April 16, 2012

A defining moment

Giving birth. No single moment defines you more, or puts your life into clearer perspective. Whenever you look at your life it is in two phases, the time before you became a mother and the time after.

Sadly, that defining moment has recently become a contentious issue. How a woman delivers her child - and where - is often cause for heated debate. Some of the ugliest behavior I have seen among moms online relates to this topic.

Birth is both a universal and an intensely personal experience. Simple in its purpose; complex in its performance. Raw. Powerful. Emotional.

It is a beautiful moment. And it pains me that women are fighting over the "right" way to reach it.

Birth should be collectively celebrated. Yet most of the women I interviewed for this series have felt they had to explain, excuse or justify how their babies were born. Sometimes to strangers. Sometimes to those in their closest network.

Over the next two weeks, The Mom Pledge Blog will be sharing a series of interviews with women about their defining moments. I asked each woman the same five questions. Then, based on the responses, I followed-up with a few more questions specific to the participant's situation.

I hope to explore birth options and choices in an objective, balanced way. I have tried to include a diverse group of philosophies and experiences. We will be sharing stories of home birth, elective c-section and many scenarios in between.

I believe we all deserve to cherish our birth experiences. And that we are fortunate to be living in a time when we have so many choices. Women are taking ownership of their defining moment in the way that feels best for them.

Of course, birth doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes choosing how it happens is not an option. Many women feel control of that moment was taken from them, and they struggle to come to terms with their experience.

There are also times when the birth experience is not a joyous one. The women who agreed to participate in this series gave birth to healthy babies. That is not the case for all moms.

Some babies are born ill or with birth defects. Others enter this world as angels, their souls having already left their tiny bodies. These births are the beginning of a difficult journey. It is never the outcome a mother expects or hopes for when planning for birth.

At the close of this series The Mom Pledge Blog will host a blog hop for our community members who are interested in linking up their personal stories. All member birth stories will be welcome. And if you have multiple children and would like to submit a birth story for each, you are encouraged to do so.

I hope you will participate and share with us your defining moments, so as a community we can embrace the many paths that led us all to one common destination. Motherhood.

I anticipate this topic may attract a number of people to The Mom Pledge Blog who are not members of our community. If you are unfamiliar with our principles, please find them here before making a comment on any of the posts in this series. 

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