Friday, July 2, 2010

Rite of Passage

So I totally get that for many women childbirth is a rite of passage. I can't help feeling though that too much time is devoted to thinking about the act of giving birth and especially the creation of 'birth plans'. Although I think it's great to have information and feel somewhat prepared for labour I also think that it is impossible to 'plan' how it's going to go. No one knows how their body will labour; will it be fast or slow? Will the baby be in the right position? There are a lot of variables and one of the many reasons that we in Western society are so lucky is that we have a variety of health care providers available for us to access, advise us and sometimes intervene when necessary. Personally I find hospitals, doctors and medical science in general very comforting when I think about childbirth.

However, what I really wanted to talk about was that although childbirth is a rite of passage to me it doesn't really matter how exactly that rite is 'performed' as long as the end result is healthy, happy baby and mother. Too many people are caught up in creating the perfect birth experience and so many feel disappointed and let down if it doesn't work out the way they envisioned.

Another rite of passage I think I can compare childbirth too is the marriage rite or wedding ceremony. A lot of people spend a lot of time and stress trying to create the perfect wedding but at the end of it all the important thing is that you become a wife, husband or partner. Whether you have a church ceremony, a civil ceremony, elope or are in a committed common-law relationship what matters is the everyday. To me the marriage is much more important then the wedding. This is how I feel about childbirth. Whether I have a natural, vaginal birth, c-section or even if someday I decide to adopt a child what matters is the everyday of being a mother. Whether or not I have any drugs to assist in childbirth does not determine the kind of mother I will be. I have some ideas of how I would like childbirth to happen but things might not work out the way I want. One way or another it's going to happen and soon but to be it's becoming a mother, everyday for the rest of my life that I am focused on now and am going to stay focused on.

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