birthing choices + how to take control of your birth experience

Imagine taking control of your entire birth experience knowing that you have choices. Being able to choose where you want to have your child, who you want assisting your birth and how you hope your birth experience will play out isn't a luxury that all women have. I was privileged to be a part of the Freedom for Birth Red Tent event that was hosted by the Babeeze in Arms in Stratford recently where I was invited to share my home birth experience. It was so special to to share my birth story {which you can also read here: Part 1, Part 2 + Part 3} and relive those incredibly powerful and rewarding 20 hours of labour and delivery.

I walked away from our 3 hour discussion very grateful for the opportunity to be part of a supportive group of women where the discussion was open, honest, and non-judgemental. Far too often, women are incredibly hard and judgemental on one another. My hope is that we can become more supportive as women and truly empower each other not only as it relates to child birth, but all aspects of our lives.

Here we are sharing our amazing stories {photo via}

We sat in a circle beneath our red tent, sharing our birth experiences. I am so grateful for each woman's story. Some were positive, others were very emotional including one mother who felt forced to give her son up for adoption and another who knew through pregnancy, her son would pass soon after being born. I believe that by sharing our stories we were all able to better accept what our experience was and allow it to empower us.

Here are a few thoughts that I have been left to ponder and I hope these will give you something to think about whether you are preparing for birth, or have already experienced your own birth{s}

  • I already knew how different each woman's pregnancy, as well as labour and delivery was but it was super intimate as we sat on our pillows sharing our birthing experiences. There was a lot of tears, laughter and peaceful reflection. It was a very supportive environment making it easy to open up to complete strangers.
  • Some women in the group gave birth 30 or 40 years ago. When I shared my home birth experience I realized how lucky I was to have the CHOICE to give birth at home. Several of us in the group were able to have the care of midwives and doula's and it made us aware of how fortunate we are to have the choices that we do.
  • Some birthing experiences are extremely uplifting and positive, others can leave a woman feeling damaged. However, no matter how our baby is birthed into this world we will never be the same. We change the minute our baby is placed in our arms. Anyone who has experience this, knows exactly what I mean.
  • We as women don't tend to talk about our birthing experiences with the other women in our life, and why not? Often those with positive experiences feel guilty for sharing their story. Those who have had a more negative experience fear the judgement and may feel like they didn't do a good enough job. I hope that we can all come to accept our experience and feel open to speak freely about it.
  • We need to TRUST our bodies, our partners, and our caregivers in the experience of child birth. We need to surrender to the absolute miracle that child birth is. I was in awe while some women shared their birth stories that happened decades ago, with such passion and emotion as they were able to recall their experience as if it had just happened yesterday. Childbirth is such a gift!

We all wrote a couple of words on these red pieces of fabric that we felt reflected birth. As you can see, I was happy to be there :)

I want to encourage you to talk with your mother's, grandmother's, girlfriends, and aunts about their experiences. In my opinion, sharing our stories are both therapeutic and empowering. I hope you can do your research and know what your birth options are, talk to different health care providers and choose a scenario that works for you!

As women we need to know how resilient and strong we are and that we are lucky in this day and age to have choices. Whatever your birth choice is I hope you honour what you truly desire and are so proud of your outcome no matter how your sweet baby makes his/her entrance into the the world.

Okay, enough girl power for one day :)

Thank you so much to Babeeze in Arms for this incredible event.

Have a wonderful day beauties and I hope you will reach out to the other amazing mama's in your life to get the discussion started.