I started my journey into motherhood at a young age. I was only sixteen when a single night resulted in my getting pregnant. I was alone and knew nothing about what was about to happen to me. I went along with everything my obstetrician recommended or told me to do. It was an easy uneventful pregnancy health wise. The big day arrived and I had labor induced on me and my unborn child. I was strapped into bed by monitors and wires, and told that I could not get up. I was treated as less than human, like I did not matter. I am sure that my age had something to do with the treatment that I received that day.
Towards the end of my labor, I was informed by the doctor that I would need a cesarean section to remove my baby from me. Something deep inside me crawled to the surface and I finally stood up for myself and my unborn child. I refused to consent to the surgery. The doctor begrudgingly gave me another hour. Finally having found my inner strength, my body finished laboring on its own without medication and I birthed my baby. The mother within me was born in the moment my daughter was born. Even at 17, I was a mother, forever changed by what we just experienced together.
It took a few years for me to emotionally process the experience of my daughter’s birth. I was entrenched into life as a teen mother and graduating from school as an honor student. When I did start to process the birth, I realized that something was wrong. That is not what birth should be like. I do not think that God envisioned his prized daughters to be treated like scum while they brought more of his precious spirits into the world. I knew that there had to be a better option out there for childbirth. I am a smart woman. I put my trust into a trained surgeon for a natural process. It was not going to happen to me again.
Using mostly the internet to kick of my search, I started to learn more. Google became my new cyber friend. We spent a lot of time together. I learned about natural childbirth and that it wasn’t what the media had portrayed it as. It is a natural and beautiful process. Instead of watching shows on television, I began to watch internet videos on Youtube and saw women giving birth the way nature intended. I learned that homebirth did still exist. Before my research I thought that it was an extinct practice. I knew of no one who had a homebirth in this half of the century.
Five years after my first child was born, I was pregnant with my second child. I was still young at 22, and still alone, but I was armed with information this time. I hired a homebirth midwife soon after I discovered that I was pregnant. I really hit it off with her. It was a perfect match. The pregnancy was mostly uneventful except for a few obstacles along the way. I was an active participant in my prenatal care this time around. I asked questions and did my own research when things arose. My care was a complete opposite of what I experienced the first time.
Almost three weeks after the estimated due date, I went into labor on my own. It was a long emotionally and physically trying labor. I was surrounded by women who trusted my body to birth this baby. I was free to move around and do what I felt was necessary. I called all of the shots this time. After 48 hours of labor I birthed my second child, a son, in my own home on my own bed. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word. I was truly in awe of what just happened. I did it! I am not some super woman because I was able to give birth naturally. I am just a woman doing women’s work like they’ve been doing for thousands of years.
My experiences have changed me. It took me birthing my son to be able to fully heal from my first experience. However, I do not think that I would want my daughter’s birth to happen any differently than it did. Having that experience is the catalyst for the rest of my story. It triggered me to learn more, and to educate myself. I think without it I would not be where I am today. I am now studying to be a midwife. I am a birth doula, a certified labor coach. I am with women during their pregnancy journey, birth, and postpartum period. I help them to educate themselves. I have seen both the ugly and amazing sides of birth. I feel that this makes me a better advocate for women and my clients. I have more compassion for them, and understanding of the medical field. Birth is amazing. It creates new lives, new little bodies for spirits to live in. It also creates mothers and families.