Majandra Delfino’s Blog: When Did Giving Birth Become a Competition?

05/05/2014 at 08:30 PM ET

Thanks for welcoming one of our new celebrity bloggers, the hilarious Majandra Delfino!

Best known for playing Maria DeLuca in the hit series Roswell, the actress now stars in CBS’s new show Friends with Better Lives, airing Monday nights on CBS.

In March 2011, Delfino, 33, and About a Boy‘s David Walton were married in Miami.

They are now parents to daughter Cecilia Delphine, 22 months, and son Louis Augustus, 5 months.

Delfino can be found on Twitter @MajandraD.

Majandra Delfino Blog
Zoe, Brooklyn and me out to dinner just before Louis was born. My girls brought me food from this restaurant (my favorite) at the hospital when I was recovering. They are the best friends ever. – Courtesy Majandra Delfino

Hello everybody! Welcome back. I am having a lot of fun writing these baby blogs I must admit. My goal is to have a point of view girls can read when they too are dealing with their pregnancy or baby issues/realizations/holy s— moments.

I think we all work so hard to plan a family and be well rounded for our family (both before, during and after) — all the while knowing that we are so lucky to have the privilege of being a mother — that you just move forward with it all expecting the world to be on board. I certainly did.

So you can imagine most of our shock when you encounter some very strange reactions as you go along, while trying with all your might to tune out the noise and accomplish what you set out to do.

From the weird things people say when you’re pregnant, to the s— they say now, it never ceases to amaze or make you question your choices — and that’s the last thing you need at a time that requires your brain power and undivided attention. Seems like someone always has an opinion and it’s shocked me how more often than not, it’s one that seems to be a not very supportive one. So hopefully you can find support here.

Last blog we learned that you should feel super beautiful and super excited when you’re pregnant with either a boy or a girl (duh). Now this blog will take you on another little journey with me that bowled me over as it happened.

The how-you-give-birth journey.

Oh yes, we all have our visions, fears, hopes and denials when it comes to planning how you’re going to give birth. And then we all have the light-bulb moment as you’re having a contraction that it’s actually all a very animal, uncontrollable, she’s-coming-whether-you’re-ready-or-not reality.

But here’s the oh-so awesome but … There. Are. People. Who. Will. Poopoo. How. You. Did. It.

Not kidding you.

There are people out there so high on themselves, so incredibly insecure about what virtues they have of their own, that they will cling to their birth story as if it was a medal with the inscription “I am better than you.”

Majandra Delfino Blog
Louis taking it easy. Like he should. – Courtesy Majandra Delfino

With my first kid, I went into labor on my due date which apparently never happens. And, strangely, I went from zero Centimeters dilated to seven in a mere 45 minutes — another occurrence that, with your first, barely ever happens.

Needless to say, the ride from my apartment to the hospital was not what I’d imagined. I had hired a doula and was planning on laboring at home with candles and s—. I even thought I’d cuddle with my dog and let her comfort me as I slowly worked through minor contractions.

But images of my husband and I wading in the tub while my Pekingese watched were soon dashed as it became very clear that our baby was coming A.S.A.P.

As my contractions started to narrow down to one minute apart, we bum rushed the hospital doors and tried our best to calmly ask for a nurse. What we got was a couple nurses who assumed I was being dramatic, it being my first pregnancy and all. What they soon discovered was that it was close to pushing time, which was followed by a look of mad respect.

I was crushing it in the whole “Hear Me Roar” fantasy even if I wasn’t on a sheepskin rug rubbing my belly with chakra-awakening oils. But the pain on my left side was telling me another story.

As the nurses and my doctor were cheering me on, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was really F—– up so I screamed for an epidural (which took foreeeever) and suddenly, thanks to that magical whale-sized needle in my back, I felt the pain go away.

Within minutes though, it was back. My entire lower body was asleep but my left side was killing me still. It was very strange. Still, clinging to the need to be super L.A. and not listen to my body for fear of being robbed of my humble-brag delivery, I ignored my instinct and pushed.

For five hours.

My doctor, who’s been seeing me since I was 18 and is known for his low cesarean delivery percentage, kept looking at me strangely and I could just tell that something was wrong.

Majandra Delfino Blog
Cecilia contemplating the television set. – Courtesy Majandra Delfino

Finally, after trying in vain, it seemed the only way we could deliver my daughter safely was to do a c-section. After all the pain and intensely fast labor, I finally started to actually shed tears when I learned this would be the outcome. I felt like I was letting everyone down, like a total a-hole for not being able to “do what my body is supposed to do” and every other emotion tied into feelings of failure.

Upon seeing my disappointment, my husband, God bless him, asked the doctor “but what would happen to her if we didn’t have that option, like if this was the medieval times?” (a Game of Thrones induced thought I’m sure of it) to which my doctor replied: “Mother and baby would die.”

Ding ding ding! Thank you!!! He was absolutely right. My daughter was so stuck in my left pelvis that I was only making it worse by insisting on pushing and had I continued, the consequences would have only been bad ones. Even still she came out with a severely misshapen right side of the head followed by a clock-work high pitched shriek every time we’d try to put a hat on her. Till this day, 22 months later, my left hip hurts when it rains and our daughter refuses to wear hats.

And when I see that, when I learn of the history of complications in childbirth, when I hear horror stories of mothers who insist on pushing even though their instincts told them not to, I realize that I was right in letting myself be cut open. That I’m not some statistic of Too-Posh-To-Push — and I even realized that if you are a person who opted for a C-section from the beginning, good for you too. It’s your body, it’s your vagina, it’s your kid.

There are no right and wrong ways to do this. My kid was 9 pounds and 3 ounces with a massive head. My doctor literally recoiled when he saw how big her head was. So what do you want from me? My mom pushed out two massive kids and almost bled out. My childhood friend insisted on pushing out her second kid, despite her doctors warnings, and had to get an emergency hysterectomy at 27. S— happens! And it’s our right to decide how we want to roll with it.

No breathing technique, candle-lighting, kale eating or eagle woman chanting would have built my daughter and I differently. I couldn’t shrink my child’s head down from a 99 percentile no more than I could meditate/eat/stroke my ego into thinking I could control the color of her eyes. But I watch women insinuate that so many f—ing times to those who met an unfavorable birthing story.

I even witnessed one of their husbands piously tell a story about a child suffering a major injury due to being born with its cord around its neck, as if that fate could never befall his incredibly know-it-all wife. Isn’t the whole point to just have a healthy baby? Aren’t there enough problems?

Majandra Delfino Blog
Me sending Zoe and Brooklyn some iPhone love a few months after Louis was born. – Courtesy Majandra Delfino

Listen, if you can stay home and push out your baby with no problem and do some crocheting directly after, then good for you. You were one of those people that would have survived childbirth back in the “medieval times” and that’s awesome.

But please don’t treat me like I should apologize for living because I may not have been … thank God for modern medicine and thank God for these bodies that someway and somehow get the job done and recuperate at lightening speed to just deal and nurse and care for our child. Isn’t that so wonderful? Can’t we talk about that??

At the end of the day whatever we do to get them here is hard work and an absolute blessing no matter what. Don’t you think???

– Majandra Delfino

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Showing 53 comments

grandma on

best. celebrity mom blog. ever.

Alissa on

This is so true. Women are competitive about childbirth nowadays. Before epidurals and c-sections, all women went through the same hell and several died. And then babies died from childhood diseases. So there was real drama and women didn’t have time to create some make believe drama up like 6 year old girls playing house. I agree…never apologize for your birth experience, your baby raising experience or your mothering style. Don’t change for others, just get away from them.

Alexis on

I agree, grandma! Love it!

Colleen on

Love her blog!

SLW on

Oh how I LOVE this and I completely agree. I had a c-section and I hate the looks/comments I get from natural birthing moms. I wanted a natural birth and prepared for one in every way possible, but as you said sh*t happens! The important thing is my beautiful babies are here and healthy and have a mom to care for them :).

Marky on

Thank you for the most brilliant, common sense blog in a long time! So tired of the self-righteous, holier than thou twits who think every baby can be born at home, and mom can jump up and do whatever 15 minutes later. I had no problems having my babies, was up and at ‘em and hour later, and no issues at all, BUT I’ve known women who had a different experience, and why should they feel badly about that, as long as their child is okay. Every woman who has a baby should be fine with how that baby came; so should everyone else!!

Bobbie on

This blog is so entertaining. Well written. Full of truth and empowering me as a young pregnant-for-the-first-time woman. I also hope for a natural (maybe with epidural) quick and smooth delivery but of course if mine or baby’s safety is in danger I will do what it takes to get us both done with this process the best possible way for us.

Mommytoane on

Great blog! Thank you. Its refreshing to see someone tell others to back off on their opinions. Childbirth is a unique, wonderful, scary, and crazy thing. No two people have the same story, no two births are exactly the same.

If it wasn’t for c-sections my mom and I wouldn’t be here. I was wrapped in the cord to a point where the doctor actually started laughing. He had never seen a baby so wrapped up and still tells the story about the cord wrapped baby.

Childbirth shouldn’t be judged. Parenting shouldn’t be judged. What is right for one isn’t right for the other. It is sooo refreshing to see someone else share that opinion. :) Kudos to you!

kylie on

my situation during my daughters birth was exactly the same! afterwards i had to endure so many stupid comments about how the doctors screwed up my birth-experience, how i would all have ended naturally if i had consulted a widwife… THANK YOU majandra for your amazing blog and your honest and empowering words, what you write is SO true!! thanks to modern medicine we and our kids are alive and healthy, i would never ever trade that for a ‘natural birth experience’!

KL on

Give this girl a book deal. I cannot stop laughing! She is a fantastic writer, and I so enjoy the subjects she chooses to discuss.

Jaime on

Honest!! Awesome…….thank you thank you

Gina on

Wonderful blog!I had emergency c-sections with both my babies due to pre-eclampsia and some people still treated me as though I should feel bad for not delivering naturally!!! Thank you so much for pointing out (although it should be obvious to everyone)that the most important thing is the outcome, a healthy baby and mother!

natasha on

I love this! Thank you so much.

Raini on

Amen sista! I’m loving your blog b/c you say what so many of us feel, thank you. I agree, you should write a book b/c you crack me up!

Brooke on

Majandra, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this incredibly true blog! I went through a very similar situation with my daughter. Despite the harrowing and miraculous nature of my C-section, I still get comments like “Doctors are so quick to just do C-sections these days, aren’t they?”

Cat on

My GOD I loved this. I can so relate too. I had a natural – though unplanned – and VERY fast delivery with my first so I know how the zero to 10 really fast feels. I also understand feeling like you’ve failed having a C-section as I had to with my second. I got so frustrated when people made me feel like I was doing something wrong because my pregnancy wasn’t like theirs. And I still do when people make others feel like that. It’s about healthy Mom’s and babies. Not who does it better! Go Majandra for making that so very very clear in such a heartfelt and amusing way.

Sarah on

I.LOVE.THIS. It is absolutely amazing that even in today’s modern age, there is so much mom hate. First, it is natural childbirth vs. epidurals. Then breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding, then co-sleeping. Can’t we all just realize that we are moms. Kick butt, amazing, don’t get enough sleep, moms. Every woman deserves to make their own choices regarding their body and their baby and sometimes, things don’t work out as planned. I planned on natural until I was days late and had to be induced (ick!) and 40 hours later I had an almost 10lb baby boy. As long as all of our choices lead to the same result (a healthy, happy baby and mom) then why the heck does it matter? Best blog ever.

Angie on

Honest and great. Kudo to you!

Maria Jose on

Venezolana tenia que ser! Perfectly written…your kids are beautiful!

Katy on

I love your blogs!! You keep it so real. I hope you keep them up! Thank God for modern medicine, healthy babies, and witty husbands ;-)

Sarah on

Oh, how do I love you. I have never gotten why people want to make it a competition. The goal is a healthy baby and Mom. My first two were delivered ”naturally” and my third was an emergency section. Guess what. The outcome was the same. A kid was born. The end. I don’t and will never understand why some women act superior for having vaginal deliveries.

robinepowell on

I’m glad Majandra did a C-section in the end with her daughter. I’m just curious as to whether she had a C-section the second time around or not.

Meme on

Well stated! Awesome blog.

Cate on

I went through the same experience with my first also.

Thank you for writing this! Very well written and I think you should write a book about this!

Carmen on

When I went through my doula training my instructor said, “The only way it’s not natural birth is if the baby comes out of your nostril.” It got a good belly laugh from all of us and her class of expectant parents. Even in an alternative birthing scene, we’re trained that sometimes interventions are needed. I know of one mom who was failing to progress until she got an epidural. Another mom who thought she was having false contractions and ended up at the hospital already at 8cm. At the end of the day, we have to support each other and not try to judge other ppl’s decisions. What’s right for one might not be right for another. Simple as that. Thank you for being so real.

Pam on

Love this blog, it’s so real. I had a very difficult labor and my baby boy was born 3.5 weeks early so there were some complications. It didn’t go as I had planned lol, it probably never does. I didn’t have a c-section but I had to be induced twice after waiting 12 hrs for labor to naturally start. It turns out I had a sacrum injury from the pregnancy so I was in excruating back pain, so I got the epidural, even though I’d planned not to. The epidural ending up not working because of the sacrum injury and so I felt everything, the excruciating back pain and all. The whole process was about a 2 day ordeal which left my son open to possible infections. It was the nightmare experience that I was so afraid would happen, but after 6 days in the hospital and many tests and labs and tons of healing breast milk my son was perfectly healthy and we got to go home. It was a blessing to finally have our boy home and to know he was ok and to get some rest, we barely slept in those 6 days. Now he is almost 6 months old and is extremely happy and healthy. I’d go through it all again for him, but I must admit that experience left me terrified of childbirth. I’ve always been afraid of c-sections but I’ve had friends who opted for them immediately and were so happy they did. So maybe if I have another child I will do the same.

B on

Yes yes YES SWISS I just blogged about this too. I agree so much. Moms supporting moms – yay!!
Click on my name above or Google “hysterically ever after” to read my blog!

Nilly on

Nicely done, good job!!

Nicole on

amen. majandra delfino. amen. and thank you!

Tay on

Great post, loved reading it!

Anonymous on

I had the “perfect” labour; natural labour, my husband by my side, and no drugs. And you know what difference it made? Nothing. I can’t stand people who look down or judge those who use drugs during labour; the ONLY thing that matters is that the baby and the mother are healthy. Nothing else matters. We need to support each other as women!

Mandi on

Love this!! I had an unplanned C-section with my first after a 32 hour failed induction & a scheduled C-section with my 2nd when I had planned for a VBAC. Both times, my girls weren’t in the correct position & labor stalled with the first & didn’t even start with the 2nd. I went through the emotions of my body failing to do what it’s supposed to & it was devastating. However, both of my girls are here & healthy. That’s all I can ask for.

kawanee on

This is wonderful.

When it came time for me to deliver my son (he’s now 3 years old) I had hoped to be able to give birth naturally. I had gestational diabetes so they didn’t let me go too far past my due date. I was given the gel on the evening of March 17 and officially induced bright and early on the morning of March 18. You’d think it would go smoothly, right? Nope.

My body did not want to do what it was supposed to do. I was either contracting CONSTANTLY with no breaks, or the contractions were six minutes apart. No matter what they did, the contractions would not get regular, period. By the evening after suffering through most of the day, being given morphine around supper time when they told me I was 4 cm (I wasn’t) and throwing my guts up, I was pretty much done. Added to the fact that my son’s heart rate dropped drastically twice in 15 minutes around supper time (and being told “oh he just moved, that’s all”…sure…), my mommy instincts were telling me something was wrong. So I followed my gut and when my OB came to check me around 9-9:30 pm, and I heard him telling my mom and my husband that he could either do a c-section that night or let me labor all night and likely end up doing one in the morning…I got his attention. I told him I was done and that I wanted him to the surgery.

Best choice I could have made. My son was blue, he had been stuck in my pelvis, and there was no way his huge head and 9 lb 5 oz body was coming out of me naturally. He would have died, and I likely would have as well, had we gone the route of “procedure” which dictated that the doctor let me labor all night before doing the c-section.

I had a nurse talk to me the next day and she asked if I felt disappointed or like I’d let anyone down because I didn’t have my son naturally. My answer was simple: “Nope. I chose to do what was in the best interest of my son’s health and my health. Why on EARTH would I ever feel bad about that?”

Janie on

Yes! I love this so much. I felt so much guilt and sadness after a c-section with my first – feeling, illogically,like I had failed my first test of motherhood. It is not a competition. This kind of thing needs to be talked about more.

Anonymous on

Thank you for this blog! I had health issues and had to be induced and feel that people were judging me because I didn’t go into labor “naturally”. I also ended up with an unplanned c-section because my son was stuck, again the judging eyes. I am so glad that there is a celebrity out there who is not spouting how perfect and their birth experience was all hearts and flowers and rainbows. The healthy baby is all that matters no matter how they arrive!

Dreadlocked Momma on

Awesome! I totally loved this post!

becca on

Yes! This is great. Sounds silly but mothers are people in general are so spiteful and nasty at times. Let’s just celebrate the birth and who cares about how they got here! My daughter was also big (9 lbs 2 ounces, an ounce smaller than yours) and I tried and tried to dilate but she was TOO BIG. That’s a good thing! I, also, had a C-section and while the healing was VERY painful and sucked, she’s here, she’s healthy and I love her to death.

Thanks for spelling it out so bluntly, people need to see that!

G on

Would she have had this same point of view if she’d delivered naturally? Or would she have written a glowing post about her perfect delivery and perfect everything? Then, go on ad nauseum about how strongly she recommend other women try their best to follow suit? I hope not. I hope she’d have been this respectful of choices no matter what.

JW on

As a labor and delivery nurse, I can tell you one TRUTH about the birthing process…the woman that delivers vaginally without medications doesn’t get anything special for her effort. We don’t hand out trophies, ribbons, plaques, or make special announcements over the hospital overhead system. She gets to take home a baby. Just like the mom that had a C-section. This whole birth competition thing has to end. The only thing it inspires is woman-to-woman hatred and a huge number of eye rolls.

justme on

Ok. I never heard of her before. But I LOVE her. More of her please!!!

Anonymous on

Never heard of her before, great post though.

Jenn on

Hey, chick. Big head, big brain. ;-) Love those photos of the two kids. Especially the one of Cecilia and the tv. She looks so serious!

Jenn on

Repy to “G” – Nope. She would have spoken about the child’s birth but she would have still been no nonsense about it and everything else. Same attitude no matter how her daughter came about. Able to speak with her a couple of times back when she was on Roswell and they filmed in Covina. She is exactly how she writes this blog. Straightforward and truthful. :-)

Momtothreeboyz on

As I tell my boys when they say everyone is doing it or everyone has it, my response is always what works for some families or people doesn’t work for all. This is what I feel works for us! We are not everyone.

sara on

Yes, but you are doing the very same mistake, by assuming that every mother can nurse, not true.

“thank God for these bodies that someway and somehow get the job done and recuperate at lightening speed to just deal and nurse and care for our child. Isn’t that so wonderful? Can’t we talk about that??”

sara on

Good post until the end: you are doing the very same mistake you are complaining about, by assuming that every mother can nurse, not true.

“thank God for these bodies that someway and somehow get the job done and recuperate at lightening speed to just deal and nurse and care for our child. Isn’t that so wonderful? Can’t we talk about that??”

Lisa on

Amazing blog! Thank you for a dose of reality!!

I have had two sweet boys. Neither of them went according to the birth plan I had laid out. The first was breech, and had to be delivered via c-section. The second came spontaneously 6 weeks premature, sans any type of comfort or medication. But both are beautiful, and both are healthy, and they are the absolute loves of my life.

Point being, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes, even the best laid plan has to be changed at the last minute for unforeseen reasons. Instead of focusing on the means of arrival, we should focus on the beauty of the miracle welcomed into the world.

Mason on

Yay!!! I love her honesty and humor. I’m so tired of the competition and righteousness and judgmental behavior. My first child was ginormous and I heard so many comments about how it was wrong of me to NOT have a c-section. haha!!! When I hear other women talk about their children’s births or how they parent in a “I can’t believe anyone would do something differently than the way I do things” sort of way, I just smile and think…”I should go shoe shopping!”

Galen on

I am an OB/GYN nurse, and I can’t tell you the number of times women have been determined come hell or high water to follow their birth plans. Sometimes it happened, other times not so much. As with breast-feeding- the goal is to bring home a healthy baby AND mom. PERIOD

timsarmywifey on

I’m glad you have a wonderful beautiful child! But — snarky much? I mean really the title of this post is all about you making it just that! Midwifery is not “medieval” and those of us who successfully homebirth or hospital birth with a doula or midwife or *gasp* VBAC are not ignorant or making things a competition. These rules were in your own head! Check out the maternal death rates of docs vs midwifes and then go from there …. Again congrats on your new wee one but get off your high horse.

Aimee on

So much truth! Love this!

PETRA BANTUM on

Awesome. Awesome! AWESOME. LOVE THIS. Baby and mom alive = GOOD STUFF period.

Chellie on

I usually hate celebrity blogs and never read them. But this one here is AMAZING. Women tend to compare birth stories like it makes them a better mother, a better woman, to have had a “natural” birth. You don’t get a medal or a cookie or first place, you get a baby. The bragging rights come later when your baby is more amazing than all the others. :)

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