This morning was no different. I found a cute, dressy sandal in navy blue that matched so well with my outfit, I wore them out of the store. I also found several other shoes that looked absolutely adorable. But when I tried them on (in various sizes -just to be sure) I just couldn’t get the right fit. No matter how good they may look on the wall or on my foot, I can’t justify a choice that doesn’t fit my foot.
It’s a lesson long in the making for me, with too many shoes collecting dust in the closet because I won’t wear them if they don’t feel right. Birth choices can be like that too. Women can walk through information, testing this and that, researching, but when it comes down to it: what is a good fit for one woman’s birth, may not fit another.
Opinions and definitions of “natural” vary depending on the individual or entity providing information. When it comes to childbirth, opinions on what is natural can range from medication-free vaginal hospital birth (with or without hospital interventions) to unassisted homebirth. Where does the true definition fall?
It falls within the heart and soul of each expectant mother. Defining what is natural is about defining what belongs to each individual woman: how she views her ideal childbirth experience; where she will feel most safe; how and by whom she will be best supported in her choices. Natural, then, must be based on the innate internal desire of each woman.
The key to this premise is undoubtedly reliant on the ability, opportunity and desire of each woman to search within herself to find the answers to some challenging questions about her beliefs, about her body, about fear. This is part of the process of finding the right fit.
It may seem difficult, trying on so many ideas to find the best match- already it may look easier to just let someone else with “experience” manage the whole thing. The only dilemma: no one else can possibly have experience with your individual expected birth- because it hasn’t happened yet. No one else can possibly know what is right for you in your heart. It cannot be considered “natural” to simply follow someone else’s “rules” for pregnancy and birth, without considering how they correspond into your own desire.
So “natural” is really the connection of your internal truth to your desired birth experience. You do not have to accept another person’s view of what is acceptable, what is ideal, or even what they consider safe. You can choose to follow your own truth. You can take time to explore answers to the questions birth holds for you. You can explore fears and insecurity, question your beliefs, and discover, for yourself, the true definition of natural childbirth: a birth experience fully in line with your most intimate, loving, internal vision.