Dear Mom who thinks she failed at childbirth,
It’s hard for you to read blogs like mine. You want to be a “natural” mama, but you have a secret: You didn’t have a natural childbirth.
It’s not that you didn’t want one–you did. You tried. Honestly, you did.
But it just didn’t work out. Something happened during labor: The pain was too intense. Your baby’s heart rate was failing. You were fatigued and didn’t have the strength to continue.
You broke down and asked for an epidural. And maybe you had a C-section.
The doctors told you it was beyond your control. That’s your story, and you’re sticking to it.
But deep down inside you wonder if it’s true. You wonder if there was something else you could have done.
You wonder if you failed.
You feel like because you never got to experience childbirth in the way you had dreamed, that, somehow, you are less of a woman.
So when in groups of moms trading war stories of their childbirths, you stay quiet. You are ashamed. You don’t want people to know.
And when you do tell people, you feel like you have to explain yourself. Like they are somehow judging you or secretly shaking their heads that perhaps you just didn’t try hard enough.
Mama, I know you tried. And I know things didn’t turn out the way you had planned.
And because of that, you’ve grieved the loss of the birth of your dreams. I don’t think you are crazy. I have grieved my own loss of dreams.
It’s OK. Grieve a little if you have to.
But then let it go.
These things you tell yourself–they are lies!
And I am sorry if I–or other natural birthing mamas–have ever made you feel that you are a failure just because your baby arrived a little differently than ours did.
Yes, I am passionate about natural childbirth. I actually had a pitocin-augmented, epidural-relieving birth with my first, and I went on to have two natural childbirths after.
But you know what? None of that makes me a better mother than you.
There are many days I have struggled with thinking I am just not cut out to be a mother. Maybe you have as well.
But one thing you need to stop struggling about is the way you birthed your children.
Let that guilt go. Set it free.
There is more to life than childbirth. It’s a few hours of the lifetime you will have to cherish and bond with your child.
That medical birth or C-section may have just saved your child–or saved you.
I do have one request, though: Please do not take it personally when those of us moms who are passionate about birth seek to educate others on it.
Natural birth can be celebrated without demeaning mothers who did not experience it.
It’s time we stop these mommy wars and appreciate each other for who we are and not what we’ve done.
Dear mom who feels like she failed at childbirth,
You didn’t fail, Mama. You just didn’t. You are a beautiful woman who loves her children. God planted them in your womb, and you gave them life.
Go in grace, dear Mama. Go in grace.
Did you desire a natural childbirth but ended up not having one? Have you ever felt like a failure because of it? Share in the comments!
Want more tips on natural childbirth? Check out my entire series on preparing for a natural pregnancy and childbirth here!
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