I love birth stories.
I don’t know about all women, but I am fascinated by them. I have a whole shelf on my bookshelf dedicated to all things birth, babies, and pregnancy, but my favourite part of it all are the moving, emotional, and deeply personal birth stories. I simply can not get enough of reading them, hearing them, watching them, and sharing them. One of the only shows I watch on television is “One Born Every Minute”, which is all birth stories.
What’s the big fascination? For me it’s the whole process from start to finish, the build up, the tension, the hard work, the intense emotion, and of course the ultimate pay off at the end: a perfect angel. I definitely have my own (strong? radical?) opinions on things like drugs, interventions, and doctors versus midwives. But when I read, watch, or hear a woman’s story there is nothing but avid interest. It never bothers me in the slightest whether she was begging for an epidural or soldiering on without (why should it?). In fact, I firmly believe that every woman in labour is a bigger superhero than Batman, Spiderman, and Iron Man combined. A woman in labour shows every bit of the strength, perseverance, and POWER that proves women are the far stronger sex.
Some of my favourite birth stories are the ones where baby is welcomed into their own home. Let me stress that this is not about the hospital/home debate. But when I read all the home birth stories I just want to run out and hire a birth pool. Talk about the warm and fuzzies. What could be more amazing than welcoming your baby into your own home with minimal medical staff, then being tucked up in your own bed, with your partner and other children right there. Not that this argument held much sway with my husband when I broached the subject while pregnant with baby four. His response was a resounding NO F***ING WAY, sprinkled with many cuss words and questions about my sanity and what century did I think it was.
I have sat glued to my television through three seasons of the UK series “One Born Every Minute”. One hour devoted to two women, following them from their arrival at hospital through to the birth. I manage to end up blubbering by the end of every episode when the baby is born. I do get annoyed at times seeing the wheels of a large maternity system in motion, the standard interventions that aren’t even questioned, and the mind boggling fact that almost every woman gives birth while lying on her back. That drives me insane. Not that the women might prefer to lie down, but that they are never encouraged to try a different position, even when it would facilitate the actual delivery. But watching all of those brave beautiful women work their butts off to birth their babies gets me each and every time.
I won’t bore you with my four birth stories (not this time at least), but believe me when I say I would love to hear any that you would like to share. I guess the fascination lies in the fact that while there is the same physiological process unfolding for every woman, there are so many variables. The fact that it is the biggest experience a woman will go through. Maybe I am still on a high from my last birth in which I pushed the midwives hands away to catch my own little chubba.
Seriously, how can you not be blown away by the enormity of an experience that gives you that most miraculous of creatures?