Monday, March 17, 2008


Birth. I think about it a lot. Not only processing my own memories and what I felt went well and what didn't, but about birth in general.

For my first birth, I did everything I was supposed to do. I read books. I went to a childbirth class that was not hospital-based. I had a CNM. I had a cesarean with an epidural. Not by choice... I had every intention of not having drugs of any kind. But my inexperience, my willingness to think that my CNM knew best and my own beached whale mentality put me in that OR as surely as if I had scheduled it.

By the time I had my last birth in 2007, I was doing my own blood pressure checks, I didn't bother with weight checks and only did urine tests close to my due date. My midwife dropped by and we listened to the baby and we talked to the baby. It was fun. I finally figured out how to hear with a fetoscope... I'd been trying since my 5th baby. When I went into labor, my midwife came over and camped out with the kids. She gave me quiet suggestions occasionally, and my baby was born into my arms with hardly anyone's input at all. The biggest effort was to get up off the floor and move to the sofa.

My own journey to trust birth has encompassed a long road from that initial cesarean. I thought I trusted birth then, but really, I didn't know what it meant. I don't expect to convince every woman to birth like me. I think every woman should follow the path that makes her the most comfortable... but at the same time, I have a hard time hearing about pregnant women continuing to check into the hospital only to leave via the OR. What kind of start is that for them as mothers and for their babies' introduction to life outside the uterus?

Mothers today have more choices than they used to in most states. Where they don't have as many choices, many moms are taking things into their own hands. I think a huge movement away from the managed care system is beginning. Unassisted birth is happening frequently enough that it is becoming big news. More women are hiring midwives and staying home. So much so, that ACOG had to rush to issue a statement against the safety of homebirth after "The Business of Being Born" was released. I've seen the movie. It was difficult for me to watch, because although I knew the statistics, it was difficult to see them in print and said out loud. I think this film will get a lot of women thinking about their options.

There has been a lot of criticism about having the director's birth included, since it was a cesarean. I thought it was good to include it... not because it "balanced" the film, as I've heard, but because it showed her laboring at home, realizing that she needed more assistance, and had plenty of time to get to the hospital for the extra help.

That's my take anyway. Birth is a large part of my life. I hope that never changes. Birth is the beginning. The start of a new person. Full of potential.


Organic Birth's Fan Box

Organic Birth on Facebook