Monday, June 4, 2012

What About Us? A Poem About Birth

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

I gave birth to my sweet baby Elsa by cesarean last August. {My son Isaac was born by cesarean in July of 2009--a whole other story!}. After Elsa's birth there was a moment of peace and clarity in which all was well. But it didn't last long. Soon I was overcome by feelings of failure...of sadness of anger. It was a lot. And it didn't help that wherever I looked I was faced with reminders of the experience I didn't have. I felt like there was a void of understanding. That no one understood how I felt. After all, I had my happy, healthy baby in my arms. I felt like I was being judged from both directions. On the one hand, I had the physicians see me as the poor Mama who had to go through a full trial of labour only to end up, disappointingly, with a cesarean. Why hadn't I just had a booked cesarean, it would have been so much easier...? On the other hand, I had the natural birth community doling out warnings and cautions against cesareans...quoting the safety of VBACs and encouraging women to consider that route.

But what about us? What about the women who wanted a VBAC, who tried everything they could to accomplish it and then could not?

Then I realized all it took was me being able to open up. There are and there have been many before me that have felt this way. But it has been hard to open talk about this.

I have been healing...slowly, but surely. I am grateful to my friends and my family who have supported me and continue to support me. I thank all the mothers who, like me, want to help change the way our society sees birth. That instead of comparing or judging each other, we support each other.

In the end, whether our babies are born vaginally or by cesarean, with or without drugs or interventions....we, the women need to own birth. Our births. We need to harness the power of birth and share it with each other.

I want that moment of clarity and peace again. And I know I will get it back soon.

I wrote this poem one day in the midst of all my feelings. Thanks for reading.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)


  1. This is beautiful, Kat. Thank you for believing and being that strong voice of compassion and change.

  2. No longer scar(r)ed -- that's perfect. I hope that happens for you!

  3. A beautiful poem and I hope you find the support you need right here, on this Carnival, from this online community.

    You did what you had to do and how can anyone judge you or blame you for it?

  4. I wish our society would change to focusing on factual information followed by support - regardless of what choices a woman may make or what they may experience.

  5. Thank you for the kind words!

  6. Kat - this is touching. And a very good reminder that we are warriors for women - not for process. Just for other women and babies. I've read many of the posts in this carnival and something I've noticed is that almost no one's birth is perfect - even the ones that are. Thanks for your honesty.


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