Three keys to pregnancy and birth

by Sarah Blight

Key lessons for pregnancy and birthAfter the birth of my second baby, I wanted to remember my journey and the things I've learned over the past 3 years of being a mama. Here are the three top lessons I've learned about being pregnant and giving birth.

Lesson #1: You can only get out what you put in

With my first pregnancy I didn't put much into it. By "much into it" I mean that I spent more time researching our babymoon destination and hotel than I did where, when and how I was going to give birth to our first-born.

Two-thirds of the way through I had a much-needed epiphany: birth can go down many different ways and while I can't control everything that happens in birth, I do have options and I needed to know what they were. One of those options was my provider. At the time I had a reputable Ob/Gyn who had been a doctor for longer than I had been alive. I felt good in his capable hands. Once I asked him a question and his response was, "it's in the packet of information I gave you."

Hmm. That got me thinking, "Why was I going to him when apparently all I needed was a packet of info?" Didn't I owe it to myself to have something more than 'capable hands'?

I decided I did. I proceeded to look high and low to find it, which I did in the form of another Ob/Gyn which included midwives. She tended to me as an entire being, the emotional as well as the physical. She treated me like a woman, not just a uterus incubating this baby. That's when my true investment in my baby's birth began. You know what? I had a beautiful hospital birth because of it. Did everything go as planned? Of course not! It's childbirth! There are always things that do happen or don't happen that you weren't planning on. But this birth belonged to me and my baby. Not anyone else.

Lesson #2: It's about the WHO, not the WHERE

With my second pregnancy I decided to have a home-birth. I remembered "lesson #1" and hubby and I invested a lot into this pregnancy and birth. We interviewed providers and decided on a certified nurse midwife in our area. After we interrogated, chatted and asked her all our "worst case scenario" questions, we knew we'd found "the one." The trust, relationship and investment that we had made turned into a beautiful, peaceful, empowering birth. I'm convinced that had I been in a hospital, birthed in her office, or on the sidewalk, it would've been the same experience with our "team."

Lesson #3: Ask "why"

Our 3-year old son asks "why" like it's his job and goes on and on.

"We're going to the store."
"Why?"
"To get milk."
"Why?"
"Because we're out."
"Why?"
"Because we drank it all and we're thirsty."
"Why?"

After I gave birth in the hospital, our son was taken away because of respiratory issues. He didn't come back for several hours. He ended up being fine. Just needed some time to get his breathing regulated. Looking back I feel guilty about not asking "why?" Asking "why" many times over helps us to get to the core of the issue. While it may frustrate the responder, the asker is giving themselves a gift of empowerment by asking such a simple, one-word question. When you understand "why," you make better decisions.

For you mamas who have given birth before, what are your top three lessons learned?

Sarah BlightGet a FREE chapter of Sarah's new book "Going to the Motherland" by clicking here. In addition to being an author, Sarah's the founder of YourBabyBooty.com. She's the mama of a spunky, 3-year-old son and a not-so-sleepy 3-month-old daughter. Sarah loves helping expectant moms learn what experienced moms and leading experts have learned about pregnancy and birth. In her spare time Sarah enjoys naps.

© February 26, 2013 Sarah Blight. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.