Written By: Charleyne Oulton
I can remember being 10 years old, and including a “ dream nursery “ in my Barbies dream house. As well, Clipping Cribs, Strollers, Mobiles, even clothing from the pages every Winter from the Sears Christmas Catalogue. I took the Babysitting Course as soon as I possibly could. I always loved spending time with Children. Even as a teenager. Babysitting was the perfect “ hobby / job “ for me.
I ALWAYS knew I wanted to be a Mother.
I was so in tune with my body. I knew I was expecting way before the Urine test would show a Positive result. It is hard to explain, but I KNEW in my heart, before I developed a superhuman sense of smell. Before the gagging, indigestion, heartburn and nausea. Even before exhaustion set in, I knew in my Soul, that I was expecting. Two weeks before my Period was even due. Waiting the next two weeks would prove incredibly challenging as I was overly anxious and excitedly counting down to my Period due date.
When the big week came and went without my “ Auntie Flow visiting from the famous Red River”, I calmly took two pregnancy tests into the bathroom with me and peed on those sticks. I waited the two minutes crying the whole time, KNOWING that they would be plus signs momentarily. And there they were.
“What to expect when you're expecting”, “Belly laughs”, I even read the books marketed for the Dads. I read all of the books. I studied these books like they were my only Bible. The local Health Unit and Hospital were beginning to feel like a Home Away From Home, this is where I attended Lamaze class, First Aid class, I even learned infant CPR. With my Midwife, and my Doula and we practiced and discussed in detail a birth plan that I felt comfortable with. I chose what I felt was best for me and for my baby. The baby car seat was installed and taken out and re-installed numerous times. Our bags were packed. I was so prepared for what was coming. Or so I thought.
But what happens when the pregnancy you have wanted your whole life, DOES NOT GO THE WAY YOU WANTED?
How prepared are you for this reality? Have you thought about it? Talked about it? Mentally wrapped your head around it? When I suddenly found myself in preterm labor, I was in shock, denial and fearful. What was happening to me? My body? What would happen to my baby? I instantly felt like a failure as a Mother, even before my baby had been born.
We need to start talking and learning about all the realities that comes with childbirth.
Society tends to gloss over the messy raw details. Its not always as easy and effortless as it is in the Movies.
I am going to be the one to be very provocative and say something that goes against what a lot of women think and say: Childbirth hurts. Alot. And it's messy. Truly. There can be blood, mucus, fluid, vernix, vomit, even pee or poop. Sometimes surgery is required, an episiotomy or even the use of a vacuum. I am not trying to put fear into your mind, or scare you. I am trying to bring to awareness that childbirth is not black and white. It does not always go as planned. There are no guarantees. At all. Mothers need to educate themselves on all the possibilities and realities. Including what interventions could take place and when they might be necessary. This way if you find yourself, as I was, facing a preterm labor, and headed for an emergency c-section, you understand the words, and possible risks. Educate yourself so that you are able to make an informed decision in a split second, if need be.
Bringing a new life into this World is an incredible honor and a rite of passage for any Women but please know that every single labor and experience is unique. It does not matter how your last labor and delivery went, or what happened to your Mother, Sister, Neighbour or your Friend. Each and every delivery can be a surprise. Some women are able to create and closely follow their birth plans and some are not. Please know that more often than not, these birth plans we create will change. And if you find yourself in a delivery that is different than you imagined, please know that you are STRONG enough, brave enough, and capable to get through this. You are not a failure because your delivery is not going as you had planned or hoped, and you can still be proud of your birth story.
You’ve Got This Mama,