Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Most people have an ideal pregnancy dream, birth dream and postpartum dream.
They will be healthy, and fit, and feel amazing and glow.
They will go into labor, have their favorite music playing, fall in love with their super supportive partner, birth where they want, and greet their baby in a calm, beautiful fashion.
They will go home with their new family, cuddle and nurse and sleep, people will bring them food and help clean, and bonding will be instant.
But...this isn't always what happens. Right?
What happens when things don't go how you planned? When your baby comes early or late, when you plan a home birth but need to transfer, when you wanted a vaginal birth but a cesarean happened, when you get home and your baby cries so much at night and you have no sleep and your partner needs to go back to work?
Dwelling on these situations during pregnancy isn't always productive. And please, don't fixate on the negative. It can cause anxiety, and for you to miss out on such a transformative time in your life. What I do think should happen, is that you be open to the possibilities of change, and at the same time to acknowledge that there may be some healing that needs to be done in the aftermath. The best way to handle change is to know shit can happen during birth.
I don't want you to go into your birth with the only idea of "as long as baby is healthy", because that's NOT all that matters; YOU matter. How you feel about your birth, matters. Ask questions when something sticky arises. Ask as many questions as you can. Ask your doula to help you think of questions. When people come at you with "but your baby is healthy" or "at least you didn't need XYZ" or "mine was so much worse", when people come at you with any of this sentiment, they are't going to be helpful. They most likely will make you feel guilty or make you feel as though you should be grateful. Grateful? Why should you be grateful for a situation that spiraled to a place that made you feel this way in the first place?
Ask. Questions. In. The. Moment.
Then find someone to help you process. This could be your doula. Or a therapist, or a community of people who have had similar experiences. Whoever you feel comfortable with, but that will truly be able to help you, and really listen. Process what just unfolded, so that you can begin to see how your birth affected you. And what you can do to be at peace. To heal.
Things don't always go as planned. And its not always okay, even if baby is healthy. How have YOU processed how things went during this time in your life?