I would like to (or rather, I need to, in light of the Mommy Wars) preface this post with one very big statement: Nothing written here is a judgment for or against your pregnancy and parenting choices.
After over three years of struggling to get and stay pregnant, my views on pregnancy and parenting have — by the nature of fertility journeys — changed. What was once so important has now been placed into the “doesn’t really matter that much” basket. Honestly, it’s difficult to hear so many women arguing about what is “best.” That’s a luxury reserved for women who haven’t struggled to have a baby. For those of us who are fertility challenged, the arguments sound so petty … Your baby is here. Your baby is alive. Mother however suits you, and let others do the same.
1. Type of birth
I was born at home in 1978 to a true hippie mother. I’ve often thought a home birth was the way to go. Then, when I got pregnant with the twins, I realized a hospital birth would likely be more practical. I then further began talks about having a C-section, since they are often required with twins. It was tough for me to accept that I might have to give birth that way. And then, I lost the twins at 17 weeks when my water broke. After they died, I realized how little it matters how babies come into the world. What matters is that they do come into this world — because, sometimes, they don’t.
2. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding
BOOBIES! Breast is best, right? I’ve always thought so. And it’s my hope — still — that I’ll be able to breastfeed one day. But I’m not even sure I can get babies here alive. If I end up needing to formula feed, I’ll do it with pride because it will mean that my children are here and alive and EATING. Could you imagine what it would be like if we policed what adults eat the same way we try to stick our noses in how babies are fed?
3. Pregnancy diet
Speaking of feeding … I did everything “right” with my twin pregnancy, which included a kick-ass fertility diet and top-of-the-line prenatal vitamins. Neither made a difference. I’m not suggesting we all stop eating greens and instead shove chips down our throats 24/7. But eat well — and what you want.
If swimming is your thing, great. If it’s yoga or CrossFit, great. And if you get placed on bed rest, don’t feel guilty.
I lost my twins at 17 weeks, the same day I learned their genders. And I lost another baby at 10 weeks, whose gender I’ll never know. Even if I do get pregnant again, there’s no guarantee that the child will make it to this world. Whether my child is a boy or a girl (something that could change later in life anyway), seems far less important than having a baby that actually makes it here alive.