You know what I miss the most about being pregnant? The unsolicited advice. Let’s not stop there. It’s actually not that bad when you agree with it but my absolute favorite is the advice that I adamantly and wholeheartedly disagree with.
I was told that we should definitely co-sleep, to never co-sleep, to get an epidural, to go drug-free, to find out the sex and to wait to be surprised. I never realized how many decisions there are to be made and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
Here’s the good part. I actually did get some amazing, unsolicited advice from a gentle fellow mom. She told me to take it all in, sort it, keep what I want, and toss the rest, but in the end to listen to and follow my Mama Gut. It’s a thing. And I’m not talking about saggy stomach skin post-baby which is also a very real thing. I believe this Mama Gut is a gift straight from God to each individual woman that gently pulls at your spirit to guide your decisions and let you know when something doesn’t feel right. There is not, and never will be, a one size fits all answer for each pregnancy, baby, mama or family which is what makes this all the more important.
I ignored my Mama Gut with my first pregnancy on more than several occasions from before I even knew I was pregnant all the way to the day after he was born while I was recovering. I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way and that’s why I share my experience with those who ask. I spent 49 terrifying and excruciating hours giving birth to him in a hospital setting. The experience left me feeling frustrated, scared and as though I didn’t have a voice in my own medical decisions or care. I decided to have my 2nd (and eventually 3rd) with a different midwife in a birthing cottage to the dismay of MANY.
The only person who needed to be in agreement with me was my husband and once I explained why I needed that change, he was fully on board. I felt a blanket of peace once the decision was made. Our baby girl was born in a little over an hour (start to finish) in a quiet room, in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm (!) with just myself, husband, midwife and her assistant. Thank God we didn’t need any intervention. What we did need was some worship music to ease my soul, essential oils to easy my body and trust in the process that God created. What a difference.
I’m not saying that you can’t have a wonderful, healthy delivery in a hospital. I know that you can and that it happens everyday. I also know that birth cottages and home births come with their own sets of challenges and potential risks. The moral of the story is, that’s what MY Mama Gut was telling me. Your Mama Gut might be saying something very different and that’s the beauty of it. Besides our Creator, you will love and care for that baby more than anyone else which is exactly why your God-given instincts are important and should not be stifled.
So you go Mama. Embrace your guts, both of them, and do what you think is best for you, your baby and your family.
*Please take this post in the spirit that it was written in. I’m not a doctor and am in no way looking to give out medical advice. Consult your physician when making decisions and do your own research, as well. Pay attention to your Mama Gut (look at me giving unsolicited advice) and speak openly with your spouse about your concerns, desires and expectations. I pray you have a birth experience that leaves you feeling supported, empowered and excited about motherhood.