The other day I was reading an online thread where women were sharing their birth stories.
There were about 50 of them, but at around the 5th one I started to feel very small.
“Natural, drug free”… I read amongst many of them, as I felt myself losing grip on the validity of my own birth experiences. I can’t say those words for any of mine, and why did I feel like less of a woman because I couldn’t?
The words are descriptors. Truths for those stories.
So why was I struggling? Almost as if there was an invisible sliding scale of validity for how we step into motherhood, should we step at all.
Are science-assisted pregnancies less real?
Do emergency deliveries mean failure?
Is a scheduled one too undramatic?
Does getting pain relief mean you’re not strong enough?
Does one parent any less if they don’t carry?
Was I just not “woman” enough?
I don’t know what will happen at our birth experience. While I may try and plan, I’m also taking time to give myself and everyone else I know validity in their stories.
These stories, that no matter how much time
passes, we seem to exchange like currency of motherhood. Creating bonds with them, and sometimes, like I did, also experiencing feelings of inadequacies as we do.
The truth is, womanhood isn’t defined by motherhood. And should you enter into motherhood…
We are no better or worse for how different our stories make us.
They are not one-size-fits-all.
What should be bonding is the complexities and differences of them all. Just like motherhood and womanhood itself.
So whether I deliver naturally and drug free, have a c-section or with any drug available to me, my story will be valid.
Just like every single story before, and every story not yet written.