I have been thinking so much the last few days about this question. I get asked it over and over again as a doula
… is it normal to feel nervous?
… is it normal to need this?
… is it normal for you to labour like your mum?
… is it normal for the baby to feed this much?
We constantly feel the need to know if what we are experiencing is considered to be ‘normal’. I mean it’s a comforting thought right?! To be part of the masses, to have the reassurance that women have walked the same path before and there’s nothing wrong with us for being the same.
But what about when we don’t want to be treated as normal? I mean as a pregnant mumma about to welcome my third baby into the world, I feel everything but normal. I feel exceptional, I feel privileged – and yes I feel a big buggered having grown a tiny human whilst running around after two mini humans for nine months – but I feel insanely special. And honestly I want to shout it from the rooftops!
I’ve also suffered a big fat bout of ptsd in this time, so whilst healing I was looking desperately to find my peace and my ‘new normal’ as everything that had ever felt normal to me had totally shifted.
I don’t want to be told at my antenatal check up that I’m normal, I want to be told the facts about me and my bump. I want to know how engaged I am, I want to know my blood pressure, I want to know the position of my baby in there as this is my story and I don’t care how it compares to anyone else’s. And yes I do like to know all the intricacies of it all as it whole heartedly fascinates me.
Of course I want to be told if there is anything that is glaringly obvious as being abnormal in terms of medical safety. Of course – I hope that goes without saying. But it’s funny, I guess I’m finding less and less need in life to compare my goings on with what is considered normal and it feels really fucking liberating!
As much as we can find comfort in our similarities with others and the ‘norm’, I’d really encourage you to find comfort in your own normal. It’s far less exhausting and really empowering just to listen to your gut.
I look at my friends now and I don’t see just one kind of normal. We are all so different and I cherish all the magic that comes from all the weird and the damn right wonderful.
My first born was early, my second on time and now this little heart is keeping me waiting. Is it normal for third babies to be late? Is it normal for third babies to be your most difficult labour? Who cares! I have so much faith in my body & my baby and I’m having the most special time waiting for the magic to begin.
This time now & everything to do with it is about as far from ordinary or normal as you can get in my eyes. I don’t care what’s considered to be normal or what the masses are doing or in fact if there is any normal – it’s so sacred for me as a mother and for my family and I’m treasuring it!