Monday, February 11, 2013

Banned From Baby Showers Sets Record Straight Once and For All About What She Actually Believes About Birth -- Read at Your Own Risk!

If you know me or have taken my class or have been a long-time reader of my blog, you can probably skip this post.  You already know what I believe about birth.

If, however, you have been sucked in to the online birth drama, you might have been told that I am a "Birth Nazi" (yeah, I wrote a post about that a couple of years ago) or that I believe birth is "sunshine and rainbows."  Where people get this stuff is beyond me.

So, as you read things online about Donna Ryan or Banned From Baby Showers, I suggest you  go straight to the source - me! - and find out if it's true or not.  The downside to that route is that it's not nearly as much fun.  It's more entertaining to think that I am totally hardcore and yell at people when they have an epidural.  It's fun to believe that I am void of compassion, never shed a tear, and completely lack the ability to be empathic.  If I see false statements about myself, I will pull this post out and share it.

Short and sweet, my friends.  I believe most women are capable of birthing their babies without intervention.  I believe that labor and birth are hard work and that we rarely do something this hard - physically, emotionally, or mentally - in our entire lives.  I tell my couples that.  I have never ever described birth as sunshine and rainbows or told a woman she won't feel pain. While some people teach that,  I don't.

Labor is hard.  And that is OK!  This is why it's so awesome!  To go through something so challenging and then come out on the other side - well, nothing compares.

As hard as labor/birth might be, I believe that women are STRONG.  Even women who seem weak or insecure - when they do this, they find themselves. They discover an inner strength they didn't know they had.  I've had many women like this in class and it is a humbling experience to walk this road with her, cheering her on because you KNOW she can do it.

Labor is unpredictable.  And that's OK!  Don't be a victim of your labor!  Own it.  It belongs to you.  No one can do it for you.  That is one of the great things about labor.  It's yours.

You educate yourself.  You choose a care provider you completely trust.  Roll with the punches.  Your labor might be really long or super fast.  Baby might be in a funky position or your labor might stall out for hours.  Embrace your labor  - physically, emotionally, and mentally.

I have had all of the above.  I've had hard labors.  I have had fast labors.  I've had back labor, and even leg labor (that really sucks!).  They were all different.   There were things I hated with some of them.  And with others, there were the sweetest, most tender moments of my life. I learned from all of my births.  They were my experiences and that's OK.  I own them - the good and the bad.  I encourage my couples to do the same.

Within the Birth Boot Camp curriculum there are weekly assignments for couples to work on.  Pregnancy is a unique time in a couple's relationship to grow closer and prepare to welcome this new member of their family.  We didn't glorify and pretty up the name though.  It's Birth Boot Camp - not Sunshine and Rainbows!  It's 10 weeks of hard work that pays off in the end when you are able to advocate for yourself and make informed decisions.  We hope you have an unmedicated birth, but if you don't, we hope that you had the information to make decisions you are comfortable with and understand.  We hope you feel empowered through your birth.

Things may not go the way you plan or want them to.  I honestly hate it when that happens.  It's disappointing all the way around.  Everyone wants a healthy mom and a healthy baby, but even when everyone is fine, it's OK to feel disappointed for the loss of a natural birth.  Life, like birth, is often pretty unpredictable.  We do the best with what we have or know, and for the most part, how we deal with it - our attitude - makes up the rest.

I love birth.  I love my job.  I love working with expecting couples and instructors-in-training.  I am not one to tell someone else what they should or should not say, think, or feel.  I ask for the same respect in return.

These are my beliefs about birth.  I can't imagine how they could possibly offend anyone, but if they do, kindly step away from my happy bubble.


JoyBelle said...


Some people just have to criticize everything, even if it doesn't make any sense. Keep on keepin' on, Donna!

Belly Up said...

Amen. I don't think it could be said any better and I agree with every word (well except that you had some fast and some long labors...all mine were long :) )

Samantha said...

I couldn't agree more with you on feeling empowered. I truly discovered a very vital part of myself through my natural birth, and it has shown me that hard doesn't mean just means that it's hard. It taught me that I AM strong and that I CAN accomplish anything. If I can accomplish a natural birth, I really can do anything! Something I never felt after my medicated birth. I have developed the passion that you do in showing women their true strength, and am delighted to share a positive birth experience to all of the epidural-junkies that surround me. Keep blogging, and keep educating, you ARE making a difference!

Margie Wilson-Mars said...

BEAUTIFULLY SAID! My first few births were each medicated (and include one epidural accident) in some way, 4th, 6th, 7th were 'ME, BABY' (and I kicked butt, thank you) and Mr. 8 was an emergency c-section where I had no chance to even stay awake.
If I can share with moms, I tell them how INSANE the power trip is...the birth high, the bonding and especially the dramatic difference in baby! Not to mention the bragging rights ; )
You are doing a good thing. It is needed!

fati said...

A baby is God's opinion that life should go on.