I have a friend about to have a baby. AT HOME. Like, in a pool. I sort of think she is a crazy person.
Me: Hospital. Drugs. Tubes. More drugs. 87 people traipsing in and out of my room every 11 minutes.
Her: Pool. No hospital. No drugs. Midwife. Husband. That’s it.
She and I obviously have a completely opposite mindset about birthing. Her favorite person through her birthing experience is probably her patient, soothing midwife who gives her the confidence and strength to make it to the finish line. Or maybe her husband is her favorite (or at least a close second). My favorite person during labor and delivery? Yes, I adore my nurses, and yes, my husband is an excellent coach. I also greatly appreciate my OB who usually appears for the last few minutes and endures my screaming and thrashing about. But my FAVORITE person is the epidural fairy. LOVE me some epidurals.
So yes, there is a huge range of “birth plans” women can choose or attempt to choose because sometimes things don’t go as planned. So when I heard about her pool party birth, I think my reaction was something like “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat??” And although I felt confusion about her choice and I worried for her, do you know what I also felt?
Proud of her. For doing HER thing HER way with HER body and HER baby.
Know who else I am proud of?
Myself. For doing MY thing MY way with MY body and MY baby.
And to the mom pushed into an unexpected c-section: I am proud of you and I admire you. That must have been scary, but you did it.
To the mom with the planned c-section: I applaud you for doing what YOU think is best.
To the mom who had a VBAC: I applaud you for doing what YOU think is best.
To the mom who labored at home until the last minute and pushed that baby out with four minutes to spare at the hospital: Wow, I admire you. I hope you are proud of yourself. You are incredible.
To the mom who could not conceive naturally and used fertility treatments: I admire your courage.
To the mom who could not have children and chose to adopt: I admire your strength. I am in awe of you.
To the mom who CAN have children and still chose to adopt: Thank you. You are truly amazing.
To the mom with one kid: You are doing an awesome job.
To the mom with four kids under five: You are an inspiration. Have an extra glass of wine tonight.
To the newly pregnant first-time mom: You got this. Your body will know what to do.
To the post-partum mom who still looks pregnant: You look beautiful when you are staring at that little baby.
And to my friend about to birth a baby in a pool in her living room: You are an incredible mama!
To the epidural fairy: I love you.