It’s got to be time that all that chat around birth changes, surely?! People are all too quick to share their horror story of birth in a way that gives them some kind of ‘one up’ on you if they’ve survived a horror. I just don’t get it – maybe they just want people to tell them that they are so fabulous for surviving something. But where does all this chat get us?! The stories get retold (and usually a bit more exaggerated as they go) and suddenly friendship groups, families and communities are drenched with stories of birth full of horror & pain. And what’s more, these stories are passed down through the generations, so the first thing we hear about birth is about these absolute horrors.
And funnily enough, those women who have a wonderful birth experience don’t seem to shout about it as loudly… I mean, why is that? I’ve witnessed that it often comes from the notion that women as a whole just don’t really boasting about anything really. If women love their bodies they are seen as an exception, or if they get a promotion, it’s ‘no biggy’. It’s a bizarre one really- we try to build eachother up, but to accept and praise yourself, well that’s another whole situ.
I’m a geek and think that preparation is the key to everything in life. I’m all up for winging it with kiddies day to day. And hell, with the small amount of time I have for anything these days, everything secondary – well pretty much anything just for me – is all about winging it. But for my work, I prepare to be the best I can be. When I used to dance, I would spend hours to be the best I could be. Exams, revision timetable (colour coded of course) was as thorough as can be so I could excel. And birth… for me was the same.
But why is it not for so many people? If you want something, my goodness ladies you need to make it happen. Don’t just listen to the horror stories and roll over just accepting that childbirth is going to be a horror story. PREPARE. And I mean, really prepare. Research your options and your rights. Look into what feels right for YOU. Drown yourself in birth stories that best match what you want for your birth. Go to birth preparation classes and make sure you feel comfortable with all the options you have available to you. And when you find one that fits – make it happen. Whether it’s through relaxation techniques, hypnobirthing, complimentary therapies, positioning, active birth classes or just good old knowledge.
Prepare in a way for you to excel at your birth. Birth is powerful and so bloody intense. It’s time for women to start taking charge of it, and not quaking in your boots at all those stories you’ve heard about whoever’s cousin’s neighbour’s best friend. Take charge and own your birth experience like you would a job interview. Own it. Make it yours. Believe in you and please, shout about how wonderful it was, let’s do this 👊🏻