AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: In which I bare my penchant for long analogies DATE: 5/11/2010 11:36:00 PM ----- BODY:
I think about birth daily. Even though I am personally done giving birth, I can't put it out of my mind.

I want to tell Squeak's birth story over and over again. He was born in the water. I find myself grinning as I almost whisper this to people. I can't help myself. It was truly the most amazing experience in my life, and I want to share it.

I want to share it without guilt. I don't want to feel guilty for being so thrilled with it, and I don't want other mamas to feel guilty if they didn't have the same experience. Guilt is based in shame and judgment, and is no way for mamas to better themselves and support each other.

Here's what I think.

From my house to my momma's house, the best and most direct route is I-40. Plain and simple. Get on I-40, drive for an eternity, and end up at Momma's house. It's the best way to get there, but the last time we went, there was a rock slide on the NC/TN state line on I-40.

We had to go around. We had to divert from the best route in order to get where we were going.

We still got to Momma's house. We were more tired, used more gas, and it took more time, but we got there. We were grateful that there were other routes to Momma's house so that we could still get there safely even though there was a rock slide.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

What if someone had just given us wrong directions? What if there was a gas station or a restaurant on the route around I-40 that printed maps without I-40 on it? Just to get us to drive by their business and become customers? What if the only directions we were given never even mentioned that we could just stay on I-40 unless there was a rock slide?

Isn't that entirely different?

If you don't need to go around the rock slide, then someone should be giving you directions that go from point A to point B without all the side roads. And by side roads, I mean interventions, in case you haven't jumped on board my analogy yet.

All of us mamas are just following our maps. We are doing the best we can for ourselves and our children with the information we are given.

The more we share our birth stories, and share them proudly - ALL of them, not just the ones who stayed on I-40 - the more we empower the mamas-to-be.

I am proud of all the mamas I know, and I want to hear every one of their stories. The ones who gave birth via c-section. The ones who gave birth via induction. The ones who gave birth at home. The ones who became mamas via adoption.

It's about becoming a mama. That's all. Yes, I do believe that the more we can help mamas-to-be stay on the interstate regardless of what their maps say, the better. But I absolutely do not believe that we should judge each other for the different paths we all took in getting to be a mama.

Let's let go of the guilt and start sharing our stories. Let's let each other feel proud of bringing our children into the world, and at the same time, let's help all the mamas-to-be find the best route for birth.

/soapbox (for today)

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous toddlerplanet DATE:Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 11:03:00 AM EDT This is BEAUTIFUL. And true. I'm just as proud of Little Bear's inducted, medicated, easy birth as I am of Widget's 30 hour labor (24 hours unmedicated) where everything started to go wrong and we had to use nearly every trick in the book to get him out ok. Both resulted in healthy, happy babies, and both will only have one birth story. Theirs. I'm proud of it.

But I can definitely see how you giggle about the water birth -- that is so incredibly awesome, and I'm so glad you had the experience you wanted! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Convertible Girl DATE:Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 2:26:00 PM EDT Thank you -- gave me goosebumps. I have so much angst about this because my birth stories didn't turn out at all like I expected. Hopefully I'll learn to let go of it one day -- and thankfully I have two really funny reminders of how it all turned out just fine. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Melissa (@adventuroo) DATE:Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 8:51:00 PM EDT This analogy really is PERFECT. I'm one of those who had a C-section, neither time by choice. My births weren't perfect, but I'm content with them. The petty conversations I've seen out there that proclaim I didn't GIVE BIRTH since they didn't come out of my hoo-hoo-dilly royally piss me off.

My road was different than yours and than hers and hers and hers. And none of us should feel guilty. Thanks for the analogy-- I'll be sure to use it at some point! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous @sweetbabboo DATE:Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:29:00 PM EDT I like this post. As you know, L's birth was anything but natural. However, he's here, he's healthy, and we love him. If not for medical intervention, that would likely have not been so.

Your birth story is indeed a beautiful one and one to be proud of.

-Abby ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:39:00 PM EDT THANK YOU! Things like this have been racing through my brain for weeks now, and you're right, every mother should be proud of how their child was born, no matter what.

Great post. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 7:48:00 PM EDT I love stories of how babies end up in our arms - no matter the route. I love to hear about the natural and peaceful ones, the speedy (in the back-seat of the car ones), the everything-was-going-well-until-WTF? ones, the adoption ones, all of them. Each one is worthy of celebration. ----- --------