Welcome to the Real Birth series, where all types of birth are celebrated and shared.

Childbirth isn’t what you pictured when you first found out you were pregnant. It’s not like what you see in the movies, on commercials, or even what you read in the pregnancy books.

It’s raw and disgusting, but beautiful.

Painful and exhausting, but empowering.

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The birth of my second child, known on the blog as Little 2. Read about it here.

Giving birth is hard dirty work whether we choose an epidural at the hospital, med-free at home, or a cesarean. No matter what we plan on, everything can change in the blink of an eye, and we can find ourselves making decisions we never thought we’d have to.

Our birth might follow the textbooks, but it likely won’t, especially if it’s the first baby. My first delivery was absolutely nothing like I had read. I don’t think anything happened like it was supposed to.

These series do not promote med-free birth as superior above all else. While med-free or “natural” is how I’ve chosen to birth my babies, I would never force that way on another woman. We all have different reasons for choosing the birth that we do. Different things are important to different people in the birthing experience. We’ve all been influenced by life events, women closest to us, and past birthing experiences, and this all plays a huge part in how we write our birth plan.

I hesitate to use the word natural to describe my births or any other drug-free birth because I feel that it takes away from other methods of birthing,  putting them in a bad light as being “unnatural”. That is not something I want to do. For that reason, I try and always use med or drug-free when referring to birth without medical interventions or drugs.

This may seem ridiculous or overly pedantic to some people, but it is my way of showing support and solidarity for all mothers out there no matter how they brought their babies into the world. In fact, I sometimes jokingly say that all births should be considered natural, even c-sections since the end result is the same: a baby in your arms. Is that not the most natural thing in the world? Getting the baby out of your body is a natural course of events, no matter how that happens. We should all be proud of our births.

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My goal through this series is to show the beauty in all births. Cesarean section, at home or hospital, drug-free or epidural, it doesn’t matter. They’re all equally beautiful and present their own challenges.

Childbirth is a personal experience, and we all make different choices. One story is not better than the other. One mother is not stronger or weaker than the other because of how she brought her child into the world. We should all be proud of ourselves and each other instead of silently (or not so silently) judging another mom for how her birth went. There isn’t one right way to have a baby. What works for us might not work for the next person.

Bringing life into the world is tedious work from the moment of conception to the first precious wail. Let’s support each other instead of pushing our own ideas. Healthy baby, healthy mom. That is the end goal.

In a perfect world, we would all give birth effortlessly in a flowery meadow surrounded by butterflies and bathe our newborn babies in a warm gentle river. But that’s not how birth goes. It isn’t ideal and picture perfect the majority of the time. It’s real life.

I hope that the stories shared in this series will help break down the stigmas surrounding c-sections, home births, epidurals, and inductions. Next time another mom shares her birth story with us, instead of focusing on what we would’ve done differently, let’s affirm her courage and congratulate her on a job well done. Believe me, she will thank you for it.

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Read about Ashley’s emergency cesarean section here.

Welcome to the real world of birthing babies.

If you would be interested in having your birth story (or stories) featured on the blog, please contact me.

First time on the blog? Click here.

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