You pee on a stick, and elation is quickly followed by choices. Where to give birth? The color of the nursery? Jogging Stroller or City-Mini? Maternity photos? 3D ultrasound?
You start making choices immediately...and many of these choices don't come without a price tag.
As you draw closer to your due date, and as your nursery comes together, the dollar signs quickly add up. And then one day at lunch your friend asks you about your birth, your actual birth, and you realize that most of your energy and money has gone elsewhere.
"Should I hire a doula, should I hire a birth photographer, should I give birth at home?"
You research the options and they are plentiful. You find support. Beautiful images. A postpartum doula who seems like a perfect fit for your family. You reach out to these birth professionals and feel an immediate connection. But then you look at their prices, and you start adding them up and....
"It's all too expensive." You and your partner later agree.
And so you decide to give birth without the doula you wanted, or the birth photographer you talked to. You decide to have your baby at a hospital because insurance will cover it. You don't necessarily feel happy about your decisions, but you do feel a sense of fiscal responsibility. Moral pride.
And then your birth happens. You finally have your long-awaited baby in your arms. It didn't go like you planned (and birth never does) but you can't help but wondering if it could have been a little different, a little better.
And those questions don't necessarily fade away over time because no matter how you give birth or where you give birth, your birth experience will stay with you for the rest of your life.
For that reason alone, your birth is worth it. Your birth is worth the money.
And I get it...I agree: it is EXPENSIVE.
But, my friends, your birth is worth it.
We hold onto our birth stories for the rest of our lives. Some of us wear them proudly while others keep them tucked away in a dark space...but they never leave us. We deserve the support. We deserve the choices. We deserve the memories. It's okay to spend more on our births than we do on our nurseries. It's okay to forgo one vacation for the doula and the birth photographer you've been dreaming of. It's okay to prioritize our births above a stroller, or a new car, or a little more money in our retirement plans.
In fact, it's more than okay...it's what we should be doing. Because our birth stories are powerful. They have the ability to give us confidence. They have the potential to revolutionize the way we view our bodies. They can set the foundation for the journey of parenthood. And because birth is always unpredictable, they also have the ability to leave scars. No matter who you are or where you are, your birth story will matter.
Don't be afraid to choose the care provider that you want, the birthing location that you want, the doula that you want, the birth photographer that you want. Don't be afraid to spend money on one of the most important days of your life.
And if finances are truly an issue (which is the case for millions of families) please know that you are not alone. Please know that there are organizations and midwives and doulas that specifically want to work with you...Your birth is worth it.
What did you spend extra money on? Was it worth it for you?
The Cord Doula Collective provides doula services, birth photography, and postpartum support for Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. Find out more about our services here.
Monet Nicole, Co-Founder of Cord