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19 Weeks and Counting...

This week I am officially 19 weeks pregnant.


This is my first week writing a weekly letter about my pregnancy.


I kinda hope noone reads it haha.


I have been planning to share for a while on things I feel might be helpful to people who are exploring homebirth or freebirth themselves.


But I didnt really know what to share...until today.


In church I had a feeling in my heart as I thought about all the people around me who love me telling me "Don't talk to anyone about your freebirth".


This is reasonable and a great solution for protecting your peace. And i was pondering it today sitting in the pews.


God spoke to me and said "You need to share".


I was staring at the lights in the front of the chapel during the service and responded in my head automatically with "I need you to protect my Peace then".


No response.


I then asked "How?"


I know God speaks differently to different people but to me he speaks in short profound statements like words appearing in my head. Something similar to the following:


"Write a letter each week, on Sunday. Don't promote anything (meaning product links that I might share on other days). Don't try to draw people to it with catchy words. The right people will find it"...


"What will I share?"


"Your heart".


I'm not really sure if this is for you or me but here I am.


Also, I might add that I sat down in the next meeting and someone waved me over and i went to sit by her.


She said to me "I just wanted you to know that i support you in your freebirth. I think it's amazing"


Wow!


It took me until writing this to realize that THAT WAS GODS RESPONSE TO MY PLEA FOR HIM to protect my peace.


This week my Letter is to all of you.


Dear ...You,


I am 19 weeks almost 20 weeks this Sunday. I don't know why I care so much that I pass 20 weeks but I feel like I'm not REALLY pregnant until after 20 weeks so I can't wait to get there. Then it feels offical. I have had no Dr or Midwife appointments and it has been so amazing. I feel so much less worry about things. By now most people have had 2-3 ultrasounds and I know with Brighten I was itching to get my 20 week so i could feel 'relieved' with the results. With Sage I had one ultrasound just for gender and this time I dont know if i will do one at all. Everything feels great and I trust my body.


Sometimes I do worry that from the outside it looks to people like I don't care and it's hard to shake that every once in a while. Since I've stopped sharing about it as much on social media it has helped because for me i always imagine that the comments people share there are what people I know in person who disagree with me are saying behind my back.

So I imagine it coming from their mouth instead. It's very likely they are but it's nice to not have to dwell on it any more than I have to.


One of my biggest worries is people accusing me of being an unfit mother. I know that I am fit and that people just don't understand but I also have heard horror stories about CPS doing checks on perfectly fit parents that stay on their record forever and were just based off the claims of an arrogant Dr who didn't like being challenged or a grouchy neighbor with a grudge.


But I can't let fear keep me silent all together. Because that's when the system wins. That's what they want. Silence the outliers.


How much do I challenge publicly though? That's always my question. For me it always ends up ultimatly with what I take to God. If it's my role to share. I will do it willingly. If not I'd rather not stir the pot haha.


Up until this week a lot of my focus was been on mental and emotional stability. I've really been trying to get to know myself better on those fronts. Several books have helped me including "When the Body Says No" by Gabor Maté.


Mental and Emotional health were never a struggle with me until being pregnant with and having Brighten and hit me like a ton of bricks! I still feel uncomfortable talking about it with others and also just don't feel its my calling to speak on a ton...maybe someday but not now.


I also tried to read Dune because I basically turn every book i read into a News Broadcast and write up all these summaries about them just in case anyone ever asks me. My attempt was to read something relaxing. Haha.


I ended up putting it down in favor of "Functional Maternity" by Sarah Thompson. It has some great insight about Maternal Nutrition.


I was blown away to have it brought to my attention that Prenatal vitamins are NOT made for pregant women. They're made for babies in utero.


I don't know if that blows anyone elses mind but why in the world are we surprised when Mothers dont prioritize themselves after treating them like the last priority for their entire pregnancy and birth!


Starting with the vitamins being specialized for the baby and no thought given to the changing needs of the mother through different phases of hormone change and body growth and ending with telling mothers who had a harmful, bad or scary birth to just focus on the fact that "baby is healthy".


We all know the age old example that you need to put the oxygen mask first to be able to help someone else after in an airplane.


But it's not carrying over. Then we find women, burnt out, depressed, anxious, cortisol and guilt-driven trying to keep up with their kids and we turn around and tell them "you need to prioritize yourself more"


When does that kick in exactly? Is it after the baby is born and we send them home and say "good luck getting over that trauma just focus on your healthy baby".


I could go on of course about how inappropriate it is to attach this idea of feeling any sort of way you do about your birth and the idea you are ungrateful for your babys health if you do!


How terrible!



We preface by telling mothers to make no plan for birth because they will just be disapointed when it doesnt go that way (actual statement made to a friend of mine by a nurse that was passed off as friendly advice (cringe face) but which i saw right through as "don't make trouble and let the nurses do what is EASIEST for US").


We hijack the birth (i mean i dont but as a society and medical culture we do), thinking of the hospitals legal protection, the Drs convenience of location etc above the comfort, experience and wishes of the mother.


We create issues, we 'Solve' those issues. And then we tell her if she dare utter a peep about how it didn't go how she want that she is just lucky to be alive and have a healthy baby and to essentail shut up and never complain again or it means youre not grateufl for your baby.


I see it all the time! A mother who's baby was sliced in the FACE by a resident Dr's knife during a C-Section and when she dare to post a video of sadness about it the commenets flooded in


"Well would you rather have a DEAD BABY?"


This has to stop. Not everyone has to birth the same way as me. But this idea that HOW a woman experiences birth is not valid enough to talk about let alone even consider the affects of a negative expereince on things like PPD, lactation, general health, Marriage and relationships, and the long term physical, metal and emotional health of the entire family.


NO. Lets stop it now. Whatever part we play in this, ever, let's stop in consiously. This includes any annimoslty or lack of support for those who choose to birth differently from us. I have been working on this for a while and I have made tremendous headway. I want to give the respect I deserve in return!


Maybe, just maybe that compassion will trickle down and affect others but at least it will allow us to put a stop to this in our own births!


With Love,

Alyssa











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