Ricki Lake's Best Birth


We got out of the tub and into the bed. They talk about the high you have with a natural childbirth. It's so true. I had all this energy. I mean, I was flying. I was so psyched. I wasn't tired at all. My whole labor was nine hours start to finish. Right after, I was on the phone calling everyone and having food delivered, having friends over. I did all of this as Owen nestled in my arms nursing. After nine months of sharing my smell, voice, and heartbeat with him, I didn't want him even two inches away from me. Only after two hours did Miriam ask if she could check him over and weigh him.

It was so huge. I still can't believe I did it. And it's not just what my body did in giving birth; it's that I went against so many people around me. I chose to go against much of the advice given to me, went the opposite way and did what I wanted, and it turned out even better than I expected. No one can take that away from me. I also think I gave Owen a gift. I did something for him that will affect him no matter who he is. I'm grateful and hope he'll grow up to be grateful for that too.

I admit that so far neither one of my boys has taken me aside to thank me for his birth. At least neither of them has ever said that he is sorry he was born. Not yet anyway. I love both of my boys so powerfully that the words I can summon up to describe that love sound puny by comparison. How Owen was born is part of the many things I love about him, but I don't love Milo any less. I love them and their births that brought them to me, but I also love how giving birth to them allowed me to grow as a woman.

From the book YOUR BEST BIRTH: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.

(Copyright © 2009 by Azzura Productions, Inc. and Barranca Productions. Reprinted by permission of Wellness Central, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.)

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