There are a lot of judgement and shame around birth choices in this world. The internet and Facebook, in particular, with it’s easy ability to share thoughts with thousands and millions of people doesn’t seem to help. It seems there is always someone ready to tell you that your feelings are wrong.

If you said that you were disappointed in the way your birth unfolded inevitably someone will offer, “at least you and the baby are healthy!”  If you express your joy in having a non-medicated birth you might be accused of judging those who chose to use medication and interventions. If you share that you had a cesarean birth you will likely face comments such as, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  If you talk about loving your epidural you will eventually hear about how epidurals are bad for you and baby, or, even worse, that you took the easy way out.

It’s all bullshit!

The way you feel about your birth experience belongs to you and you alone. And you are entitled to it.  You get to decide if your birth sucked, was glorious, was scary, was a letdown, was exhilarating, or was a deeply profound milestone in your life.

If might be a mixture of all of those things, of course. That’s up to you.

Your birth choices and how your birth eventually play out are things that have value for you alone. Only you get to assign that value.

We, as your doulas, hope you have positive memories about your birth. We really want you to remember your experience with fondness and joy. But, we also know that birth doesn’t always go as planned, and our feelings around birth can be complicated.

Sometimes it’s a small thing that seems to mess with out heads. Out of 20 birth choices maybe one of them seems to stick out as more important and more impactful than others. And other times it’s how close we are to the experience that prevents us from seeing entire experience in a greater context.

One birthing person may achieve what looks like an amazing birth that went very close to plan. Each of of their birth choices was honoured or able to be achieved, but she may still feel a sense of loss for how she was spoken to by one person or that she was unable to access a particular type of comfort tool.  Another person may have had their entire vision of how they wished for their birth to unfold prevented by unforeseeable circumstances. That person may wind up feeling triumphant about their birth in a way that seems puzzling when set beside the first person’s birth.

Your doulas will honour your feelings.

They will listen to your story and not make you feel ashamed for feeling the way you do about it. If you are looking for a doula, seek out one who makes you feel good about your choices and ideas for your birth.

You are your own person, with your own feelings and your feelings – good, bad, or indifferent – are worthy.

Dawid Zawiła