Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Influence Of Birth Experience (rerun)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Influence Of Birth Experience (rerun)

This post was written for the Mother's Day Blog Carnival, hosted by Birth Activist.  If you are interested in participating, write a post about your thoughts on the relation between motherhood and birth, send your entry to birthactivist @ gmail. com by May 7. 

Does birth experience matter to the way we parent our child? It is a question I have been asking myself even before Birth Activist raised it in honor of the Mother's Day Blog Carnival,. Or better: would I have parented differently if I had given birth in any other way? 
I am sure that our birth and the subsequent events have thoroughly influenced the way my daughter 'childs' me (ain't it silly that there is a verb for parenting and not a verb for being someone's child, that shows again that children are seen as mere objects with no course or direction, to be guided by parents alone, but that is totally deviating from the subject - I'll get back to you on this).

For her to have been taken into observation for 24 hours, while I was to weak to be with her, thus leaving us separated for those first important hours of our new life together, certainly made a difference. After mere earthbound moments, she already knew what to do to be able to stay with her mommy when the nurse came around to get her. She would have been unlatched and lying peacefully in my arm, but fiercely resumed suckling when a hospital staff member entered the room. It eventually led to us cosleeping, which was something I was opposed to before she was born. And her stubbornness made us continue down that road.
If she hadn't been taken into obeservation, would we have coslept? 

Moreover, since our birth didn't go exactly as I had wanted, or dreamed it to happen, I think I have been even more focused on doing everything the right way. As much as I read and researched when I was pregnant, I think I have doubled, then tripled and now tenfolded the effort.

But I think what influenced our parenting more than anything was the diagnose of gestational diabetes. For that is what led my OB into urging me to breastfeed for at least a year. I don't think he would have bothered to do so if I hadn't had GD. And maybe I wouldn't have breastfed for as long as I am now. The breastfeeding in turn has led to me finding a wonderful online community, which snowballed me into a lot of the other 'crunchy' parenting choices. 

So all in all, even though it wasn't how I wanted it to turn out, even though there are so many things that went wrong, even through all the man handling (ok womanhandling), it all resulted in positive empowering choices. Would I have gone down the same road if our birth would have been any different? Probably, but I bet it would have taken me longer to find my path.
I am fortunate, for I have found the right path rather quickly, and lucky that the less than perfect birth experience had positive results, but I think it can easily be otherwise. Birth experience does matter. Probably more than we can imagine.



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