One afternoon, just as I had put the kids down for a nap, my doorbell rang. I held my breath as I ran down to go see who was there and hoping they hadn’t woken the kids. It was good ol’ FedEx with a package. I opened it and there it was, “The Business of Being Born.” Excitedly, I tore off the plastic wrap and ran upstairs to put it in and watch it. I settled back on my bed and prepared myself for the worst. I expected a bunch of crunchy granola people preaching to me about the natural-ness of it all. I decided to watch with an open mind. I sat spellbound and unable to tear my focus away from the screen. I began to cry as I recognized the “system of interventions” that had been used on me in the hospital. How when I went in for my births, it was all about who? The hospital. Most importantly, I began to question EVERYTHING my obstetrician ever told me. Absolutely everything. It was like a light switch had been turned on, it was my “a-ha moment”, my turning point, whatever you wanna call it. Everything they said make sense. I was telling Momo (my mom’s mom and a huge natural childbirth and home birth advocate) that I thought I was going to have to really stretch to wrap my mind around natural childbirth, but that instead, it was like waking up and realizing it all made perfect sense. I couldn’t go back to the old way of doing things. I just couldn’t. Even if I never had another child, I decided to begin seeing a midwife for my regular well-woman care.
It is here that I must make a very important clarification and state very clearly my newly formed credo on obstetrics and childbirth.
“I believe that childbirth is a natural process, which means that unless there is a clear medical problem, it should be attended by midwives or a doctor who is sensitive to letting a woman take charge of her birth without unwarranted or unrequested interventions. Obstetricians have their place. They are surgeons and do very well taking care of the minority who must have those medical interventions for the safety of mother and/or baby. I firmly believe hospitals are not the ideal place for a low-risk birth. I am thankful truly, for the medical profession and respect how far medicine has come. However, with a c-section rate of about ten times the recommended rate, and the tendency of the Federal Drug Administration and the hospitals to fail mothers and babies by not thoroughly testing drugs before administration, something is seriously wrong with maternity care in the United States.”
The things to come in advocacy for natural childbirth and home birth apply towards those healthy low-risk pregnancies. Hospitals do exist for the minority of high-risk pregnancies or sick mothers/babies.
It angered me very much that OBs were so apathetic and almost resistant to allowing women to give birth unassisted. But the more I researched and read and watched, the more it made sense. Hospitals are a multibillion dollar business. So are insurance and drug companies. Especially in the maternity ward, where they have more control over getting you “in and out” of their beds, they are going to do it. The problem is, pregnancy is not something a woman needs to be rescued from, or healed from. It’s not a disease that needs to be treated or cut out. Let’s move past the shroud that seems to be veiled over hospital births and see it for what it really is.
In the next part, we’ll begin talking about the various interventions employed by doctors and hospitals and when and whether they are actually necessary or not.
Pregnancy update: My nausea seems to be sucking up less of my day than it used to, which makes me very happy. I’m actually feeling hungry a lot! Yay! I am also 10 weeks today. Hooray! The kids piled in my bed this morning as I showed them pictures of what the baby looks like now and they peppered me with questions. They’ve already begun talking to the baby even though they know the baby can’t hear quite yet. That should come in a just a couple more weeks. I felt a few flutters early this morning while laying on my back and an involuntary smile crept over my face. That wasn’t gas! It was baby. Such a wonderful feeling. I’m off to Sprout’s tonight for that peppermint oil and some healthy munchies for me. My midwife really stresses healthy eating, so I’ve got to step up my game.
Till Next Time,