My husband has an annoying habit of bragging about our youngest son’s birth weight to people. Why does this annoy me, you ask? Well, let me enlighten you:
1. What is the first thing most people think when they hear about an almost 12 pound baby born vaginally? To be crude, it involves hotdogs and hallways. Yeah. Do you think I’m lying? Ask someone not involved with birth and then ask them what the first thing they thought about was. If they’re being honest, it’s probably some variation of the above (hopefully they put it a little more tastefully than me). Lucky for me, I am surrounded by totally awesome people who tell me I am superwoman and probably have never thought about what size my vagina (and yes, I know that what we commonly refer to as the vagina is actually the vulva, but I truly mean the vagina) is now. Obviously, since I blogged about his birth, posted the slide show on YouTube and so on, I don’t mind that much what people think of my lady parts, but still….I get tired of pulling out the analogy of poop and anuses (okay, if you really want to know, I’ll tell you. Think about it, your anus opens up to allow poop out, right? And then it goes back to normal, walking-around size, yes? Because if it didn’t, you’d be pooping yourself all the time! Hello!! Same idea with the vagina and its opening. It. Goes. Back.). Plus, people get all weird when I start talking about poop, vaginas and anuses. So, I’d rather just not deal with it, thankyouverymuch!
2. There’s not really anything to be proud of. Seriously. My friends and I joke about it, but it’s not like I had any choice in the matter, or that I would have chosen to do anything differently if I had known he was going to be a chunker. His size has nothing to do with anything I consciously did or didn’t do. My labor with him wasn’t particularly difficult, he didn’t get stuck, I didn’t have to pull out some magic trick to birth him. I did what every single laboring woman does….give birth.
3. I don’t want other mothers to feel bad. Since I’m a woman, friendly and work in the birth field, I hear a lot of birth stories. Something that I hear, very commonly, is that mom was induced and/or given a c-section because of a suspected large baby. What am I supposed to say? If asked directly, I will answer honestly; however, I do not volunteer the information. I never, ever want to make another mama feel bad about her child’s birth. Who am I to say how it could have/should have/would have gone?
Frankly, I think all mothers get bragging rights on their babies births. Birth is awesome and amazing and power-full. Every mother must face it. Sure, she may face it differently than me, but it IS a labyrinth we all go through. This is the way of life. So, mothers, brag away. Brag about whatever part of your labor and baby’s birth made you feel empowered….find that piece, even if it’s just a tiny moment, and cling to it. Shout it from the rooftops! ”I did it! I went up the mountain, into the abyss, and came out the other side! I am a birth warrior!”