Seven years ago I became a mother in the least ideal way I could imagine. Meeting Bub, holding him, nursing him, knowing him, was all amazing and felt like I’d found something I had been waiting for for so long. But the birth devastated me physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I didn’t get to feel him push past the bones of my pelvis and to stretch my body wide to make his entrance. I never got to hold his slippery new body, to rub the precious vernix into his skin, or to hold him before everyone else did. I didn’t get to know what it was like to feel my body pulse with energy and float along the hormone high while meeting my boy. I was tricked and he was plucked from the earth of my body like an overripe carrot, yanked and tugged while I slipped in an out of consciousness. I was cheated.
And I didn’t know it was okay to feel the way I did about the birth, I was told over and over to “just be happy that you have a healthy baby“, no one ever told me I was allowed to grieve the loss of the birth I dreamed about.
When Bub was about 2, I finally put my hands on a copy of Silent Knife and cried through the whole thing. I then found my way to ICAN and suddenly felt the warmth of women around me who understood what I had been through, what I was going through, women whose hearts were ripped in two when their uteri were cut in order for their babies to be born. ICAN and the women there saved my life.
My wish for all birthing women is that they trust their bodies to do what they have been doing for thousands of years and that that they are able to filter out the noise steering their births, noise that sounds frighteningly like change hitting the bottom of a jar.
We are not broken. The system is broken and it won’t be fixed until we start educating ourselves and fighting against a system that does not have our best interests in mind.