Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thoughts from Inside the Bubble

I feel like I am getting deeper in the Bubble these days.  Since my daughter's birth I've made a concerted effort to participate in groups like ICAN and Holistic Mom's Network.  Having made the transition from a very crunchy town to a bigger metro area that feels less crunchy, I was so caught up in my new pregnancy that I didn't reach out.  Getting my homebirth was all that mattered, so, of course, when that didn't happen, I felt a little lost.  Foolish even.  I was so focused on this one event that I missed out on forming meaningful relationships with other like-minded people.  I can count on one hand the people in my life with similar sensibilities which I knew before her birth.  I'm happy to say that number is now growing.

However being part of the bubble isn't always easy.  I often feel like the great pretender.  Everywhere I turn in the bubble people glowingly report beautiful home births, water births, natural births.  They often use terms like determination when they speak of their experience.  Believe me if it was all about determination, I would have VBACed at home.  I've got determination in spades.  But while their success stories are shared out of their own (well-deserved) pride, I find myself feeling inferior to their successes as though they did some better than me.  I vacillate between bitterness and acceptance.  I think what bothers me the most is how dismissive some other HBACers can be whether or not they realize it.  Often they talk about how they "educated" themselves and were "determined" to have a different experience.  The sober fact is that sometimes no matter how educated or determined you are, you still don't get the birth you want.

So as I descend deeper into the bubble, I find myself explaining myself and my births as though I need to apologize for them.  I know rationally I don't need to do that and that I was educated and determined.  But somehow bed sharing, breastfeeding, and babywearing still isn't enough to qualify me in my own mind, because deep down I believe people who don't know my story would dismiss me as another one of those uninformed moms who wound up with a section.  And I have to tell you, that sucks.

I've had to come to a realization about the issue.  I can't change my births.  I shouldn't apologize for them.  I did try.  I tried hard.  And perhaps most importantly, my past does not dictate my future.  I can still be a holistic mom and a c-section mom.  I can still be a homebirther and c-section mom.  My experience is different than others, but that difference can actually be valuable.


Director, Holistic Moms Network said... [Reply to comment]

You can definitely be a Holistic Mom! Many HMN members have had c-sections and/or births that didn't go as planned. It doesn't always turn out the way that you had hoped. At the Holistic Moms Network, there are moms who breastfeed and those who don't, moms who co-sleep and moms who don't - we're all on a journey and we're not here to judge! Welcome!

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