“Birth is a great mystery. Yet, we live in a rational, scientific world that doesn’t allow for mystery. ‘In this day and age, there must be a better way to have a baby,’ implies that if you are informed enough, strong enough, you can control it. Any woman who has given birth, who can be honest, will tell you otherwise. There are no guarantees. It is an uncontrollable experience. Taking care of yourself and being informed and empowered are crucial, but so is surrender. Forget about trying to birth perfectly. Forget about trying to please anyone, least of all your doctor or midwife…” –Jennifer Louden (The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book)
I couldn’t fit this whole quote into my Facebook status today, so I’m sharing it here. I think it is a good reminder for all of us and especially for me as I get ready to do this again sometime this very month!
Every day I feel more ready to embark on my own new mystery!
Edited to add, in response to a comment about whether it might be possible to have a perfect birth:
I do think it is probably possible to have the “perfect birth” for you, but I have yet to read/see/experience a birth where the mother didn’t think of something that would have been nice to have different. Even with the very blissful stories, there’s usually some kind of “hiccup” or “wish I would have done…” (even if it as simple as, “wish I would have had the placenta encapsulated). I feel like with each of my own births I “improve” upon whatever it was that was less than perfect last time, but then there is usually a new surprise for me with the new birth—because each birth is its own journey and has its own lessons to impart! But, I feel like I spend a lot of energy prior to subsequent births thinking of ways to “fix” whatever the hiccup was with the preceding birth (with my current pregnancy the needed “fixes” for me are LIVE baby and minimizing postpartum bleeding. I expect there will probably be some kind of new “surprise” for me that will lead to me thinking that IF I had done something different maybe THAT element could have been perfect too!). What sounds perfect to me this time around is a very, very undisturbed (possibly unassisted) birth, but with IMMEDIATE postpartum assistance and bloody-towel washing! ;-D