For reasons unknown, it seems as though women are constantly apologizing for aspects of their lives that merit zero remorse. Maybe it's our inherent desire to want to please everyone, or maybe it's that we were brought up by a world that taught us that we had better apologize if we dare step outside of the white picket fence that society put us behind. Whatever the reason, constantly apologizing is overrated and unnecessary. There are so many things we need to stop saying sorry for, and so many things every grown-ass woman refuses to apologize for while giving birth. After all, if there was ever a time for a woman to be unapologetic, it's when she's pushing and/or having another human being cut from her body.
How a woman chooses to live her life is, you guessed it, entirely up to her. Whether she decides to have children, decides she doesn't want children at all, decides to commit herself to one partner or decides to commit herself to no one; we're the drivers in the car that is our lives, and we get to decide what twists and turns we make, without apologizing for making them.
So, if bringing a kid into the world is one of those turns you've decided to make, you should know that there are so many things you, as a mom, shouldn't apologize for. Whether it's how you decide to birth your baby or how you decide to raise your baby or how you decide to feed your baby; you get to decide what is best for you and your family. No apologies necessary.
A great way to practice parenting without constantly apologizing (or to simply prepare for the road ahead) is to realize that, as a grown-ass woman, there are things you should refuse to apologize for when it comes to labor and delivery. You're vulnerable; you're powerful; you're in pain; you're experiencing something miraculous. For those reasons, and many more, here are just a few things no grown-ass woman would apologize for when she's birthing another human being.
Requesting Pain Medication
We need to just stop using the term "natural birth" because every birth is a "natural birth," and deciding that you'd like to give birth pain-free doesn't taint your body's amazing accomplishment. Your birth is still just as meaningful and natural when you use pain medications, as it would be if you decided to forgo the relief.
Your Emotions, Whatever They May Be
Again, birthing a human is kind of a big deal, so it's understandable that a person might be feeling a wide array of emotions when the time comes time to meet their child for the first time. Even if you've decided to have several kids and you know your way around the labor and delivery ward fairly well, giving birth isn't something that anyone does all that often. It's not something that a person ever really gets used to, so crying and laughing and cussing are all perfectly acceptable reactions to the situation at hand.
How You Decide To Give Birth
Western medicine is great, but it's not for everyone. If you want a scheduled cesarean, you should get one. If you want a home birth or a water birth, you should have one, and if you want a medication-free birth you should definitely say no to the drugs. Whatever you decide is best for you and your baby is exactly what you should do. Anyone else's opinion (other than your physician, mid-wife, etc) is irrelevant, because you're the one evicting a human from your body. If someone else has strong opinions pertaining to the way you want to give birth, they can just take notes and refer to them when it's their vagina on the line.
Who Is Or Is Not Invited To The Delivery
It's a good idea to set some ground rules when it comes to who can and cannot enter the birthing premises. If you want your entire family and every single one of your sorority sisters to be present, as long as that's okay with your doctor, that's fine. But not everyone wants to entertain a crowd while also focusing on the delivery of their child. If you'd prefer for the moment to be more intimate, that's totally OK, too. Don't apologize for how you decide to deliver your baby.
Asking For Help
Doctors, nurses, partners, friends, family; whoever is present for your delivery is there to help you. It's a doctor's and a nurse's job to help you so if you need help, ask for it!
Delivering a baby isn't (typically) that easy. It takes a village to raise a child, sure, but sometimes it takes one to bring a child into the world, too.
Whatever Your Body Does That Is Beyond Your Control
Sh*t literally happens, you guys. A lot of women unintentionally go #2 on the table while giving birth; it's a pretty normal thing and the doctors and nurses are used to it. In fact, it happens so often that most delivery teams have got someone ready to take care of the "situation" so quickly, you won't even know it happened.
Asking For More Ice Chips
Seriously, keep those suckers coming.
Asking For A Little Bit Of Privacy
Labor and delivery can be stressful on both your body and your mind. Sometimes, you might just need a minute alone to compose yourself and catch your breath, or maybe you just want a minute to yourself to take it all in. Giving birth is a beautiful experience but it can be a whirlwind, too. The labor and delivery room is not the time to be cordial, so if you need to take a moment, take one.
Let's get real here: contractions hurt and pushing a kid out of your body hurts or having one cut out of your abdomen hurts and everything just freakin' hurts. No one walks away from having a child and says, "Wow, that felt so good." Drugs or no drugs, you're going to be in pain (and exhausted, hungry, emotional, etc) at some point during the birthing process and complaining is a perfectly acceptable thing to do during that time. It isn't, however, something that you should apologize for. If men don't have to apologize for "man colds," women shouldn't have to apologize for not enjoying the many emotional and physical sensations our bodies put us through during labor and delivery.
You know the saying "God laughs when we make plans?" Well, babies do too. You might have had a perfectly normal and routine pregnancy, but all of that can change in the delivery room. Some babies are stubborn, or breech, or quite cozy in our wombs, and it can make getting them out a slight hassle sometimes. This often involves having to change your plans.
That might mean having to use pain medication when you had sworn to yourself that you wouldn't, or having to get a cesarean when you'd hoped for a vaginal delivery. These (hopefully) aren't things that you'd necessarily have to apologize to someone else for, but rather reasons that you might be disappointed in yourself. Sometimes we are a little too hard on ourselves, and we don't just need to stop apologizing to everyone else, we need to stop apologizing to ourselves too.