Saturday, July 21, 2007
My Baby Girl by Shelby Shankland
I didn’t know that I truly desired a natural childbirth when I first was pregnant. It only came to me through my entrance into an amazing childbirth preparation class. The women and partners that were a part of that class, along with our fabulous instructor, all remain in contact, and will for quite some time I’m sure.
The conception of my baby girl was intended; her spirit was honored even before she came into my body. I had carefully considered what it meant to me to be a mother, and what I could offer this little being. It’s only fitting that then I would come to the conclusion that she deserved to have the opportunity to arrive in this world in her own time, on our own terms.
Little did I know how hard I would have to fight for this, choosing to have a hospital birth - albeit with excellent midwifery care. My first experience in being a Mama Bear came even before she was on the outside, and I am thankful. I am empowered. I am blessed. Fifteen days “late”, 17 hours of labor – six of those pushing! – later, and with the assistance of a vacuum, Zoe Elizabeth was born. All ten pounds, 13 ounces of her.
Although there were some interventions required, they were not foreign concepts and were carefully considered by my husband and I. As a result, the decision to have them became empowering instead of defeating. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and always for the best. The Universe wants the best for us, and is willing to bestow these gifts upon us if we are willing and able to accept them. My childbirth education was one of these gifts, my labor support team was yet another. I am eternally grateful for the 'cascade' of empowering experiences that these gifts allowed me and my family.
This experience has so moved me, that I have decided to become an advocate myself - not only for natural childbirth, but also for education, and ultimately for Women. All birth is beautiful, and all women deserve to be empowered and transformed by it as I was. The support of women during this magnificent time of childbirth and postpartum is now my passion. I am privileged to become a part of the local community of Doulas. Yet another gift to be thankful for.