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Hey, Moms, It Really Doesn't Matter How We Gave Birth

Photograph by Jill Simonian

Can we just stop with the natural vs. C-section drama already? Let's get one thing clear from the get-go: How you birth a baby has nothing to do with the kind of mom you'll be. But your attitude on your childbirth experience just may set the tone for how you cope with and conquer motherhood in the long run—and not in a good way.

I recently came across a viral Facebook post about one woman's lament concerning her sister's C-section birth. Here's just a snippet:

If you've seen this circulating, you know the author continues to cite how modern medicine graciously saves the lives of countless mothers and babies but that it also strips us of control and dignity, and how tragic and challenging it all is.

Oh, puh-lease.

Methinks we're romanticizing the childbirth experience a bit too much. The object of the game is to get the baby out safely. The end. Anything else is just unnecessary drama.

Every birth experience is different. Some are magical, some are not. It's life.

So, can we all curb the complaints and crushing disappointment about how our babies might be born in a way that goes against our "plans"? Building up childbirth as some kind of woman-power rite of passage that we must conquer for ourselves and everyone around us just sets us up for disappointment on a day that's supposed to be filled with joy. This kind of expectation leading up to delivery day sets us up for a self-induced failure that's hard to shake off post-baby.

Then again, I'm the chick who had to get induced after being more than a week overdue and then thrown into a C-section 24 hours later when her first baby's heart rate starting dropping dangerously. Did I care about the plans and the whys and the hows? No. Get the baby out.

The suggestion that any new mother has some kind of pampered right to feel like our bodies shortchanged us—or that we were cheated out of life's most inexplicable miracle—is demeaning, demoralizing and completely annihilates the confidence that every new mom needs to get us through that first day, first month and first year of motherhood. Starting our motherhood journeys with this type of attitude can instantly turn the most capable of us into feeling like failures before we even change our first diaper.

So, I say eff off to any negativity during childbirth. Eff off to destructive words and thoughts through the delivery process. Eff off to curbing our own resilience just because our birth plan didn't work out. We can't control everything, including childbirth, and that's no reason to feel sorry for ourselves.

Every birth experience is different. Some are magical, some are not. It's life. Let's stop the drama, mamas, because we're the ones causing it for no reason.

Instead, let's bounce through the bumps. Kick the self-doubt, self-pity and self-defeat to the side of the road. Not everything goes our way. So what? Keep moving. Babies allow no time to deal with any of this—and neither should new moms.

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