Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Empowered


Part of the reason I didn't try harder to get pregnant when I was facing infertility was because the thought of growing a human inside of me and birthing it scared the living crap out of me!! (That's not the only reason, but definitely one of them.) I've come to learn that I'm not the only one who has ever felt that way. Birthing is supposed to be like the most painful thing anyone normally ever has to go through in their life. What person in their right mind wouldn't be a little afraid of that? The pain, the uncomfortableness, the way it changes your body, the risks?? (Big shout out to Kal's birthmom for enduring what she did - you go, girl!)

Then there are stories of traumatic birthing experiences (that I won't even go into) that would terrify any sane person. Seriously.

On top of that, the whole process has just always felt alien to me... literally. Like, there's an alien/leech/parasite growing inside your body?! And it moves around. And drains you of your energy and makes you get fat and waddle around until it bursts forth out of you on its own timing. Beyond bizarre!

I think part of the problem of not entirely being comfortable with the idea of being pregnant and birthing a child comes from having no experience with it whatsoever. Growing up, I didn't have a community of women around me getting pregnant and having children and showing me that it's a natural process that is beautiful and empowering. No one in my family, none of my friends, I don't remember my own mother being pregnant with my younger brother, none of my neighbors, no one at church. It was seriously a foreign thing to me.

Lately, I've definitely felt differently about it all. In fact, I'm obsessed with it. Every pregnant woman I see at church... I hound with questions and want to know all about it. I voluntarily watch birthing videos. I suddenly see women who give birth as WARRIOR WOMEN. Look at what women's bodies were created to do! O...m...g. That's fierce.

I got to attend the Empowering Fearless Birth Event in Provo a couple weekends ago. (I was a vendor there with The Fat Squid.) There were classes for anything and everything about pregnancy, birth, and even adoption (woot! woot!) to help the next generation of mothers not be afraid to make decisions regarding their pregnancy and birth and to be confident in those decisions. I loved the concept. More women DO need that community of women supporting each other and helping each other through pregnancy and birth. I sure didn't have it before moving to Utah - the percentage of pregnant women here is ridiculously high. Everywhere I turn I see a pregnant woman (which killed me when I was in the depths of infertility sadness). Now I just look around and see what an amazing community of women I have around me... warrior women who I want to learn from.


There were classes about home births, which I think sound so so wonderful. A friend who came with me had a home birth and she's totally friggin' awesome. I wanna be like her when I grow up. Ha ha.


There were lots of midwives and doulas present. Men came too! Lots of daddies-to-be these days are learning to be more supportive during the birthing process, even becoming doulas themselves. I think that's amazing. :)

I even talked to a vendor about placenta encapsulation and was just in awe that we can CONSUME the placenta after birth. Ewwwwww! (But so cool! Ha ha!) K, here's a sweet little tidbit of information for you, in case you've ever wondered what placenta tastes like - I asked this particular vendor (because they do placenta smoothies as well) and she told me, "I'm gonna be honest with you - it tastes kind of metallic." ....*gag*....

There was lots of talk about healing from previous traumatic experiences with pregnancy and birth. Lots of supportive advice and information. I loved being surrounded by so many strong, empowered, and inspiring women! When women support other women and share in each other's grief and celebrations of life, I can't think of anything more moving and powerful. I attended a class on grief that (of course) had me in tears, but uplifted me as well. And made me realize we are all in this together as women - we all grieve, we all suffer loss, we all need each other.

AND I totally sat in front of a room full of people and (voice shaking) told an abbreviated version of my adoption story. And I survived. Ha ha. I do NOT speak in front of people. I'm a writer, not a speaker... that's for sure! But lately I've been trying to teach myself to get way, way, way out of my comfort zone in order to learn and grow as a person. And it's working. I think I'm stronger because of it. Who knows what I might be capable of if I keep this up? :)

The Fat Squid Vendor Booth Giant Squid Stuffed Animals Empowering Fearless Birth Event Provo
The Fat Squid's vendor booth






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