GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Including Others in the Birth

Jenny chose to have a natural home birth with a midwife present. This immediately made sense to her. Her Mom had done it and therefore she felt she could too. It wasn’t unfamiliar inside her family. Her Mom had experienced a home birth and her mother-in-law had experienced a natural childbirth. So there was immediate support and understanding in her extended family.

Jenny got a referral from a woman who had given birth with a particular midwife a few times. Jenny met with this midwife and found her to be positive and upbeat. The midwife confirmed her decision as a great one, shared her stats with Jenny, and asked if she had any questions. Jenny didn’t. She didn’t look further. She didn’t have to.

An inquiry Jenny spent more time with was who to have at her birth. Since she was doing it at home, she did have the option of having friends and family come to her home for the experience. And she could choose whether they were simply in another room waiting or would be in the room with her playing an active role. Jenny carved out a way that many could participate without it feeling overwhelming for her.

Jenny web-cammed her birth for her mother-in-law, her best friend, and few others – people that she trusted. They got to be a part of it, and they didn’t have to be in the room. I thought this was amazingly generous! To be able to get over any feelings of vulnerability about showing people your naked body and allow people to see how you react and operate in an experience with a lot of unknowns. I’d want to make sure that I handled things well first – you know? Then decide whether I wanted to broadcast! Not Jenny, she put it out there. She likes to accommodate people, she explains. And, it was something with which she felt comfortable. She says that we all have the same parts! It’s fine. Most of the people she included in this way had already gone through it. She felt really good about it.

Amazing. I could see that she then also wouldn’t have to tell all the details of her story a bunch of times. She’d be able to dive right in with her friends and family – share how the experience was for her without having to explain all of the circumstances. She didn’t have to answer a lot of surface questions: When did labor start? How long was it? Did her daughter come out screaming? Immediately when Jenny connected with these people, they knew all the logistical details, so to speak. There was already relatedness present regarding this important experience. They were already wrapped up in the excitement of it. Jenny could jump right in – if she chose – to share how she experienced different moments of the process. What a lovely gift to the people in her life and ultimately, to herself.

Now I know that many of us – myself included – may never be able to get ourselves to a place where we feel comfortable showing our naked selves at a time where we’re not sure how/what we’ll do…live in person or on a screen. What I think is available for all of us in what Jenny chose to do is this: She considered others’ desires. It takes a village to raise a child and it can start with the inclusion of others in the pregnancy and childbirth process. She didn’t compromise herself – that is important – in what she created. Also, Jenny looked at options. It’s natural to think, Oh people are either there for the birth or they’re not. I don’t want them in the room, so they’re out! No, Jenny got creative and found an option that felt great to her.

Please join the conversation: Where have you created innovative solutions that worked for everyone involved? How have you considered others’ desires without compromising your own?

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