What does “Born to Mom” mean? You know when someone says, “she was born to sing” Well, it’s like that. Most women are born with the ability to birth children. Some choose not to, others choose to have one and be done, some moms have lots of kids, and others get pregnant and don’t know what to think or do. I’m one of those women that always wanted to be a mom. I was, in no simpler terms, Born to Mom.
I knew I wanted to be a mom from the time I was a little girl. I would play with my dolls and mother them. Or I would get caught “mothering” my friends and would get in trouble for being a bossy boots. I was only doing it out of my desire to be a mom, sorry Britney and Michaela.
I remember the first time I saw a mom breastfeed. I was about five years old, laying in a hammock with my babysitter in Acapulco, Mexico. She nursed her infant son and I watched. I didn’t know what to think at first. I knew my mom had boobs, but I never saw her feed anyone from them. I was intrigued and asked her what she was doing. You see, I was not breastfed as a baby and up until this point, I had no idea that babies could eat from anything other than bottles. This new knowledge was something that stuck with me and I am forever grateful to Daisy for telling me about breastfeeding and not using a cover.
Over the years, I became fascinated with babies and birth. By the time I was a teen, being a mom dominated my train of thought. I knew I wanted to wait until I was out of college to have children, but I also wanted to experience birth and having my own child. I watched my friends get pregnant; some kept their babies and others gave them away. No matter which option they chose, none of them seemed too interested in the art of giving birth. They all went to the hospital, had an epi, and went about their lives. Some of them had c-sections and others were just heavily doped up. I wasn’t them, though, so I didn’t feel it was my place to butt in.
Fast forward a couple of years and a story by a woman I’d never met before, changed my life and my decision-making process forever. She blogs under the moniker BabySlime on Live Journal. I was combing the natural birth boards looking for stories of loss and hope and came across hers. She wrote the most beautiful, heart-wrenching birth stories about her daughter Tempest and sons Xan and Jericho. Jericho was born via unnecessary c-section and died shortly after birth. Thinking about his story sends shivers down my spine. The birth of Xan was an unassisted home VBAC and is the story I credit for making me capable of having a natural birth. Her stories of birth, loss, and redemption inspire me and, without her blog, I don’t know what type of birth experience I would have had. She made me aware that ten years of medical school doesn’t qualify you to deliver a baby.
After reading Bab’s blog, I knew I needed to have a natural birth. From the time I first read her blog in 2004 to the time I had Atticus in 2011, I focused on natural birth like you would not believe. I knew there would be pain; that didn’t scare me. I knew that there would be times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but that did not happen. I knew that if this tiny Canadian woman could birth a beautiful nine-pound baby at home with no one but her spouse and daughter surrounding her, that I could birth my children without medical intervention. And I did just that (you can read Atticus’ birth story here).
I remember the first time I told Kevin about my desire to have a natural birth. He kind of laughed it off. He didn’t take me too seriously, but when my pregnancy with Atticus entered the second trimester, I think it finally clicked in his head that I would be having a natural birth. I had researched birth throughly, but knew that he needed to take a class on the subject.
We signed up for Bradley classes and over 12 weeks he became educated on why his crazy little wife wanted this type of birth experience. By the time the sixth week rolled around, he was preaching the natural birth message too. I’m proud of my husband for not being shy and informing friends, co-workers, and even strangers about how wonderful natural birth is.
When it was time to have Atticus, we were ready to welcome our baby into this world without chemicals, drugs, or intervention. We said no to the eye goop, and to the HepB vaccine and let our little boy have some peace after his exciting journey to us. We were given multiple due dates and he was born between 41 and 42 weeks according to them… but to us, he arrived right on time.
Being Born to Mom goes far beyond the birth experience though, because whether you have a natural birth or not, you are a mom. No one can take that from you, but how you choose to be a mom is what your child will remember.
I am of the mindset that if I project calm and peaceful energy, my child will reflect that and for Atticus this rings true. I have what most people would call an “easy baby.” I hate that term, but it is said to me nearly daily. He is a happy baby who will smile at anyone. He only cries when he wants to be held or comforted and, for the most part, he is pretty mellow. I like to think that his sunny disposition is a reflection of the pregnancy and delivery I had. He entered the world in a low-stress environment and that is the personality he chose to develop.
When I read or hear about moms struggling with their babies and just wanting to let them cry it out, it breaks my heart. I know being a mom can be stressful, but the way you parent can impact your child so heavily that “cry it out” isn’t worth it to me. Our babies are only young once, this time is short. I would rather have it spent comforting my little one. Maybe this is because I wanted to be a mom for so long, or because my son is “easy,” but I don’t want to let him cry. He doesn’t need to just cry.
For those moms who feel in over their heads, I can’t relate to you. Sometimes I try to relate to you, but I really can’t. I read your posts about hating your babies or wanting to lock yourself in a room without them, and I don’t know what to tell you. I have never felt that way towards my son, and sometimes I just wonder if it’s a difference in circumstances. You couldn’t imagine natural birthing, and I couldn’t imagine having an unplanned pregnancy. Maybe that’s the difference. I wish there was a way I could support the struggling mom out of her slump, because the joy I have with my son is unparalleled.
Tomorrow marks eight months of breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, and natural birthing. Not everything has gone according to plan (read co-sleeping), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was born to be Atticus’s mom, I hope you were Born to Mom too.
If you would like to read my birth plan and tips for making a successful plan you can click here
If you would like tips for achieving a natural birth you can click here