Stories collected for our Resource Centers

Does Mom Really Need to be at My Baby's Birth?

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021

"I need my mom!" Was not a thought I had planned to have while I was delivering my first child, so I hadn't invited her to attend the birth.

I was physically capable of birthing my child without my own birthing mother next to me. But in that moment I felt the strongest connection to all the women in my family line. I was finally connected to them in a new experience: that of becoming a mother. I briefly held the image of my paternal and maternal grandmothers, and other grandmothers who have passed on, in my mind's eye, as though they were standing there; right where I wanted my mother to be. It was as if they were telling me that they knew what was going on and that I was capable. I knew that there was a sacred connection between my child and my ancestors and my body was the gateway. I was beginning to be aware of the sacrifice and improvement of life that motherhood is.

The natural state of life is to model your own life after your parents. It is such a blessing when your parents want you to become your best, and who are, themselves, working to become their best. A tremendously influential watershed moment in my life was when my mother, working hard to become her best self, explained to me that she was going to make a change. She was no longer going to yell or raise her voice. Along with this explanation came an apology. She made the change successfully and became even more of the kind of mom she wanted to be. I was so grateful for her humility and improvement. The example she set has helped me make apologies and try again to improve myself when I see ways that I'm lacking.

Calling out for your mom while in distress, might seem like a childish - expression, but it is, in fact, a lifetime relationship of nurturing and growth. You see that nurturing when a brand new mom is nursing her infant, rocking a baby to sleep, hugging a crying child, teaching to walk, kissing an "owie", the list can go on and on. The needs at the beginning of life are ever-present and physically demanding. My own life became intertwined with the smallest needs of my new baby. And I relied on my own mother as I went along. She had done this mothering thing before. Not just once, but SEVEN times.

Now that I was following in her footsteps, as I had always known I wanted to do, I began to understand her better and rely on her in a new way. She had already become a grandma, seven times before my child.  Her experiences and the wisdom she gained from them, added to the maternal wisdom and insight she has, which she was, and is, able to share with me. Her nurturing seems endless.

While my mother became a mother in a hospital, I became a mother in my own house, rather than in the local birthing center, as we had planned. Did I need my mom in order to complete the birth? No. Though through her intuition, she had arrived at my house and was parking in the driveway as I gave birth. But I did need her example, sacrifices, continual nurturing, and her efforts to improve. Thanks to my mother, I can strive to become the type of mother she was, and the type God wants me to be.

- Bethany Crowther

Captcha Image