about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Reflections On Childbirth.

Every night, usually between 1 and 3am, I find myself sitting in the dimly lit nursery – rocking and feeding Cullen.  Both of us are sleepy, and we don’t say much to each other.  He eats and looks at me with his big blue eyes, and despite the time on the clock, I savor our time together and stare back at him.  After a few minutes he usually closes his eyes as he nurses himself back into his deep sleep, at which point I turn to my phone as a distraction to keep myself awake.  Several times in the last few weeks, I have found myself sitting and feeding him, while re-reading his birth story.

The last 8 weeks with Cullen have been nothing short of amazing.  I truly never knew I could love being a mom this much.  I have felt joy, love, and so much hope for the future.  I have also felt something else that I wasn’t really expecting – I miss being pregnant!

Prior to getting pregnant, I was nervous about how it would feel and how I would handle such a life changing experience.  In the first few weeks of adjusting to the news, I found myself really wrapped up in all the details of what was happening to me, how this would affect me, and what my life was going to be like going forward.

About halfway through my pregnancy, I started finally showing on the outside, and feeling the miracle of tiny kicks on the inside.  I wasn’t really aware of it at the time, but there was a definite turning point where I no longer worried about myself or my own changes, and the focus shifted to the little life I was helping to form.

Fast forward to the end of my pregnancy, and I found myself to be completely occupied by my big belly.  Cullen would kick all day long, and I found it hard to focus on much else knowing that he was communicating with me in his own little way.  I would sit and daydream about all the things his life would bring.  I can’t possibly express how deeply I felt our connection long before his birth.

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Before pregnancy, I always though of childbirth as something scary and traumatic, and something I dreaded as an obstacle to “get through” in order to have a baby.  Again, I thought about my own fears for my body – the pain, the tearing, and the risks. 

And then the day finally came when my labor started, and I found that the only thing I thought about was Cullen.  There were points in labor when I developed a high fever, and other times where I shook uncontrollably.  Normally this would have caused my anxiety to kick in and my panic to start, but I remained unusually calm.  My only focus was on his heart rate and progress.  He was staying strong, and so was I – communicating as a team long before our formal introduction.

I have a number of pregnant friends right now, all nearing their delivery dates.  Of course the topic on their minds is childbirth, and they ask me many of the same questions that I remember asking when I was in their shoes.  It’s funny to find myself on the other side of the conversation now, understanding their fears and concerns, and yet knowing that despite those, the best is still to come for them.

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I am often asked now if we plan to have more children, particularly after having such a long and grueling labor.  My answer usually draws some funny looks, but it’s true.  I honestly feel lucky to have had such a long and drawn out birth experience.  Lucky that first of all, I had the privilege of experiencing pregnancy and childbirth at all.  And secondly, that my long labor allowed me to feel so connected to both my body and my baby through the process.

Perhaps I would have felt that way anyway, who knows.  My experience is the only one I have.  And of course I can look back on all of this in hindsight and feel grateful now, even though I probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear “you’re so lucky!” at hour fifty two.  But as I look back, more and more I realize that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way (okay, I probably could have done without the 3+ hours of pushing).  With every passing hour I felt closer to Casey, closer to Cullen, and closer to myself in a spiritual sense that I didn’t know existed.

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I met with my midwife yesterday to talk about various postpartum things, one of which was our plans for future children.  I hope that I get to experience the joy that is pregnancy again and again.  There is a lot of advice you hear when you’re pregnant, some helpful and some not so much. 

Having been through the entire process now, the one thing I wish someone had told me was that they loved childbirth, because I absolutely did.  Of course each birth and each experience is different, but I wish it had been something I had looked forward to instead of feared.  One thing is for sure, when my time comes to (hopefully) do it again, I’ll still be nervous and of course I’ll still worry, but most of all I will be excited. 

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108 Comments so far
Leave a comment

katie@newmamamac.blogspot.com     at 6:20 pm

that is a truly beautiful post and is very, very true. thank you for bringing me back. childbirth is a gift and should not be viewed with such negative conotations.

also, i missed being pregnant like you. and like you, i cant wait to be pregnant again.

cheers!

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Amy     at 6:24 pm

Thanks so much for writing this, Emily. It’s both challenging and inspiring to me, and I’m sure I will read it again and again as I move closer to my own due date!

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bein good to me     at 6:24 pm

This was incredible and so, so beautiful. I’m 4 months pregnant now and although my little girl’s due date seems so far away (June 6) I know the next 5 months will go by so quickly and I’ll miss these pregnant days.
More than anything I really loved your reflection of childbirth and how, in the end, it was such an amazing and powerful experience for you. We need to hear more stories and reflections like yours. Thank you!
-Lisa

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Jo     at 6:25 pm

So nice to hear how much you appreciate your childbirth experience, so refreshing to read such a positive and loving outlook. I’ve learned so much from you sharing your journey, thank you!

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Shanna like Banana     at 6:26 pm

This post couldn’t be more perfectly timed. I’m due in 5 days and am pretty darn scared of childbirth. Hearing your words makes me want to take pause and enjoy the parts of it and just be present to experience every moment.

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Heather     at 6:28 pm

I am so glad to hear you had such a positive experience even despite the long long labor! You aren’t the first I heard say they miss being pregnant!

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Audrey     at 6:30 pm

Wow, this is so beautiful to read, Emily. My mom always says she loved being pregnant and I never really knew what she meant until I read this. I have had a lot of worry as I get older about having kids. It’s great to read this and have some of my fears allayed.

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Sarena (Thr Non-Dairy Queen)     at 6:32 pm

Pregnancy, childbirth and being a mom are my greatest accomplishments ever. Trust me, like with pregnancy and childbirth, raising children is no cakewalk either, but through all the pain, worry and discomfort there is so much joy, laughter, memories and pride. This was a beautiful way of expressing having a baby, Emily. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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Kim @ vegan mama-to-be     at 6:34 pm

Love this post! I’m so happy to hear someone say that they loved childbirth. I’ve been wondering if I have been foolishly optimistic, but I am really looking forward to giving birth for the first time (due in 5 1/2 weeks)!

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Atara     at 6:34 pm

This was such a beautiful post because you are 100 percent right childbirth is exciting and amazing! My baby is turning 1 tomorrow and from the minute he was born I missed being pregnant. My entire preg I was excited for my labor experience and unfortunately I needed an emergency C-sect. You really are truly blessed and so lucky to have experienced every minute of your beautiful birth and labor.

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Brie @ Brie Fit     at 6:34 pm

I miscarried at about 11 weeks earlier this fall, and one thing I wasn’t expecting to grieve was the loss of simply being pregnant. It’s such an amazingly empowering feeling–I felt like, for the first time in my life, my body was doing and producing something truly amazing and important, and it was very hard to face the fact that that was over. I can’t wait to feel that again, hopefully soon.

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Army Amy*     at 6:36 pm

My BFF is pregnant right now. I hope that she reads your post and feels inspired! It’s a point of view that isn’t heard enough.*

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Lisa     at 6:37 pm

what a lovely post! and very timely. I just has our big appointment with our OB yesterday – where we discussed how I am feeling about labour. And my truthful answer what that I am excited! I really am very curious and excited to see just how my body copes, and of course, to meet our little baby girl :)

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Sana     at 6:41 pm

You really are a wonderful writer ;)

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Kat     at 6:42 pm

You know – it’s crazy, but I know how you feel! I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole childbirth thing…but I am, for some reason, super excited to do it all over again. Must be a thing?

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Lizzy     at 6:50 pm

You should pick up the book Baby Catcher. It’s a midwifes story of all the babies she’s “caught”. You can tell how much she loves and values childbirth. Really great read.

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Sarah G Reply:

Excellent book! Loved it. But wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is currently pregnant… Read it before pregnancy or after delivery, I say, just because there are a few sad stories in there that women don’t need to focus on while pregnant.

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Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)     at 6:50 pm

Beautiful post, Emily! I relate on so many levels. Th experience of growing and birthing another life is indescribable, and like you, I hope to be blessed to experience it again in the future.

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Erica     at 6:52 pm

Once again, the thoughtfulness and honesty with which you write your posts are truly beautiful and I appreciate so much that you are sharing these thoughts with your readers. As I near the end of my second trimester I am starting to feel much more connected to the little guy we’re about to bring into the world, and I know that no matter what childbirth may bring it will all be worth it in the end.

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Christie F     at 6:53 pm

That’s soooo what I needed to hear today. I am 39 weeks and so ready to have this baby yet at the same time completely terrified of going through childbirth.

I can’t wait.

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Coco     at 6:55 pm

I feel like you are in my head girl! I have always had the exact same fears when it comes to having a baby- and still it terrifies me to death.. It reassuring to read everything that you have written about your birth story and Cullen.. that maybe someday I won’t be such a chicken :)

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)     at 7:03 pm

I completely enjoyed the documentary, The Business of Being Born, because it actually made me not afraid of child birth. I think that our society has put such a fear into women that child birth is a terribly painful experience. I just try to focus on the fact that my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother all did childbirth without any drugs and they all made it through. I am truly excited for the day I can experience the same thing.

I love your story & mindset! :)

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Holly     at 7:04 pm

Beautifully written Emily.

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Marie@feedingfive     at 7:08 pm

I was very sick during all 3 of my pregnancies so I don’t miss that at all. But giving birth was so utterly magical, I am envious of women who will go through it. There’s nothing on earth like it.

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Marci     at 7:18 pm

I am starting to relate, and am looking forward to the child birth process. Knowing two hearts are beating within me is so crazy and powerful! And not knowing if a boy or girl is inside is really awesome for us too.

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Heather     at 7:23 pm

Thank you for this post. I’m pregnant with twins and I’ve read all sorts of births and heard all sorts of stories. It’s amazing how many moms want to tell you the scary stuff.

I really do believe that all that negativity gets into our psyches and makes child birth harder. I am reading “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and what I love about that book is the entire first part is only a telling of positive, enlightening, enriching, empowering birth stories. None of them talk about how there was no pain…of course there was. The main thread throughout all of the stories was how special and powerful and spiritually connected each mom felt to the process, her partner (if present), and her child.

I know with twins a lot about birth is out of my control, but I do hope to have a similar special, powerful, and spiritual experience.

Thanks again for this post. It means a lot to read a positive birth experience.

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Amy     at 7:24 pm

It is so refreshing to hear a story like yours. I loved the birth experience but I was blessed with pretty easy labors. I have done it twice and look forward to it again, hopefully.

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sarah     at 7:31 pm

last pic is the most beautiful of you, ever.

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Mya Reply:

I completely agree! You look so calm, strong and loving. Totally zen.

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 7:34 pm

People think I’m crazy to have loved my labor and delivery so much too!

I did a natural birth and my labor was nothing like yours….only 19 hours but they were some of the best hours of my life.

Pregnancy, on the other hand, is kinda rough for me and I’m pregnant for the second time and definitely wanting labor already! I am excited for the baby but all the sickness is killing me!

I’m so glad to hear that you want to have more kids! I’m loving your attitude and all the special thoughts and moments you share.

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Alexandra Chappell     at 7:39 pm

Hi Emily,

I loved this post. I have an 8 month old son, and today as I watched him drink out of a sippy cup independently for the first time, I felt this overwhelming feeling of emotions- one of those emotions included missing being pregnant. Sometimes, I even catch myself rubbing my stomach :).

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Sarah G     at 7:52 pm

I agree 100% that pregnant women need to hear more positive birth stories!! In preparation for my second (NATURAL!) birth, I read Ina May Gaskin’s books which focus on positive birth stories. It made me excited to have my second baby, and my second NATURAL labor/delivery was amazing. I love/d childbirth :) (I.M. Gaskin books do have funny language, but you can get past that if you just focus on the content.) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts so candidly. I love your blog.

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lindsay     at 8:08 pm

Emily, I loved this post!

My labor was 36 hours with my first, and while that really stunk, after I pushed out my son and met him for the first time, I literally said outloud that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Birthing my baby boy was the proudest and my joyous moment of my life.

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Samantha     at 8:31 pm

Thank you for sharing your honest reflections. I have never had kids and don’t know that I will ever get to, but I loved reading this. You really did something amazing.

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Katie of Cabbage Ranch     at 8:49 pm

What a beautiful post, and filled with (well-earned) pride in yourself and your body. I had a difficult labor, too, and also feel a sense of pride in reflecting on those days. I hadn’t put my finger on it until reading your post, but it’s so true! Labor is something only a mother can do for her child, and it’s a singular experience that deepens your bond with your child and your connection to the root of motherhood.

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Ashley     at 9:02 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I wish more women could hear about childbirth from a perspective like this. I also had an amazing (really long) natural childbirth experience. Immediately following the delivery I was pretty overwhelmed by the intensity of it all, but I have since been able to look back at it and realize how beautiful it was and how strong I, my husband, and our sweet baby girl all were… And there truly are no words. I’m also nervous for the next time, but so very excited! Thanks again for shining light on something that not many people do.

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LoriV.     at 10:40 pm

I loved childbirth too! I’m so glad to hear someone else feel the same!

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Barbara     at 10:54 pm

Really enjoying your posts Emily and hearing the positive aspects of pregancy and childbirth. I am 64 and still go over in my mind my wonderful pregnancy and childbirth. I’ve written everything down from the moment of conception until my daughter’s birth. I had many Braxton-Hicks contractions throughout my pregnancy. I believe perhaps due to these contractions my birth experience was easier. I went into the hospital at 6 AM, by 9:00 AM I was induced as I broke my water at home. The doctors didn’t want a dry birth & wanted me to deliver before noon. I pushed 45 minutes and at 10:09 AM our lovely daughter was born. She is now an amazing woman of 32. This has been my greatest and most wonderful achievement the birth of our daughter. After her birth the woman in the next bed, who also had a baby earlier that morning, said “Wait until midnight because then it will start to sink in about motherhood”. She was so right. Due to an episonomy I sat in really warm water to ease my stitches around midnight and felt warm tears streaming down my cheeks”. It was an overwhelming feeling that God blessed me with a no drug natural childbirth. I’ve embraced all of this and always will. She was a beautiful 7 lb. 19 inches baby girl. She’s my daughter, my baby & my best friend.

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Sheelagh     at 10:59 pm

This is a great post! I like everything you write, but this is honest and true. It is something I identify with completely. I tell everyone I get the chance to speak to about birth that I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. I think it is wonderful to experience and even better to let others know about the crazy, ass kicking, emotional, loving experience that is child birth. it is like nothing else. It is wonderful and powerful and spiritual. I have had 4 kids and am now grieving the end of my pregnancy days and the end of my birthing days. I don’t think I have felt the emotion of it until reading your post. Thank you for helping me to recognize my own emotions on the subject and thank you for being a voice on the love of birth. This is an important piece of information for each pregnant woman to hear….plan to be excited for what’s to come, fear is unnecessary!
I can completely understand how you miss being pregnant….I do too!

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Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock     at 12:32 am

Emily – this is sucha beautiful post! I have not been pregnant yet but I do fear childbirth – it seems like such a scary uncontrollable experience. But I have also observed how as soon as women become mothers they forget all about the pain during childbirth – none of it matters anymore now that their baby has arrived. When I went to see my sister after she had her first child she seemed so peaceful, full of love and most suprisingly she seemed as if she knew what she was doing! I asked her about the birth and she said that she can’t remember the pain and wouldn’t I look at the baby and how beautiful she is! My brother in law on the other hand remembered everything and was so traumatized. It was really funny actually – I guess women must have developed this mechanism to simply forget the pain and focus on the baby whereas the partners remain stunned by the whole experience long after. Good thing men don’t have to give birth:)

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Sarah G Reply:

Maybe it’s so easy to forget because it shouldn’t truly be categorized as “pain.” Ina May Gaskin refers to it as “an interesting sensation that takes all of your focus.” or something like that. I found that to be true (just had a natural childbirth 3.5 weeks ago, so it’s fresh in my mind!)

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Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock Reply:

Could be – I haven’t gone through this experience myself but I just found it so striking that my sister had completely forgotten this “interesting sensation” while my brother in law was completely traumatised. Did you really not think of it as pain? This makes me feel much better about labour that I am hoping to go through at some point in the future:)

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Sarah G Reply:

Well I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I didn’t perceive any pain, but it is definitely a manageable sensation!! More uncomfortable and challenging than painful. Not at all as scary as we are taught to believe in our culture. Nothing compared to a tooth ache, for example (tooth ache is soooooo much worse). And I completely understand your brother-in-law — my husband also seems a bit more “impressed” with the entire ordeal than I was.

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Monica     at 1:35 am

Fantastic post! It is so amazing how much the transformation into motherhood shakes your core.

It has taken me a couple of weeks to really soak in my delivery process, and looking back at pictures has helped me reconnect with that incredible (scary, painful, yet empowering) child birth process. The memory that took me weeks to revisit, but is one that I now think of daily, was the way Wrigley felt in my hands for the first time. I will never forget that warm and wet naked little body and how it was unlike anything I had ever touched before. It’s definitely a game changer! ;)

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Tonya     at 2:42 am

Giving birth was my absolute favorite experience ever. Neither of my birth experiences were how I would have planned them, but they were MY births, and incredibly special as such. I often joke that if I didn’t have to be pregnant and didn’t have to go through the post-partum period, that I’d happily give birth once a year.

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 3:09 am

This is such a great post, Emily. I am 20 weeks pregnant and this is very refreshing to read.

I love what you said ..”there was a definite turning point where I no longer worried about myself or my own changes, and the focus shifted to the little life I was helping to form.”

I have definitely hit that point now! I have struggled with an ED in the past and it is SO wonderful to have a new perspective on life, my body and making the best choices for my little one! I no longer care about my own life/my own bodily changes (I try to obviously make healthy choices) but strive each day to do what is best for my baby.

Beautiful post, Emily. Thanks for sharing.

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Kim     at 3:29 am

Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m 38 plus weeks pregnant and I’ve been nervous about childbirth since I don’t know what to expect (and planning a home birth). I found your blog when you were writting a post about being in labor (!) and have been following as a what to come perspective. I loved your birth story because even though it did last a while the part about how you turned inward and pictured your life with Cullen and that got you through has been very inspiring. And this post gives me so peace to just let go and allow myself to experience the birth and not get wrapped up in worry and when she’ll make an appearance. Thank you.

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Tricia     at 4:20 am

OH I totally agree! The days my children were born were the best days of my life. Yes, it hurt like a sonofagun but I’d do it all over again to have them all over again.

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Rebecca     at 4:31 am

Thank you for this post. I am 16 weeks pregnant and constantly find myself “worried” about labor and delivery,even though I know that my body was made to do this. Your words are inspiring on many levels.

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Brooke     at 4:42 am

What an amazing post. I am due May 30th and have a lot going through my mind. I’m questioning whether I can do this or not, whether or not the baby will be okay, etc. Reading your posts everyday and seeing your gorgeous baby boy inspire me. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience!!! :)

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 5:06 am

I’m not planning on any kids in the near future, but you’ve given me so much prep for when I’m ready. I know that everyone’s experience is different but it’s great to hear yours in an honest and open way.

Thanks for sharing.

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Verna     at 5:07 am

I loved giving birth! My labor was long too, 30 hours. I only pushed for 45 minutes but I thought it was so amazing! As soon as my son was out, my first thought was “I can’t wait to do that again!” My kids are 21 months apart but we really wanted them closer than that, but that was just how it worked out. My 2nd birth was just as amazing but a lot faster. I was only in labor for about 24 hours and I only pushed 3 times. I was honestly a little disappointed she came out so fast, I wanted more time to enjoy the moment! ; ) Giving birth is such an amazing experience, no two alike. I feel so blessed to be a woman and get to experience it!
P.S. Having two kids is quite a bit more challenging than having one. I’d still love to have more babies but not quite as eager as I was last time. ; )

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Ms. Adams     at 5:13 am

I think this is a perspective that you never really hear. Kudos to you for bringing it to light. The power of positive thinking never fails to amaze me. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Jamie @ FoodinRealLife     at 5:28 am

At 8.5 months pregnant, this was a blessing to read. My baby is currently breech so I’m praying for her to turn so I can have a vaginal delivery. I never thought I would WANT something that is so scary so badly. I didn’t even know I felt this way until I was confronted with it. Your birth story was beautiful, I’m not surprised that you cherished the experience. I am also not surprised that you miss pregnancy- as I near the end of mine, it makes me sad that this experience will be over. I know I may be pregnant again at some point, but I don’t think it will ever be the same as that first time, when it’s all so new.

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Steph M.     at 5:51 am

Beautiful post, Emily. I just turned 31 and have not been pregnant yet (hopefully in the future!), but I often think about what giving birth will be like. I find myself feeling nervous, but oddly enough, I am not dreading it. I recently told one of my friends, who just had a baby, that I want to be “present” for the entire process. She kind of looked at me like I was crazy, but to each their own. I am looking forward to the experience and seeing just how amazing our bodies are. I can’t wait to go through that with my husband. Happy holidays! Enjoy Cullen’s first Christmas :)

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Tracy     at 6:14 am

Emily
Thank you for this wonderful post. I am newly pregnant (almost 6 weeks). The fear of childbirth is slight at this point but most certainly there even though it is far away. I of course distictly remember all of my friends (and their friends) horror stories of childbith now more than ever (why did I ever ask?). It was so nice to hear your positive post about a birth that was clearly far from easy. Thank you!!!!

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Haley S     at 6:17 am

Emily you are such a beautiful writer!!

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Liz     at 6:22 am

Thank you for this wonderfully positive and encouraging post! It brings me joy as I near the birth of my first next month.

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emily     at 6:32 am

Thank you for sharing so much of your story here. Not having had a baby yet I find it amazing that I look forward to and enjoy your posts more than ever :)

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leah odell     at 6:34 am

Emily, thanks so much for sharing! Im due in March with our first and it is definitely scary not knowing what to expect from birth. Now I feel more excited about it! Also, my husband and I live north of you guys and were driving around the greenlake the other day and I found myself looking for you on the trail! I just laughed at myself, you are like a celebrity! Thanks again

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Michaela     at 6:44 am

Emily, this is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read. I only hope that I will feel the same when I am pregnant.

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Tasha     at 6:59 am

My son is a year old and I STILL miss being pregnant and feeling those kicks and rolls. But I really wish I could go back to the moment when he arrived. I get sappy just thinking about it.

Congrats again on Cullen. You are doing great!

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Nikki T     at 7:27 am

What a beautifully written post, like all your posts of course!
I love reading all about Cullen and it makes me so excited everyday for when my time comes to get to (hopefully) experience these things.
You are an amazing Mama!

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Julie @Savvy Eats     at 7:29 am

This was such a beautiful and sweet read. When it comes time for Dan and I to have kids, I definitely plan on coming back and rereading all your pregnancy posts!

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Therie     at 7:39 am

Thank you so much for this post! I loved your positive outlook and ending advice! I will take it with me to the birth of our first child this July!

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Kristina     at 7:46 am

What a beautiful post, Emily. Childbirth totally terrifies me but this is an amazing perspective from the other side.

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Marie-Sophie     at 7:47 am

I got goosebumps while reading it! :-) It is beautiful to hear this outlook that childbirth can be seen as another positive aspect of pregnancy and another life-changing experience! Will definetely re-read all your pregnancy posts when I will be pregnant!:-) Thanks so much!

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Linnea     at 7:56 am

I have always really wanted to give birth! In fact I used to want to be pregnant so bad that I would talk about surrogacy simply because I knew we weren’t ready to have kids yet. Now I’m 28 weeks along and I can’t wait for the day to come. Sometimes I really avoid talking to people about their births though because I usually end up with a horror story or I end up with “the look” like, oh you think you’re going to want a natural birth now but it’s so bad you’ll never make it.” It really frustrates me because while I totally willing to do whatever it takes to get the baby out in a healthy way I really feel like my body was designed for this and it is something miraculous; a connection I’ll have with a human being that no one else can have with them, working together to trust the baby and be relaxed but also be there for her when she needs me to push. I’m SO excited! Thanks for writing this. I often think about your long birth when I’m meditating and it makes it so much better now that I know how you look back on it.

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Allison     at 7:59 am

I am due in March with my first. So much of what is written about birth is written from the perspective of “just get through it” – but your post confirmed what I suspected: there can be joy in the journey. My most sincere thanks.

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Tiffany     at 8:11 am

Pregnancy, childbirth, and then being a mom is so interesting because everyone has such different experiences! I have a 4 month old and I do miss being pregnant and look forward to being pregnant with another little one in the future (though awhile in the future!). I did not feel the same way about childbirth. Mine wasn’t dramatic or inordinately long, but it was really hard and taxing for me (for perspective, I did not have any drugs). I also had a really hard time connecting what was happening during labor to my baby coming out which is the opposite of you! When she arrived, I was so surprised she was finally here! For weeks afterward, I was baffled as to how people could have more than one child after giving birth once, but at around 8 weeks, I could see doing it again. Nature has a lovely way of giving you amnesia on the really hard parts! Plus, once your baby starts to interact and smile at you, how could you not think it’s all worth it?!?

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Shannon     at 8:17 am

You sound so much like my mom when she talks about her pregnancies with me and my brother! She says she LOVED being pregnant and the pain of childbirth gets quickly overshadowed by all of the wonderful there is! :) I’m glad to hear someone else, because I was thinking maaaybe it was just a mom thing to say to her kids. :) Haha. I’ve been married almost two years so we are going to try to wait a couple more years for babies, but your blog has been SO informative and I will certainly be referencing it when the time does come! :)

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Sarah     at 9:30 am

You are an excellent writer. You’re in a totally different league when it comes to the quality of your posts and your writing compared to most bloggers (especially healthy living bloggers). And to think your content is improving even though you are busy with a newborn is so impressive!

What a wonderdul perspective. I hope to feel like this some day. Have a Merry Christmas with your new baby. :)

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Kelsey     at 9:54 am

I love this, Emily. So encouraging to hear your positive feelings about your experience especially since it sounded like it was so rough.

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April     at 9:57 am

I can so relate Emily! I feared birth more than anything too but after it all I have to say I enjoyed it too and feel truly blessed to experience it and all the beautiful moments. I had the honor of telling my birth story to a natural childbirth class last night and I hope I calmed a few of the women there because I knew exactly how they felt being due in a few weeks. I think every woman fears itvin some sense, its only natural
Your post is lovely, as always.

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ErikaMC     at 10:23 am

Our son is 18 weeks old and I think about his birth every day. We had a really hard time getting pregnant but once we were the pregnancy was awesome and I felt great the entire time. There was no need for worry and I was looking forward to having a natural birth. I visioned myself giving birth med-free and being at peace the whole time. That didn’t happen at all – we ended up having an emergency c-section! It makes me sad to think about not having the birth I had wanted, but I know it all happened for a reason and we are incredibly lucky that both of us even made it. The how isn’t important – the fact that he is here is enough for me.

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Jesse     at 10:25 am

thanks for this post emily. i’m due five weeks from today and i’m definitely starting to get more nervous. i’ve reading up on lots of natural childbirth techniques and my husband and i have taken all the birthing classes; but the unknown is still very daunting. i’m starting to shift more to excited as opposed to scared, i hope i can remain that way:)

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stacy     at 10:45 am

Great to hear that you enjoyed being pregnant and that labor and birth isn’t scary for you anymore. The best way to drive away the fear that our culture has produced is to hear positive stories like yours. Birth is our chance as women to be empowered and to experience something amazing. This is not to be feared.

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Angela     at 10:54 am

Thanks so much for sharing that even though your childbirth was hard and long, you loved it! That really is encouraging. It seems like mostly we assume it will be an awful thing!

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Amber K     at 10:55 am

Wow, I had no idea that it was even possible to enjoy pregnancy so much. I don’t know if I would enjoy labor as much, but glad you did :)

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fittingbackin     at 11:09 am

This was so beautiful! My gosh, if anyone is even considering pregnancy they should read this post – you give such a great viewpoint of the positive impacts its had on your life – I love it and am so happy for you!

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Tricia     at 11:41 am

While your reflecting you should check out this really cool post… written by you! http://www.dailygarnish.com/2011/10/week-38-my-pregnancy-journey.html
I have never been pregnant, and I am not sure I want to be, but one of the things I am curious about is to feel someone else moving inside me. This was totally fun video post you did and I was totally freaked out and amazed at the same time!

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Gina (Yogattude)     at 11:54 am

lovely post:)

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Emily     at 12:08 pm

I haven’t read through all the comments, but I’m certain someone else has already said this. It’s such a societal thing that we have, to focus on the “bad” parts of pregnancy rather than the good, and the scary parts of labor rather than the delights. You’ll find many more stories tending toward the bad/scary than the opposite, and I’m not quite sure why. Even in popular culture– tv shows and movies– pregnancy is portrayed as a burden to get through and birth is portrayed as something to be feared. I’m so glad you posted this because you’re absolutely right: it’s an exciting and wonderful experience!

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Susan     at 12:36 pm

You have an attitude of gratitude and that is a beautiful thing! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!

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Sarah     at 12:36 pm

I absolutely loved this post. And although ive never been pregnant, ive always been so drawn to and fascinated by pregnancy. I hope you guys have more!

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Ann     at 12:37 pm

This is the first blog I have ever read. And this is the first time I have ever written a comment. I have 2 children of my own and have read countless reflections on the birthing process. This was the first one that ever, ever gave me the chills. Thanks you for saying what I have always felt. Cullen is blessed to have you.

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Erin @ Big Girl Feats     at 12:54 pm

This is so sweet. I have anxiety too, and I think I always anticipate the fear and scary things about any given situation, especially related to being a mom since I have a few health issues. I appreciate that you talk about the good aspects of your pregnancy and childbirth, and that you’re willing to share it all! I really love that it’s brought you closer to your body and your husband too. So wonderful!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 1:55 pm

I loved this post. Thank you so much for writing it! As someone who is years away from having children I’ve always viewed labor as the scary thing to get through to get the baby. Its nice to know it can be enjoyed as well! :)

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Siobhan     at 3:48 pm

Emily, I am a long time reader but this is the first time I am commenting. I felt that it was appropriate today because this post could not have come at a better time for me. I am due tomorrow. I mentally and emotionally and prepared for my baby. I cannot wait to see and hold him or her. I have been fearing the process of childbirth because NO ONE ever tells you that it can be enjoyable. You always hear the horror stories, the moans and the sighs that you have to go through “that part.” Thank you for this! Even doing a Bradley Natural Childbirth Class didn’t tell me this useful piece of information!

P.S. Cullen is such a handsome little guy :-)

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Meagan     at 5:43 pm

That’s definitely an interesting perspective I haven’t heard of… :)

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Ruth     at 5:55 pm

I love this post! It’s so hopeful! You are absolutely right, nobody ever says anything nice about childbirth and to be honest I was afraid to go through it someday. Your words bring so much light!

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Becca     at 7:42 pm

This post is so inspirational! I’m at a point in my life when having our first kid is on my mind, and reading your blog through your pregnancy, during your pregnancy, and post pregnancy…has given me so much peace. You are a beautiful mom!

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Katherine     at 7:56 pm

What a great post. I feel the same way. My long labor and pushing (and tearing and healing) were are a part a the most joyous journey I have ever been on. Childbirth was such a blessing and one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. It is truly life changing for both myself and my husband. We, like you, hope to experience it again in a few years.

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Melissa     at 8:04 pm

This is such a great article to read! I sometimes feel like the only person who feels that way. I also LOVE giving birth. The days my two babies were born are the best days of my life. I have never felt so vulnerable, but powerful at the same time. Thanks for this amazing post and I hope people will be encouraged and realize childbirth is a blessing we get to experience with our babies. I have never posted on here but want to say your positive attitude is so wonderful to hear.

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Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 8:58 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Readng posts like this makes me so excited to experience the miracle of childbirth (in a few years). :)

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Hayley @ Oat Couture     at 1:01 am

Such a beautiful post Emily, I have always been adamant that I am never having children but recently I have definitely felt a tiny little pull in that direction and following you along your journey and reading your pre and post pregnancy posts have me more than a little excited for the future, even if that part of my future is a long way away still… so thanks! :) Hope you and your lovely family have an amazing Christmas! :)

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Sarah     at 2:40 am

Thank you so much for these beautiful and thoughtful reflections. I haven’t been through childbirth or pregnancy yet but I feel quite optimistic about it all and am happy that people, like you, highlight the positives of it.

Lots of christmas wishes to you and your beautiful family x

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Gretchen     at 5:48 am

What a wonderful perspective. We suffer from a societal fear of childbirth that I think is so damaging to mothers. This is what our bodies are built to do! Yes it is hard but we should not be scared of our bodies.

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Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing Reply:

Amen!

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Chelsie     at 12:17 pm

The most wonderful gift my mother gave me growing up was often hearing her comment, “I loved being pregnant and I loved giving birth.” Of course she had her pains, but to go through life with that perspective from the woman that birthed me was empowering. It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to realize that this was a semi un normal thing for a mother to say. I have no experience of my own yet, but I look forward to it.

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Nikki     at 2:48 pm

Thanks so much for this post. I’m now at week 21 of my pregnancy, and transitioning just as you said – from anxiety about the things to come, to the excitement of the precious baby boy I will have in my arms. Your post brought tears, as it is exactly what I need to hear.

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Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing     at 3:47 pm

I can honestly say that I didn’t “love” childbirth with my first baby because I, too, was fearful and I was uneducated. Our society makes childbirth something to be feared, but it’s not something to be feared at all, but embraced! My second labor was truly the most amazing & beautiful experience of my entire life! It was because of my Hypnobirthing education & practice, I was able to have this experience. Most women don’t realize that fear = tension, when then = pain. There is no reason for childbirth to have pain! I’m not lying when I say, my second labor was done natural, in a birthing tub, using Hypnobirthing methods & was PAIN FREE (until pushing). My only wish is that more women would do the research & know their options. That they would be empowered for and by their labors, instead of driven to fear. I’m sharing my birth story link, in hopes that inspires others to have a beautiful, fearless, empowering labor, too! http://foodie4healing.blogspot.com/2011/07/meet-adelyn-anna-my-hypnobirthingwaterb.html

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Becca     at 6:30 am

This was a lovely post – thanks, Emily. Happy holidays!

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Jen     at 11:29 am

I loved this and I also loved childbirth. We are done after having 2 beautiful daughters and I am truly sad to never experience childbirth again. I always tell pregnant mom’s not to be afraid, that I loved my labor and delivery!

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Caroline     at 7:29 am

This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m not pregnant, nor have I ever been, but I look forward to it very much. I don’t really know what I want to say here, but I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have shared and I love reading about your experiences.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much, Caroline!

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Maya     at 6:55 am

I know I’m late to the game, but I had a long labor too (exactly when you did, pretty much!) and I feel the same way! In fact, now I don’t really remember the pain at all, though I know the experience was intense at the time… what I remember was feeling connected to my body and my baby in such a profound way. One of my favorite moments was when I just HAD to push… this was after two hours earlier I’d received the disappointing news that I was at just 3.5 cm dilation after about 19 hours of labor (in the hospital because my water had broken) and a few days of contractions… but then suddenly my body told me I HAD to push. When the doctor checked me before my next contraction, I was fully dilated. The whole experience gave me so much confidence in my body and in my baby, in a weird way… I guess it made me feel like I need to listen and pay attention to the strength and instincts inside me and my baby.

I think you would love hypnobabies, though it also doesn’t sound like you needed it because it sounds like you came to a lot of the same concepts on your own. It was all about developing positive expectations of childbirth and reaching inside yourself instead of fighting the experience, and the final hours of your labor sound so much like hypnobabies techniques! I literally sang throughout the transition in my labor… one of those powerful, beautiful times I will never forget.

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Ashley     at 6:09 am

Hi Emily. I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my first child and have been reading your blog for the past two months or so, trying to get more first-hand information about pregnancy and the early days of being a new parent. We have been renovating our new home for the past two months and I’ve felt guilty that our focus has been more on our new house than on our developing pregnancy. But! we’re almost done (hoping to move this weekend) and I’m committed to taking the next three months to really indulge in being pregnant. I’ve started worrying about the labor process, but my husband reassures me that I am young (I’m 28), strong, and he will be with me every step of the way to fight through it together. I was hesitant to read your birth story, thinking it may scare me. I’m SO GLAD I read it because it was so inspiring to me that no matter how long and/or painful the process, and no matter how many times your birth plan changes, the end result is a beautiful child that is all yours and your body was what brought him into the world. Maybe its my pregnant emotions, but I cried reading your story because I connected with it so deeply, and I’m so thankful that you actually stated that you loved child birth. That is such a breath of fresh air to read and gives me more encouragement and hope that I’m going to be ready for my son when the time comes, and that no matter what, it will all turn out just the way it was intended to. Thank you so much again for sharing such an intimate experience and being so honest about it, but also so encouraging and upbeat.

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