What Is "Natural"?

Friday, August 24, 2018
When I was pregnant with Ava, I made SO many specific requests for a "natural" birth plan. I did all the reading, all the research, and I was so adamant about the choices I wanted to make (or didn't want to make) in my mind. I envisioned birth + labor one way but the truth is, my birth and labor experience didn't go any way that I wanted it to... and you know what? That's okay. I think the best part about having more kids is realizing that you know more, and when you know more your expectations are far more realistic. I went into an almost 18 hour labor experience holding on to ideas that really weren't feasible. I had an induction. My daughter's heart rate was dropping. My OB threatened a c-section. I mean, those are curve balls I didn't anticipate when I thought about having a "natural" birthing plan. And I realized something, delivering my daughter into the world was the most natural thing I have ever experienced in my life. It wasn't the details that made it feel natural, it was the fact that I had this beautiful little girl on my chest. It was the fact that I had sustained this life and was able to experience this baby that I had spent months dreaming about.

I have noticed that since my "crunchy" days/fad, that the word natural has become ever so increasing in the pregnancy community, but what do we really mean when we say natural? Is natural simply delivering your baby vaginally? Is natural delivering your baby without medical intervention? Is natural choosing to birth at a birthing center rather than a hospital? And more importantly, why is it a conquest? Does natural mean that the birth of your child means more? Does natural mean that you are a better mom (CERTAINLY NOT)? Does natural mean that your body is more capable than another's? I'm puzzled as to why I ever thought that having this "natural" birth was ever important to me? Why I felt like i needed that to make me feel more "chest puff" about becoming a mom?

I'm thankful that I'm not that woman anymore. I'm thankful that my only focus is the authenticity of childbirth, taking care of myself during the postpartum phase, and bonding with my babies. This world we live in puts so much emphasis on what things should look like for them to be honorable or okay. Its full of shaming, its full of boxed titles, and its full of people carrying on ideas that really don't matter at the end of the day. Especially when it comes to childbirth, or motherhood in general. I used to be one of those people. Thank god for growth, right? So my point is: Your motherhood is yours. Don't let anyone demean it, or define it. It is yours. Choose what your natural is and own it.

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