It's funny. With my first daughter, I really wanted to have a natural birth. I think I was partly scared of having a big needle stuck in my back. I also didn't want surgery. I ended up with pitocin, an epidural, pushing for two hours, and feeling oh-so-grateful when she finally came out (thanks to the doc pushing on the top of my stomach.)
I've learned a lot since then. When preparing for the birth of my 2nd baby girl, I went a little crazy with the research. I was VERY intellectually prepared to have her. And I WAS going to do it naturally. Because that's what good moms do. And I didn't really enjoy the feeling of helplessness with DD1's birth. I wanted to GIVE birth, not just lay there feeling nothing until it was time to purple push and hopefully get a baby out!
But then I actually gave birth. And boy, did I feel it! Labor was fine, but pushing DD2 out was definitely painful. And I remember the fantasies I had about a peaceful birth being completely crushed. No wonder most women choose not to feel it! At that point I wasn't sure I would ever have a natural birth again!
Well, now DD3's birth is imminent! She's coming! Am I ready? What am I going to do? With this birth, my main goal is to have no regrets. I plan an unmedicated birth in a hospital. I have a great midwife who is amazing, and who has helped me prepare mentally and emotionally. (I've been prepared intellectually for a while!)
But sometimes I still catch myself thinking that all women should give birth naturally. I know this is wrong. A woman should have a baby however she wants. I thought this post explained, in a powerful way, that giving birth may not actually be the defining point in a woman's life as a mother! What a great perspective.
So I guess the point of this post is for me to share that birth is wonderful. Powerful. Beautiful. But I look forward to it more as a gateway to bringing another person into our family rather than a transforming, life-changing moment in and of itself. Of course birth transforms you, but I will not feel guilty if my birth isn't the spiritual amazing event that some women describe. I know that once I am holding my new daughter in my arms, I'll be holding a little bit of heaven. And that is enough!