|Photo taken by Brenda Schaefer Photography of our fourth son Cohen :)|
I have spent the last several months of my pregnancy watching youtube birth videos. Why? Because I feel it helps me prapare and bolster emotionally for repeating the journey of birth, also because it gives me the courage and even the desire to give birth again when I see other women's beautiful birth stories unfold. However, this is where my crazy opinions on the world and how its inhabitants arrive here explode into a blog worthy rant.
Why, have hospitals and society in general decided to rob women of this beauty? To strip them of their strengths and feast on their weaknesses? To shove medical text books and unnatural fears where they were never intended to be? There are few things that make me truly angry, but this subject is a top qualifier. I am not angry at the women who have been blind folded and practically led to the tune of the pied piper into these staged, intervened upon, and sometimes even violent births. I am angry at the educated, who turn a blind eye deliberately, who mislead and lie encouragingly, to these last few generations of women. I am angry at those who remain ignorant on purpose, who have no desire to see what other options might be out there, who are so fearful of change that they force the old and dead upon the new eras of strong and vibrant women. I believe strongly in the strength of a woman. I believe that most women can bring her children into the world without fear, intervention, or a Doctor at all.
Now- let's pause there to clarify a little. I did not say all doctors were evil, I did not say they didn't serve a purpose. What I mean, is that they have no every day purpose in child birth. At least not without some serious retraining. Doctors are trained as surgeons, and unfortunately that lends them surgical sight, seeing many situations that didn't require surgery or intervention as a place to do so anyway because it made the situation beneficial or easier for them. I cannot even count how many women I know who were induced because their delivery time range was going to cut into the doctors vacation time. Or because the doctor was "concerned" about some inane detail, acting like an excited detective discovering a meaningless clue that allowed them a warrant to do what they really wanted to. Cesareans performed because the labor was lapsing past the indicated time of the doctors level of trained comfort, or was going to cut to closely into a shift change. One of my own deliveries was rushed into happening because they had decided they had the proper staff on hand and therefore broke my water and began the pitocin. The end result was fine, but it's a bad foggy memory for me. The mandatory epidural I received was botched at best, and what should have been a quick smooth delivery was drawn out and long thanks to intervention. And I still didn't deliver in time before shift change so they were under staffed after all!
I feel like I have been blessed with a broad expanse of experiences practically covering the whole gamut of child birth. My first pregnancy was delivered in a hospital by nurse midwife practitioners who had hospital privileges. Which was mostly an average hospital delivery, as I was able to scream for an epidural, even though it was too late and therefore denied, I had an IV, and was induced two weeks early for no great reason. I forgive myself of all of this now because I was just freshly 18 years old and highly uneducated on...well, everything. My second pregnancy, being a twin delivery, was at yet another hospital and delivered by an OB since there were no midwives who had the proper insurance to take me for any other birth option since twins automatically made me "high risk". I actually went to multiple different doctors until I landed on one that didn't want to immediately just do a cesarean. Stranger yet, this doctor turned out to be local to me, compared to the specialists I had been interviewing two hours away from where I lived at the time. The pregnancy and eventually the delivery were still filled with people with medical degrees trying to scare me to death , threaten me with unnecessary bed rest, and give me night mares about the horrors of premature babies, and the loss of one or the other twin. However, in the end, even though I delivered in the operating room, Betadine and hair net prepped, and a full staff hovering over me scalpels in hand, I escaped c-section free and with two very alive happy and pink babies. That though, I firmly believe is thanks to God looking out for us, certainly not my doing as they had me drugged to the max! They are now five and have no lifelong physical or emotional scarring. My third pregnancy was my first wholly natural home birth. I found a midwife I loved, and gave birth to a great big full term baby in my own bath tub at home. Finally! I had found my inner power and strength! My fourth pregnancy, and now this current pregnancy were and are also with the same midwife, and were and will be delivered in her fabulous jetted tub she has at her birth center. (The jets really do make all the difference)
I don't for one second think that women who deliver at hospitals are lesser for their choice. I don't belittle or begrudge other Mothers for going where they feel safest. That is not where this article is headed. What I am trying to loudly proclaim from my soap box is, women need to be handed back the power WHEREVER they choose to birth. If that is in a hospital, then I'd like to see more birth story videos posted with women being listened to, hands being kept off of her when she's working hard, IVs and drugs being left behind unless truly needed or desired. I'd like to see more birth support teams, professional, family, and friends alike being more educated on what they're witnessing, and not shushing the Mom to be when she's vocalizing her birth pains, ordering her to speed up or slow down, or giving her an unneeded sense of panic. Women know instinctively how to birth without help. I want birth to be handed back to who it's always belonged to- Mom, baby, and God. Everyone else should only be there should a true emergency occur, and to help the Mother and baby achieve comfort and serenity in the birth they are looking for. Perhaps then we could see America's ridiculous c-section rate drop, and in so doing the professional level of care takers could truly take charge in seeing the correlation between unnecessary intervention and c-section, and ending it where it started. Yes, in most cases, Mom and baby turn out fine no matter how and where the delivery occurs, but is that something to strive for? Fine? OK? That sounds along the same lines as WHATEVER to me.
This Mama is out~ Most likely to go to bed, or at least put these crazy swollen feet up!
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