This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.
I am an introvert when it comes to what energizes me. I need peace, I need quiet, I need calm. One would think that would carry over into all aspects of life, but, after an epic 36-hour labor with my son (my first child), I quickly realized that in birth, I really need my people.
I realize that birth is a very intimate experience for many women, but I also believe many women do not consider the importance of a “support team” simply because it is not the societal norm. To be honest, I don’t understand why it isn’t the societal norm! My people were everything to me during labor!
There is something incredibly powerful about being surrounded by a group of friends and family, all working together towards one common goal. Sure, I was the one who was enduring hours and hours of back-to-back contractions, back labor, and sheer exhaustion, but my village stood in the gaps and filled in where I simply could not.
My people drove across town in the middle of the night to pick up a new birth tub when we discovered ours had a leak.
My people fielded phone calls with my midwife so that I could focus on doing the real work at hand.
My people plastered my bedroom wall with words of encouragement and scripture, which helped keep my mind fixed on the truths I knew, but easily forgot.
My people brought food for the midwives so they could stay energized, focused, and on task while they supported me through labor.
My people caught me from falling to my knees when a contraction caught me by surprise.
My people squeezed the heck out of my hips with every contraction to keep my hip from popping out of socket.
My people spoke words of scripture and truth over me as I grew weary and tired.
My people made me laugh.
My people forced me to eat when it was the last thing I wanted to do (but desperately needed to do).
My people knew what I needed when I didn’t even know I needed it, like a FaceTime chat with a dear friend in Brazil and a cool towel over my forehead.
My people figured out a plan for my 22-month-old son when he woke up without me having to give it an ounce of thought. They just made it happen.
My people recognized when I was growing weary and knew I needed some new people to filter in an out to speak more words of affirmation and encouragement over me.
My people knew when I needed to hear Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” just to lighten the mood. (No joke!)
My people knew when to send my warrior husband for a nap so that he would be ready for more big work ahead.
My people read my face well, knowing when to offer support and when to give me space.
My people told me I looked beautiful, and truly made me believe that.
My people trusted me, trusted my body, and trusted birth.
My people stood by in eager anticipation as my body took over and instinctively brought my daughter into my arms.
My people cried tears of joy with me as we heard my daughter cry for the first time.
My people helped me realize that nothing is ever, ever done alone. Heck, they helped me realized that I am never alone.
Birth is definitely not a one-size-fits-all situation, but I can promise you this: You need your people to make it through. It may just be your husband, it may just be your mom, or it may be your closest 20 girlfriends, but those people will offer something to your experience that no doctor, nurse, or midwife can offer. Ditch the modesty, ditch the fear, and embrace the power of your tribe. After all, it takes a village, right?
The Fort Worth Moms Blog is hosting its next event just for you! Bloom, happening May 20, 2017 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Cook Children’s Medical Center, is an event for expectant moms and moms who are currently parenting children two years and under. (Foster and adoptive moms are welcome too!) The afternoon will focus on information, resources, products, and more that target the pregnancy and delivery stage of parenting through the first two years. This event, held in partnership with Cook Children’s Health Care System, will provide a few hours of pampering, light snacks, educational resources, giveaways and swag, shopping, and connecting moms and families with relevant local resources for this season of life. For information, tickets, and more click HERE!