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All Birth Is Natural

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It’s probably one of the most off-putting and covertly judgmental questions one mother can ask another.

“I gave birth naturally. How about you?”

For years I struggled with feelings of shame for being unable to deliver either of my children “naturally” (a.k.a vaginally). Especially whenever another woman asked me to share my delivery stories.

I could not shake the thought that I had failed as a woman or was less of a mother for missing out on the experience or right of passage of pushing my children out of my body.

It wasn’t until my sister shared a simple perspective on birthing that my heart’s invisible wounds, left festering from my previous cesarean section surgeries, finally began to heal. She told me, “If a baby came out of your body, then it was delivered naturally.”

I cannot tell you how much peace of mind those words brought me! The truth of her statement provided me with some much-needed clarity.

Like every other pregnant woman, my body grew and nurtured those little human beings for nine months each (on two separate occasions). When it came time to deliver my children, I had to endure a different type of physical sacrifice to bring them into this world.

My C-sections were no less miraculous or wondrous than the lady laboring in the bed down the hall from the OR where I was being cut open.

Anyway, I said all that to say this, everyone’s birthing stories will differ, but, in the end, they are all equally amazing and worth celebrating.

It is an honor to be able to bring life into this world, and I refuse to tarnish that gift of ability with baseless self-recriminations that hold no weight in the real scheme of things.

I pray that other C-section mommas wrestling with the same poisonous thoughts and feelings that I once had will eventually come to the same conclusion one day too.

Getty image via nazar_ab

Originally published: April 26, 2021
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