In today’s culture new moms and soon-to-be moms are marketed to through guilt and shame. Moms are taught they should feel guilty if they have a cesarean birth, formula feed, go back to work, or even if they have a positive birth! Guilt and shame result in moms feeling deeply insecure about their capabilities. If moms don’t feel good about themselves or the way the parent, the whole family is affected.
In effort to fight the cultural norm that birth is scary, and new moms should feel guilt and shame for their births and parenting choices, I’ve decided to post positive birth stories about rock star mommas!
I’m thrilled to share Jen Ushe’s powerful birth story. I met Jen when she was very early in her pregnancy. I couldn’t have been happier when she asked me to be her birth doula. As a prenatal yoga teacher and doula, I’m honoring to witness the deep inner transformation of each student that occurs during pregnancy into motherhood. It was very special to see Jen grow and change throughout her journey, from fully accepting her pregnancy to deciding what kind of birth she wanted, to facing her fears. It is my dharma (life purpose) to foster this journey, guiding Mommas through the emotional, physical, and spiritual ups and downs, twists and turns that is rich with life’s lessons.
Here’s Jen’s birth story:
“A week before I was due, I started to feel a bit off. I didn't think anything any thing of it, but we made an appointment to make sure everything was okay. I was checked by the doctor and found out I was in early labor. We were shocked...the doctor said we could go into labor that night or in a week. We had been told by everyone that new moms typically delivered late so I couldn't believe the news! Sure enough, that night, my contractions got stronger. We labored on our own for a few hours until Jessica, our doula, came over and labored with us for a few more. I think this is when it became real!
At 1:30 am, I decided it was time to leave for the hospital – we packed our bags, put on my baby playlist (which makes me cry when I listen to it now!) and arrived 15 minutes later. The rest of the night seems like such a blur now. I had some of the most intense, consistent pain I've ever felt in my life. The support I received from Jessica, my husband Kuda and the nurses helped me tremendously. I had wanted to give birth without an epidural and there were several times where I almost asked for one. Jessica kept reminding me that I could stick to my plan and to stay strong. After more than five hours of trying different positions to relieve my pain, I was ready to push and bring my little girl into the world. This was the most exciting part for me because I had worked through the contractions unmedicated and I was going to meet my daughter soon. I'm not sure for exactly how long, but I think I pushed for a little over an hour.
The second they put her on my chest all of the pain and worry went away. I have never felt so accomplished in my entire life. I truly felt, in that moment, that I could do anything. I am almost 2 weeks postpartum as I write this (while I'm nursing, no less) and I can say that the experience of birth prepared me for the ups and downs of motherhood. I've always been a worrier and have needed to feel in control. Giving birth made me realize that there are so many things I cannot control and that worrying is only going to take away from enjoying the important things in life.
Throughout my pregnancy, everyone would tell me how excited they were for me and always with a big smile on their face. I could never understand why until now. Giving birth to a healthy baby is hands down the best experience of my life and I am so excited for the journey ahead."
Thank you so much, Jen, for sharing your birth story with this community. I hope it sparks inspiration in all those pregnant mommas who are struggling to understand the possibilities that birth offers. Jen’s story highlights that important birth is for women, “I truly felt, in that moment, that I could do anything.” This lesson is so important for all mommas. Fight the guilt and the shame, because you can do anything!
Meet Zahara Katherine Ushe born March 31, 2017