I was that mom whose birth went differently than she expected it to and hoped it would.

I believed. I prepared. I educated myself. Had the best team. I did the things.

Yet, it didn’t go anything like how I thought it might.

Turns out, after much reflection, it went exactly like it was supposed to.

——

To the mom whose birth went differently than she expected it to and hoped it would.

To the mom who’s questioning whether she made the right choices, or all the wrong decisions.

To the mom who’s feeling a sense of loss over what the birth experience could have been.

To the mom who’s feeling confusion over why things went the way they did.

To the mom who wishes they could back up a few days/months/years to try again.

To the mom who’s wishing they would have done things differently.

To the mom who got induced and wonders what things would have been like if she hadn’t.

To the mom who had one intervention, and then another, and then another, and wonders if the first intervention led to the rest.

To the mom who wishes they had’ve said something at *that* moment and wonders why she didn’t it.

To the mom who entered new motherhood carrying some trauma with her.

To the mom who had to hear “save the mom’s life”, or “the baby’s heart rate is dropping”, or “the baby is under too much stress, we have to go to C-section immediately”.

To the mom who is feeling let down by her body for not doing the ‘natural’ thing it was supposed to do.

To the mom who’s experiencing flashbacks of *that* moment in labor.

To the mom who’s being told that “the most important thing is that you are baby are alive.”

To the mom who’s feeling guilty because she’s distressed even though she and baby are alive.

To the mom who’s jealous that her friend just had the world’s simplest, normal, easiest birth.

To the mom who doesn’t want to tell her birth story because that wasn’t supposed to be story you were going to tell.

To the mom who did all the things you’re supposed to do in pregnancy, saw the chiropractor, did the squats, went to physio, ate the dates, drank the tea, read the Ina May books, did the Spinning Babies exercises, hired the doula, had the midwife/OB, believed that she absolutely without a doubt could birth a certain way and didn’t.

To the mom who has told her birth story and then been asked, “But, did you try _________?”

To the mom who wonders if that one thing would have changed how everything else happened.

To the mom who wonders if she will ever feel like herself again.

To the mom who wonders if that birth experience will change her forever, and not in a good way.

To the mom whose friend said that they exercised throughout their entire pregnancy and that’s why they had such an easy time pushing out their baby.

To the mom who wishes her birth story would stop haunting her whenever she tries to rest or sleep.

To the mom who wonders if things would have been different if she had have gone to the hospital sooner.

To the mom who wonders if she could have Hynobirthed harder.

To the mom who wishes she could have a do-over, but also doesn’t want to be pregnant again because it makes her anxious just thinking about it.

To the mom who works in the fitness, health, or birth industry and is wondering how she’s going to explain her birth that went differently than she expected and hoped it would to her clients.

If you’re that mom, I’m that mom, too.

I know you. I get you. I am you. More moms are you than aren’t.

Here’s what I know: you did absolutely nothing wrong.

Birth is unpredictable.

There’s no formula. There’s no secret code.

You did the best with what you were handed. And, it was good enough. You did enough. Your body is enough.

You can do all the things and this shit still happens. I know because I’ve been there.

It might have been the exact same birth even if things were different. All the ‘what ifs’ might not have changed anything.

YOU DID IT. And, you did a damn fine job, mama. However it happened.

The pain will lessen. The tears won’t come as often. You will gain peace and strength and so much power from this.

I can’t wait until you’re there.

Jess

xo