How You Give Birth Really Doesn’t Matter

How You Give Birth Really Doesn't Matter

Tomorrow, I become a mom.

A lot of people say I became a mom when I got pregnant. But aside from the fact that I haven’t eaten raw fish in nine months and said no to Dolly Parton AND Metallica concerts (both coming within weeks of this baby’s arrival), I haven’t felt like a parent.

Parents, especially to little kids, don’t get go to the gym when they want. They can’t just wing their day, maybe working for a few hours in the morning, then meeting a friend for lunch. They don’t go on spur of the moment dates with their significant others. They don’t get to sleep in until 9am. I’ve enjoyed all these things and more for the last 34 years.

Tomorrow afternoon, everything changes.

Our baby is breech (head up, butt down, legs constantly kicking my left side). She’s not budging, so she’s coming out in the operating room.

When I’ve talked about this upcoming, very medicated birth, I’ve had a lot of people ask,

“Are you disappointed?”

I’m not.

I kinda feel relieved. There are no guarantees in childbirth, but with a scheduled C-section, at least the element of surprise is mostly ruled out. I have a date and time, a good idea of what to expect and what recovery should look like. Does it feel like cheating? A little bit, but it feels a lot better than having a breech birth the old fashioned way, which often left baby and/or mom dead. So yay for modern medicine!

That said, I’ve been mindful of sharing my C-section news.

Once you’re pregnant (heck, even way before depending on who you hang out with), you’ll quickly learn there’s a lot of conversation about birthing. Are you having the baby at home, at a birthing center or in a hospital? Drugs or no drugs? Doula or no doula? Midwife or doctor? Water birth or scheduled c-section? And let’s be honest: no matter what your personal answer is to any of these questions, you’ll feel judged.

Birth is regarded as grand finale. 9.5 months of training, culminating in human physiology’s greatest marathon. Moms write elaborate plans explaining exactly how the race will go, how much or little intervention they’d like, and how they want to cross that finish line, down to the music they want playing.

That’s fine, but why do we spend so much time talking about this stuff?

I’m pretty sure birth is the easy part.

No matter how you do it, you most likely will be surrounded by people who deliver babies every day. They know exactly what to do, exactly how to fix problems, exactly what to anticipate next. There are only a few major interstates barreling toward Destination Birth. But once you hit parenthood, it’s alllll spaghetti junction.

I’ve had so many new parents say to me that they were so caught up in the birth stuff that they barely even thought about breastfeeding, or sleep schedules, let alone being a parent for the next 5, 10, 30, 50 years. It reminds me a lot of people who get so entangled in wedding planning that it’s not until the vows have been said that they realize, oh shit, I’m married to that guy! Sure, planning a wedding is fun and all, but it’s just one day in what’s supposed to be a lifetime.

Having kids is the same, only there are no backsies.

So I say have your baby in a warm bath in your living room. Or on a cold, sterile table in a hospital on the day of your choice. Or at a birthing center while huffing laughing gas with your entire family looking on. Or in a hospital bed, completely numb from the waist down. Or in a galvanized tub in the woods with nothing but the stars as your midwife and the moon as your doula. Do it whatever way you want.

Because guess what?

It’s not about the birth, it’s about the baby. Who turns into a toddler, who then becomes a kid, who morphs into a teenager, who later becomes a 20-something and then 30-something and maybe a parent themselves, and then one day picks out your nursing home.

Yeah, I’m scared about having a baby cut out of my body tomorrow afternoon. But that’s nothing compared to the fact that tomorrow I meet the person I’ll love more than anything, who’ll inevitably expand and sometimes break my heart. A person my husband and I will be in charge of shaping and caring about, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

It’s a huge responsibility, and while it scares the ever-loving shit out of me, I hear it’s amazing. But I don’t really know about that yet because today, I’m just Molly.

Tomorrow, I’m mom.

* * *

Like this mom crap I’ve been writing lately? Here’s more of it– like the 25 things that scare me about having a baby, plus 28 things that will make your pregnancy better.

Rather read non-mom crap? Here’s a post about the time I went to a concert by myself.

Giving birth is really just the beginning.

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Comments (12)

  • Lindsay Wood 11 months ago Reply

    Birth is absolutely the easy part. You’ll do great (because they’re experts), and you two will be great parents (because no one actually knows what they’re doing). Happy birthday baby Katt! 🙂

    molly mogren katt 11 months ago Reply

    Thanks, Lindsay! Glad to know everyone is as clueless as we are 😉 See ya in motherhood! xoxo

  • Heather Liedl 11 months ago Reply

    Aaand this made me cry. Best wishes, Molly! I can’t wait to see pictures of sweet baby girl Katt. The adventure continues!

    molly mogren katt 10 months ago Reply

    Thank you! It’s been quite the adventure, and we’re only 12 days in!

  • Melissa 11 months ago Reply

    I love everything you write Molly, but this one is SO RIGHT ON!! I’ve given birth twice now and neither time turned out like I expected, but guess what….the only thing that truly matters about both experiences is that I was lucky enough to meet my healthy baby at the end of the birthing adventure. The baby that arrives is absolutely the same baby, no matter how she comes out. You will love her with all of your heart. You will be scared sometimes and elated sometimes and feel lost and feel proud. So many wonderful experiences that you’ve never had before. You will probably also miss some of those pre-baby days, but you won’t want to change that for anything. Good luck and congratulations to you and your hubby!! All the best from a reader in Seattle. – Melissa

    molly mogren katt 10 months ago Reply

    Thank you, Melissa! I can’t believe how much my heart has grown in the last 12 days. I’m like the Grinch, but less green 😉 I love being her mom, and am amazed at how much I love this tiny human. xoxo

  • Esther 11 months ago Reply

    You’re not having a c-section, you’re having a baby! Congrats, I hope tomorrow goes well.

    molly mogren katt 10 months ago Reply

    AMEN!

  • Mary 11 months ago Reply

    I had 2 c-sections, my sister had 4, my mom had 4…shockingly, we all still gave birth to kids! 😉 If you have questions about recovery, we have a few thrown together after 10 c-sections (plus my appendectomy at 6 months preggers). My number 1 is to scoot your body around in bed before they let you stand! You cannot over-exert yourself, however, laying in one position in bed makes it much more difficult to move and will delay recovery. I am so thrilled for you and Josh!!! You’ve got this 🙂

    molly mogren katt 10 months ago Reply

    4 c-sections?! Holy hannah! After having this one, I am like "C-sections are serious business and NOT cheating at all!" It’s been quite the recovery, but worth every bit of pain because we now have this sweet little girl.

  • The Jadeite Shutter Blog 11 months ago Reply

    Beautiful. Love you and that sweet babe! Congratulations 🙂

    molly mogren katt 10 months ago Reply

    xoxo!!!

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