Smiling in Tears by Luz Ma Dollero

Birth Story Entries

Smiling in Tears

By Luz Ma Dollero , Houston, TX

Unfortunately, the first time I gave birth I couldn't find professionals or preparation courses that supported natural delivery. Even though they were experienced, skilled, ethical and favored vaginal birth, they couldn´t understand that I wanted to “refuse” the epidural. They discouraged and frighten me: “It's unnecessary to suffer if you can avoid it!”

I'm almost positive that the midwife broke my water, accelerating the process that had already begun without any complication! I just needed more time! I lost my self-confidence, so I kind of donated myself to the “specialists who knew more.” I got the epidural, not only crying, scratching and pinching the midwife, but was scolded by her because I was moving! I remember shaking a lot, I couldn`t control my body or even speak. She jumped over me several times to “help the baby.” Postpartum was really difficult: nonstop crying baby, episiotomy plus an infection and hemorrhoids.

For some months, I was convinced that the midwife had done a great job, because it had been fast. Later, I had to accept that I had a very traumatic childbirth. I had felt ignored, alone and unrespected, treated like an animal. All this affected my motherhood experience a lot and the first bond with my child.

The decision of getting pregnant again was tough, but thank God it happened, because I was healed… Soul and mind. We moved from Spain to Mexico and this time I did everything I could to have a team that supported my decisions. My husband and I took Lamaze education and both, my gynecologist and the pediatrician believed in natural birth. It was very encouraging to listen: really, you can do it and it`s the best option, the healthiest and safest for you and your baby!

I´m convinced that natural birth accompanied by a team believing in it:

  1. Is more than “withstanding pain.” It's a natural process that demands you to know and to believe in yourself, to listen to your body and soul in order to “let it happen.”
  2. Isn't an unnecessary suffering, but a meaningful pain with a tangible - huggable blessing coming. Every contraction gets you closer to holding your baby.
  3. Consents you to move freely and to decide.
  4. Allows you to help, proactively and in a personalized way, your baby to be born.
  5. Favors avoiding an episiotomy and reduces propensity to suffer hemorrhoids.
  6. Treats you as a person, looks after you and your needs. Pursues to motivate and to make you feel supported.
  7. Increases your self-esteem and makes your proud of yourself.
  8. Postpartum is unbelievable, you feel great just after the baby`s born!

Labor and childbirth is like running for an Olympic medal, it demands to be a high performance athlete. There must be: conviction, team work, training, concentration, patience, confidence and sacrifices. During the process, you´ll experience paradoxical situations that will repeat when raising your kids:

  1. Uncertainty in the certainty, you can`t be sure how much time it´ll take, but you know it`ll come to an end.
  2. Sometimes you´ll doubt, but you´ll be surprised with the achievements.
  3. You´ll find yourself continuously smiling in tears.

I respect each women's decision, but from my experience, I greatly encourage everyone to go for natural and leave the epidural and the c-section for when it`s really needed. Everybody should at least go once to Lamaze childbirth education, even if at the end you can't have a natural birth or choose not to have it. The knowledge and experience received is worthy for life itself; for welcoming, bonding and educating your baby; for accepting and living motherhood and for uniting and strengthening the couple.

Finally, I'll tell to new, expecting parents to believe in yourselves; know what you want and fight for it; and above all, love each other a lot and get used to teamwork because that`s what your child will need! You'll discover that for your kids you can do more than you could have ever imagined and you'll constantly experience happiness in a unique way! It`s true that your life won`t be the same never again and you'll be always smiling in tears, some of pain and others of joy, but always smiling!

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