In light of my last post, which highlighted what things I might do differently if I were to find myself with child again, has got me thinking. Not posting, but thinking.
When I open up and share about the struggles I had with breastfeeding, CIO/Sleep training, and other decisions, I often see a look of surprise on the face of the person I’m talking to. I assume the surprise I see stems from their knowledge of what I do as a birth professional.
I think people must think that, as a birth professional, I must have gotten it all “right,” or that I’m some sort of cape-wearing supermom. “You, of all people, had trouble with that?” I see a bit of skepticism in their eyes.
I would like to just take this moment to say that I am no different than the mothers I serve. I am real, human, and I don’t know everything. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have it all together all the time. In fact, I often find myself struggling with questions of what I ought to do.
At no time do I want anyone to think that, because of my level of knowledge about birth and all that goes with it, that I somehow must have a better handle on things than anyone else. I hope this thought never crosses anyone’s mind: “Of course she can do it. She’s an expert!”
Heaven forbid! I “did it” before I knew all that I knew now. In fact, I only knew a fraction of what I know now when I was birthing my babies. My knowledge was pretty limited, and that is part of why I struggled with certain areas.
As a birth professional, I speak of what I know with passion, honesty, and confidence born of both experience and education. But I didn’t learn it all at once. It has taken time, more education, and more experience.
Birth professionals are people, too. We all have our own stories, mistakes, and triumphs that we want and need to share with other women on this journey. There is nothing “special” about us that makes us more able to birth our babies (or whatever) than any other woman. Every woman has that capability – even if she needs a cesarean. She is capable of coming into motherhood on her own terms, as an empowered, knowledgeable, strong woman.
Give your doula, childbirth educator, or other birthy friend the room to be human. You may find you learn more from her experience than from her head knowledge.
I share my story as honestly and accessibly as I possibly can. I hope that every time you read my blog, you come away encouraged, empowered, or a little more knowledgeable.
Grace & Peace,