Real life childbirth is not what you think. It isn’t what you pictured when you first found out you were pregnant. It’s not 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.

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 might 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.

I will be featuring different birth stories on the blog in this new series, Real Birth. They will not be promoting “natural” birth. Getting the baby out is natural, no matter what method. Keeping the baby in is unnatural. Whatever way a baby is born should be considered natural birth.

My goal through this series is to show the beauty in birth…all births. C-section, at home or hospital, attended by a midwife or OBGYN, it doesn’t matter. They’re all equally beautiful.

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 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.

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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