Updated: Jan 8, 2021
What do you want to gain from your birth?
No matter where or how you choose to birth, you know what you want.
It could be to have a life changing experience. It could be just to get to the end and have a baby. It could be to heal a wound from a previous birth, or maybe even to heal the mother wound. (A wound that is handed down woman after woman, generation after generation.) It could be to surrender to the sublime and live out one of the most primal events we as women can.
Not matter the reason, its important to acknowledge this, and honor it. Because pretending to want one thing, when you truly don't, can take away from the experience as a whole, and leave you feeling angry, resentful, confused and unhappy with how your birth unfolded.
After you can honestly tell yourself what you want out of your birth, you then need to communicate it to your support team. Your partner, doula, provider. And this boils down to an outcome or experience.
(Obviously this isnt black and white. There is so much grey, and everyone's experiences differ and I have no intention of discounting any of them.)
If your team is trying to help you get to the outcome, (which is most commonly a healthy baby) when what you want is the experience, then they might use words or actions that get you to that end point. Repeatedly offering an epidural, asking for vaginal checks, focusing on dilation, etc, simultaneously ignoring the cues you're giving and potentially even saying, about not wanting those things. That during this whole process you weren't taken into consideration at all. And this can leave you feeling sabotaged, misled and dissatisfied by your birth.
If your team is trying to help you get the experience, when what you want is the outcome, to just to have the baby at the end, then anything they do could be seen as being bystanders watching you suffer needlessly, leaving you feeling like you weren't listened to, that no one had you in mind during labor and that you did in fact suffer through it. Perhaps in this way you are trying to please other people and their perceptions of what birth should be, not your own.
You need to take your pregnancy as the time in which you explore what you want, and then find the way it can be manifested. What YOU want. For YOUR birth.
It matters. And its part of our journey and story.