The Real Reason I Birthed Naturally
"You're just an overachiever" was the most frequent comment made to me by people when they found out that we had decided to have Adelyne and Zion naturally. Most times, it made me laugh, but sometimes it did not. It was personal for me and it has been on my heart to share the true reason why I did what I did.
I never thought of myself as having an issue with pain – physically or emotionally - until we had decided to take a break from sugar, wine and over the counter meds and focus on our health pre Adelyne. My whole world came crashing down when I realized I probably depended on those things through some of the hardest times in my life. This put me on a path to find the reasons why I did that and what I needed to do going forward.
"Why don't you want to feel anything?" What? I feel everything and wear my emotions on my sleeve! Every time I got into a quiet place, I would start hearing these types of questions. "Why are you so afraid of pain?" Ummm, no…I am not afraid of anything. After multiple conversations like this, He said something that I still can't shake. "Why have you numbed yourself from pain every time I have tried to show up in your life?" Dang. I couldn't argue or think of one time in my life where I hadn't used something or someone to soften the blow of heartache or physical pain. That evening, I told Ricky that I had decided to opt out of pain meds with the upcoming tubal reversal surgery. Of course, he supported my decision that turned into quite a journey for us both.
Following that procedure, I thought we would have a year or two for me to psyche myself out enough to have a natural birth. Only 5 months after the surgery, however, we found out that we were expecting. “I can do this” I thought to myself. But truly, in my heart, I don't think I believed it. I had attempted natural births with both my 13 year old and 15 year old and ended up calling for an epidural on both before I ever dilated to a 2. Don’t laugh…contractions are legit pain folks! Ricky did what he does best and researched all about it. It also helped that one of my closest friends had just birthed naturally and sent me a book that definitely inspired us.
Neither labor nor delivery for Adelyne or Zion was easy. They were, however, so gratifying and spiritual. Sounds weird, I know. But that is the only way I can describe it. Both times, when I got to a point that I didn't think I could continue, God showed up. He showed up in my steadfast husband being strong and encouraging me - in my trusted midwives being patient and coaching me - in my dear friend and chiropractor adjusting me and praying with me - and in my fierce photographer reminding me that I was strong and capturing those moments for me. If you remember anything from this post, please remember this: any goal you have, only surround yourself with people that will line themselves up with what you are believing for. I did not want to forego pain meds because I thought I was a superstar or that I had something to prove to everyone. Simply, I didn't want to numb myself and miss out on feeling my way through something that I knew God had created me to do.
As far as me being an "overachiever"...my goal is never to try to convince other women to birth their babies naturally. Anyone that creates and carries life on the inside of them is a rock star in my book. My goal is to help educate anyone that is curious, inspire someone to do what they think they can’t and to encourage at least one person to make it through one of the hardest times in his or her life. There are so many times that I could have used that. I frequently think of a lady at church that used to make fun of me for crying and told me that I didn’t have enough faith and that I must be weak. Nice, huh? I think as a society, we have evolved into “mean girls” that condemn one another for having a bad day, week or year. What if the struggle they are facing is to make them stronger for the next chapter in their life? We HAVE to feel the divorce, the miscarriage, the depression, the job loss and real life emotionally in the same way that we need to feel that headache, fever or pain physically to know IF and HOW to treat it. Why are we so quick to refuse our bodies the right to tell us what the next step is emotionally? We can't keep prolonging our pain by not feeling it the first time it comes around. He wired us this way for a reason! I cry when I am sad; I cry when I am happy; I cry when I am mad. SO WHAT? Embrace how you were created and know that you will never regret getting to know yourself at a deeper level.
Feeling through those levels and blows that life throws at you can be unpleasant at times. If you let yourself feel that hurt, grief and pain - I am confident you will see what you are made of. You are a force to be reckoned with and there is nothing you can't do and no chapter in your life that you cannot make it through if you're not afraid to feel. Going through natural childbirth has unequivocally made me believe that He has given me the strength and ability to survive anything that hurts a little or a lot, whether it be physical or emotional. You were created to do more than survive. You were created to overcome.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5