At a birth recently, the doctor asked if I’d had unmedicated births myself. I was surprised that I hesitated in answering “yes,” even though I did.
Right after the births of my children, I would have wanted to shout my accomplishment from the rooftops. And then as a inexperienced doula, I felt like everyone could and should follow the same path I did.
But over these 17 years of watching women’s experiences vary in length, in intensity, and in levels of anxiety, I now feel like it is not the avoidance or acceptance of an epidural that defines her accomplishment but the way that an expectant mom experiences her path.
My job at the end of the day is not to check the box that says “unmedicated, vaginal birth” but to help comfort and empower all women with whom I work to make on their own best journey.