Happy Birthday


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Twenty two years ago today at seven pm I was becoming a Mom for the third time. Having had an emergency C-section after hoping this time for the ‘natural’ birth I had wanted the first time and didn’t get due to a preemie (my second daughter is adopted), it didn’t magically happen this time either.

This crazy daughter, despite my being sure she would be early too, decided instead to be very late, so late in fact that they finally decided to go in and get her. She was breech to boot and with my small stature and the first one being a preemie, all bets were off as to whether I could deliver a full term baby vaginally.

So it was under the knife I went. Two emergency births! Me, the hippie! The long-standing vegetarian, athlete and anti-establishment bleeding heart liberal…it was full tilt western medicine all the way.

But it was fine in both cases, because the outcome was two beautiful, healthy babies. And isn’t that what we want in the end anyway–no matter how we choose to get them here?

And choice is so critical when it comes to babies, women and the world.  The fighting about this topic can be found wherever one looks. Having babies that grow into adults we all know can be a religious, cultural, ethnic and sometimes socioeconomic choice. Depending on where you grew up, what you’ve been taught, how much money you have access to (or don’t) and your ability to navigate governmental systems may influence your choice about childbirth and how many kids to have (or not have).

Our earth is heavy with humans now. Many parts of the world can’t feed their hungry babies. The mothers of these babies must endure the pain of seeing their children go hungry. Some countries have the blessings of wealth. We throw out food, use land for purposes that maybe could be used for wiser purposes, while some starve.

I am lucky. My girls are lucky too, healthy and thrive. I am a mother in a place where I can watch my daughters grow, be educated and thrive. But even here we mustn’t forget the others, the Mothers and their babies. The birthdays that won’t be celebrated.

We all make choices and they may be different from someone else’s. Here we believe in the right to make that choice. My wish today on my daughter’s birthday is this: that people would think more globally when it comes to Mothers, babies and this ever shrinking world. Because those babies need an earth to inherit.

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