Friday, September 5, 2014

I'm Sorry, Other Moms

A friend had her baby today, three weeks early.

Baby is having some breathing problems. I'm nervous and waiting for photos. I'm hoping. I'm praying.
And she and I are not even that close.

I feel bad for having told her about how (relatively) easy my labor was. For telling her it would all be good.

I've felt bad all day. And I just realized why: I used to be proud of myself for how my labor went.
I'm embarrassed by this. I don't even know why I'm telling you this.

In some private, closed-off place, I felt that I'd done a good job at having a baby. And maybe I did—but I was working with what I was given. Factors wayyy outside of my control allowed me to do as well as I did. Even though I know that I had nothing to do with how well things went, a little secret part of me has probably thought that I am extra-good at having babies. As if it's a skill. And while going through postpartum depression has been (suuuper) humbling, I still held on to that sly little bit of smugness. I'd done it. And I'd done it well.

Today, and all the mamas I know whose babies are or were breech or early or just flat-out refusing to enter the world on mom's terms, has made me realize that I am nothing more than lucky. Blessed. Lucky to be blessed.

Maybe that's why we gave our daughter the middle name Grace.

Grace—(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

This is my apology to those I've shared my labor story with and seemed proud of myself. It was, simply and truly, grace. Unmerited, undeserving, incredible, powerful grace.

While we all should be proud of ourselves for surmounting the incredible challenge of giving birth, we should be equally proud. No matter how things went. Whether baby was breech, delivered by c-section, whether we got (and loved) the epidural, whether we needed pitocin or our waters broken, whether we felt weak or strong or mostly just angry at our partners for ever convincing us this was a good idea.

This may be as religious as I get on the blog, but please pray for my friend and her little family, and while you're at it, say a prayer to the Big Guy in the Sky for all the new mamas and brand-new babies out there who could use a little grace.


  1. I hope everything works out for your friend and her baby. It's nice that you wrote a post like this. Hopefully it will bring to light the fact that giving birth is not a competition.

    Everyone's birthing experience is different and women shouldn't be made to feel like it's a competition to have the shortest/longest/least painful/most excruciating birth. As it's something that we have no control over and not a measure of how good a Mum we will be.

    Popped over from the #SHINEbloghop.

  2. Thanks, Debbie! My friend and her beautiful girl are now home, which is wonderful news.

    And thanks for reading. It's definitely not a competition—we're all just so lucky to be called "mom" long after the birthing process is over.

  3. This is sweet. I had smooth births, even with twins, and I too felt proud if myself for doing pregnancy and birth well....but as you said, that wasn't really up to me. In small ways it was, but ultimately, it's not about me. Its not a competition and each birth is unique and amazing in its own way! Great post, found you through the link up.

    1. Thank you! Smooth birth—with twins?! Superwoman. Not that it's a competition. But wow. Every birth is something to be proud of. I hope all moms feel that way.

  4. I hope your friend and her baby are doing well... and you shouldn't feel bad for the way you felt. Very brave of you to share though!! ;) thanks for linking up on the #SHINEbloghop!

    1. Thank you so much! They are doing well! And the #SHINEbloghop is so wonderful and so much fun. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. What a beautiful post and sentiment. You have a very kind soul and I love love love your blog name: zen master mama. You're my new friend!

    1. Thank you! Yay, new friends! You just inspired a new post, by the way. Coming very soon.

  6. This is such a beautiful post and I love your spirit. Congratulations on being the top-viewed post at last week's #SHINEbloghop. I shared your post on all my social media channels.

    Wishing you a lovely day!