You know you want this whole birth and motherhood thing to go off without a hitch. You know other women who’ve had empowered birth experiences. Or maybe you don’t know anyone who’s had a positive birth experience. But you know you want to have one. You know their experiences don’t predict your experience. And you know you’ve seen new mothers who are tired, worn out, and don’t have the time as new mothers to start a new self-care habit. Maybe you know new mothers who are totally rocking it. You know you’d at a least like to attempt to rock it, too.
What you may not know is
Having an positive pregnancy, birth and motherhood experience is not dependent on whether your birth perfectly matches your birth plan, your baby never cries and sleeps all night, breastfeeding comes to you both like breathing, you and your partner transition into co-parenting like a honeymooners, you have zero complications in your pregnancy and labor, you give birth in a hospital, birth center, at home or in the O.R., your in-laws behave as if you personally scripted how they’re showing up for you and your partner, you have all of the money in the world to design a Pinterest-worthy nursery and not stress one moment about finances.
It actually doesn’t depend on any of that.
It depends on you.
And not in the scary, unreasonable way like IT’S ALL ON YOU, WOMAN. But rather in the way that:
feeling your feelings
facing your fears
kindness to self
all make a HUGE difference—I would argue all the difference—in whether you feel empowered or not in your birth experience. Because an empowered birth and postpartum don’t only happen from successful intake of the facts and stats about phases of labor (though that can be helpful for some) and how many wet diapers to watch for in a 24-hour period.
It comes from being able to trust yourself to listen to your inner knowing.