterday they announced the pregnancy of what will be their 20th child. Mothers everywhere went crazy.

For the first time, I didn’t join in on the conversation. How could I? Instead of pointing fingers and being outraged over someone else’s choices and life, I instead looked at my own. I thought about what it feels like when I tell people we are expecting our 5th child. How it felt when we were expecting our 4th. We were really, really excited, but our excitement was met with silence and eyes to the floor when we spilled the news. It hurt. Even perfect strangers reactions hurt. It hurts a little now looking back.

We see on television and in movies everyone is always overjoyed at the announcement of a pregnancy, a baby, a new life. How wonderful! Everybody is so happy. They smile from ear to ear, gasp with joyful surprise and yelp with excitement. Their eyes light up.

I’ve never gotten a truly joyful reaction to one of my pregnancies. Ever. I’ve always gotten sad eyes, pursed lips, silence, and disappointment. And it always felt like I wasn’t allowed to be happy because everyone else was so down about it. I know why. Our happy surprises were also always met with bad timing. We never had a pregnancy when things were settled. With The Twins we were teenagers and homeless. With The Monkey, my husband had just made a huge job transition and things were very uncertain for us. With Doodle, we were still dealing with the uncertainty of that transition. And this time, well..I guess this being baby #5 is reason enough for people to dislike it.

I know what it’s like to be judged. I know how shitty it feels to experience others upset for my choices. I know what it feels like to have someone I love glare at me and say rude things for doing something they don’t agree with.

I bet you do too. Please remember that the next time you want to jump on someone for their decisions and their life. Remember the hurt and shock of people judging you for living your life the way you feel is best. We all share so much in common, but we will never be the same. I think that is a beautiful part of God’s amazing creation and we are lesser for questioning it, judging it, and fearing it.

I have had some of the best conversations with people whose perspective is the complete opposite of mine. When I allow myself to accept and wonder about their choices, I open myself up to an entirely new way of thinking. Often times, this does not change my personal preference on the subject, but it is so magnificent to look a person in the eye who I disagree with and know we somehow understand and respect one another despite our differences.

We can all have this about all subjects, but we have to be open to it. You do not lose part of yourself by letting other opinions and thoughts in. In fact, I believe over the years doing this has only strengthened my resolve in some of my beliefs and made me more interested in learning further about other thoughts and ideas that I have. It has only been a good thing.

Let us embrace our differences, enjoy our uniqueness, and love one another regardless of what we believe is best for our own lives. We may not always understand another’s decision, but we can do ourselves, our friends, and even perfect strangers a favor by accepting that it’s not our choice to make.

May 23, 2011

Why

I would like to delve into the “why” I am doing this. When I finally found someone to love me at the age of 10, I latched onto them and believed every word that spilled from their lips. They were my salvation. I guess you could say I am a product of my environment and as such have been scarred relatively deeply as a result. I never questioned this person until recently in my life.

Growing up I touted their medical background as some sort of prize that I had won. I was proud. Of course I had no real background in medicine myself, I just grew up with this medically minded person and revered medicine as some sort of higher power. I was often told stories of death and of lives saved and I would listen in amazement and marvel at the power we hold here on Earth. For most of my life, I did not believe in God. Past hardships had led me to a belief that God either didn’t exist or was an incredibly cruel being that deserved no attention of mine.

It isn’t any wonder then, that when I happened upon my first pregnancy (yes, ‘happened upon’ – we did all the “right” things and still fell pregnant) at the young age of 18, I immediately sought medical care and an Obstetrician who was very good at what she did. The pregnancy was unexpected and I was caught off guard, but I never once questioned my decision to see an OB. I never once considered there might be another choice. I soon learned that I was carrying twins and if I had questioned anything at any point up until then, it would have gone right out the window with all ideas I had of birth. When I discovered we were having twins,  I wanted every specialist in the country to come and be sure my babies were okay. I settled for my OB and a Perinatologist who came highly recommended.  The only thing I stuck to was the hope for a vaginal birth. For some reason, not sure where it came from, I was more than a little terrified by the idea of a cesarean. It was the only desire I voiced the entire pregnancy.

The pregnancy was fraught with issues from midway through right up until the end. However, each issue was easily remedied with the recommended solutions.

Incompetent cervix? Take it easy, bed rest when you aren’t working. When that wasn’t good enough, we moved to strict bed rest, allowing me to only be in a sitting position to eat and use the restroom and that seemed to do the trick. While I was miserable, my babies were able to continue growing.

Pre-term Labor? Come in to the hospital, we’ll give you something that should stop the labor. And it did. At 34 weeks I went into pre-term labor and was given terbutaline and labor stalled out.

Pre-Eclampsia? Ah, induction! And that’s what we did. An induction at 38 weeks 6 days pregnant.

In medical terms, the induction went “beautifully.” Everything went right. It didn’t take too long for things to progress. I got an epidural long before ever being in any pain so there was none of that chaotic, useless, unbecoming grunting and screaming some women insist on doing when they’re in labor. In fact I laid there bored, scared, impatient, and hungry for 11 hours. I pushed when told, didn’t object to being wheeled into the OR, just in case, didn’t object to 2 IV’s just in case, didn’t object to an oxygen mask, just in case, didn’t object to a single thing they asked of me. I was a good, little patient and did what I was told. When it was all over, my OB was so proud of herself for getting me through such a rough pregnancy and delivering healthy babies with an uncomplicated labor and delivery. She said it was the “perfect” twin birth.

After they were born, I didn’t really see much of them. I was so out of it. I had been given magnesium during my labor along with my epidural and pitocin and had a bit of hemorrhaging after the birth of my first child and somewhere in there, something made me beyond drowsy. When we made it to our room, I could barely hold my head up. I wanted to sleep, but I didn’t want to be rude to my step-mom and the nurse – both of whom couldn’t wait to bathe the twins. I couldn’t care less. In fact I was only holding out until they would take them to the nursery (or wherever) so I could sleep. I thought that was normal. I thought it was normal to just crash after the birth of your children. I thought it was okay to want some space. I thought it was okay to bond with them later.  If only I had known.

It wasn’t until the birth of my 2nd son that I realized what I had missed out on with the twins. In that first moment that my son was placed on my stomach, wet and squirming, I immediately knew that I had missed out on something so special with the twins. That they had missed out too. Something that we would never get back. Something that is lost forever.

It was only after the birth of my 2nd son that I dove headfirst into researching birth, pre-eclampsia, labor, dialation, pregnancy, swelling, incompetent cervix, etc, etc, etc. I learned so much so fast I think everyone I knew were too scared to come  around me because all I could focus on was childbirth and how broken our system is. I wanted to share it with everyone. Anyone. If only they would listen.

I knew I needed a ‘healing’ birth. Although my 2nd son’s birth had been different than the birth of the twins, it was not healing in any way. In some ways, it was more traumatic. It was after birth, the baby moon with him, that had been healing and heartbreaking all in the same moment. Since we weren’t done having children, I knew my next birth would be exactly what I needed for both myself and my child. His birth would be calm and peaceful. I would be relaxed and open. His birth would be different. And it was. It was nearly everything I’d imagined.

So, back to ‘why’ I am doing this.

I am doing this because I don’t ever want another mother to go through what I had to. I have seen the “other side” and know that it is light years away from what we consider “normal birth” here in America. I think every mother should get to experience a miraculous birth on her terms. Or at least the chance to.

I know that what I write here will not change everyone’s mind. Maybe not even most people’s. That’s not my goal. I won’t lie, I’d love it if we were all home birthing mamas who only went to the hospital for emergences in birth or if the hospital would up and change all policies, allow midwives to practice freely and only call in an Obstetrician when truly needed, but I know that just isn’t reality right now. My only goal with this blog is to open your eyes, even just a little and make you question the system we currently have in America. Research. Educate yourself. Learn about birth and the natural, normal process our bodies were made to do. Don’t take it from me if you don’t want to. Just be inspired to learn for yourself. Be inspired to truly choose your birth.