I’ve reached the conclusion that tv shows like “A Baby Story”, “Deliver Me” and “Birth Day” should be renamed “Fear Factor” because they play on a woman’s often natural concerns about the birth by portraying the whole process as highly dramatic, with a woman strapped down and hooked up, by a doctor gowned and gloved like an alien visitor and often highlighting very anxious family members. Sure a woman has fear, fear that something is going to happen to her or the baby, fear of pain, fear of failure, that she just won’t be able to “do it.” Add in snarky, cynical nurses and doctors who ridicule anyone who seems to want to be in charge of her birth (after all we’re the experts)…limited labor support or assistance in the form of doulas…restricted mobility, lack of food and drink…and almost endless interventions and you have potential for trouble. We have cultivated an environment that this is normal, and somehow now some women even find value in being “risky.”
And here I was thinking that movies were the only mass entertainment media that did a disservice to natural birth….
This comment was overheard in an online group that I was participating in: “I should have booked my scheduled c-section date today!” WTF?
This was in reaction to the fact that her “preferred” date has been taken by another to be induced mom to be and how horrible such a tragedy is. This came from a 23 year old first time mom with zero complications and no medical reason to be induced or have a C-section. To me having an induction without a legitimate medical justification is the equivalent to evicting your own child, extremely selfish and not at all a sign of love.
And the above are just but samples of society’s distorted perception of what is normal and safe for pregnancy and birth.
And that’s why when curious minds inquire about why I’m not picking dates or seeing an OB or taking tours of a hospital, I want to quote the statement so eloquently written by the founder of the “Bring Birth Home” website:
“As soon as the standard medical model of care in hospitals today pays more respect to the sheer and awesome power of women’s bodies, we will continue to give birth at home.
Until hospital staff can completely and totally honor a woman’s wishes to birth naturally, without interruption, with or without food, able to move, able to moan, able to labor over 24 hours without hearing the words “induction or cesarean section,” we will give birth at home.
Women birth at home to avoid so many of the often unnecessary interventions that take place in hospitals today. We are not treated like customers – the nurse and doctors do not aim to please us – we are told to be quiet, we are strapped down and plugged in. We are cut, drugged and lied to.
And until that stops, we will give birth at home, under the experienced and caring hands of midwives who LOVE their jobs, love our bodies, love our children, and this big world that we’re bringing them into.”
On matters closer to Baby Fox….
While shopping at Babies R Us for somebody else I decided to look into the Rewards program that I signed up for but never use. 7 out of 8 of their rewards promotions required purchasing disposable diapers or cans of formula, yet another confirmation that I am NOT their target audience.
And Enfamil still sends me e-mail reminders to print their coupon to bring to the hospital to make sure that I get my breastfeeding kit and diaper bag when I have the baby…
Recently I received a package from my parents containing an assortment of baby clothes. As I added them to the clothes that we have already been very generously given the first thing that comes to mind is gratitude and the second thing is that this baby needs tie dye! I really need to look into ordering some tie dye shirts and onesies.
I am officially in the stage that people think I am a ticking time bomb and only my midwife seems to think that I’ll carry to term or very close to it. I am not one to place monetary bets but if other people are going to start guessing on dates when baby will come they might as well be contributing to his/her college fund.
So I am 34 weeks and baby doesn’t have a decorated or furnished nursery, the room is still our computer room and a big mess after my failed attempts at moving stuff out of it, it sucks but I don’t see it as the end of the world. It’s not like baby is going to sleep in there anytime soon. Baby doesn’t have furniture or a crib, it’s ok, we’ve got the Arm’s Reach Co Sleeper to get us started. We don’t have a changing table, we can use the bed, we don’t have a diaper bag, we can use a backpack….
This is how I feel about a lot of the stuff that we don’t have, it sure beats freaking out about it when I don’t have the savings account to go on a shopping spree for those items.
Now that I have all of the prefold diapers I had ordered in bits and pieces, I need get started soon on the process of pre-washing them along with everything else. Right now the diapers are in a pile overflowing out of a box because I don’t have anywhere else to put them, soon I hope to have cleared out enough space to improvise some shelves for them.
The nesting urge just hasn’t been there! Instead my exhaustion and fatigue waves are arriving earlier in the day and hitting me stronger.
There are some things that I do still need and can’t avoid such as a breast pump which is the big ticket item in this category. I can get an used model but it will still cost me more than I can spare right now as I just finished paying bills and shopping for father’s day and a certain father to be’s birthday.
But it’s ok, I’ll start to freak out once I hit 36 weeks….
On reasons why it rocks to have a midwife and not an OB… at our last appointment she really took the time to not only talk about the physiological aspects of pregnancy and upcoming birth but also to check in with us emotionally and discuss any fears and anxieties, we were never rushed and the appointment lasted for over an hour. I have yet to have anybody I know tell me of anything even close with an OB.
It actually reminds me of when I saw an OB last year for the miscarriage and when things bordered the emotional he said “you look like a strong woman that won’t crumble at the receipt of bad news but if you are let me know and I’ll give you a referral to a psychiatrist”, that was part of the 3 minutes I spent with the doctor at that appointment, how different right?
Another major impressive thing about our midwife, when Daddy Fox asked about what the plan would be if a hurricane comes, without hesitation she responded that if she checks me and see that I could go into labor soon she would come and stay at our house during the storm. I didn’t expect to hear that for a response, specially coming from someone with a family of her own, but apparently she has been known to drive in the middle of a hurricane when not even cops are out on the street, pissing off her husband but making sure that she was there to catch a baby. Now that is what I consider commitment to one’s calling.
From people that I know, their OB’s tell them that if a hurricane is coming that they need to check the hospital and unless they happen to be on call they wouldn’t leave their family to attend a birth. Can’t exactly blame them but in my opinion it defeats the purpose of building rapport with a provider during pregnancy just to have a stranger present at the pivotal moment.
I had the opportunity to share the final drafts of my 2 birth plans with the midwife and she was 100% cool in supporting our home birth plan. For the “in case of hospital emergency” plan she was kind enough to point out which hospital in the area would be more likely to do what and which requests had a higher chance of being ignored but she still encouraged us to leave it as is and not change any of it.
I feel so blessed to be having such great supportive and caring providers on this pregnancy and into labor. Today I had an EFT session with the practitioner that I have mentioned in previous postings and it was AMAZING! If budget allows I may end up booking another session in the next month before baby arrives. She is so good at intuitively getting the nuggets hidden in my words to discover the true emotional roots that need to be worked on and does it in such a gentle and effective way.
I was delighted to discover that she offers labor consultations at no charge to current clients! It is good to know that if I’m freaking out in the middle of labor that I can call her cellphone day or night and she will work with me on the spot. I almost feel like sessions with her should be part of standard prenatal care.
I have now booked the 36 week appointment with my primary care doctor who will also be baby’s doctor and breastfeeding support if needed beyond the scope of the La Leche League leaders. I am really looking forward to that, she’s such an amazing doctor and so different from the standard of Western Medicine even though that is what she practices.