Friday, May 15, 2009

Follow up on birthing babies

This is me on a quilt my great grandmother made. <3>

Hello All!

I promised a follow up on what I think after watching The Business of Being Born so here goes...

Keep in mind that this is a dialogue about my response to having seen a film. I am in no way judging your birth experience or telling you that my opinions are the "right" ones but I do want you to 1. see the film and then 2. does it change the way you view your birth experience? And if you had it to do again, would you then do it differently? So before you feel your stomach tighten with defensiveness and want to argue with me, see the movie and then I am all ears sisters!

Put simply, this movie put to words things that I intuitively knew in my body and it changed my life.

You all know by now that I had surgery to remove scar tissue from my trachea in March a year ago. What you might not know is that I was told that having children after that would be somewhat of a gamble. There was research evidence and some cases where the scar tissues comes back due to the hormones produced during labor. I was advised by one doctor to absolutely have a C-section. I WAS TERRIFIED! What kind of mom could I be if having a baby would make me sick again? Umm yeah I would not want to be that kid having a mom who couldn't breathe and was pissed at me for making her that way again. That would suck. Definitely worst case there.

So I put all that information out of my head and worked on healing me. We weren't having the baby conversation at that time anyway so it was just one more piece of info gathered on the trail to wellness. As we started the baby conversation I looked up several of my tracheal stenosis help group friends and asked for stories about baby after tracheal resection. The result was overwhelmingly healthy mammas and healthy kids with only very few problems. Of the women who had problems their cases were nothing like mine and I was left feeling a little better. I talked with my surgeon and he assured me that I could have a baby by any means (vaginal or C-section) and that I was considered perfectly healthy with a healthy airway. No worries, have a baby, you're set to go.

Back up a bit to the pre baby talk, pre info gathering stage and I'm sitting at my friend Jennifer's house getting loved on by Olive the super pup and she says to me without my ever having mentioned anything to her... "why are you afraid to have a baby?" I was like WHAT? Does it show? So we proceed to have a conversation that changed me and she recommends that I see The Business of Being Born. It was almost a year later that I'd see the film but that day is very clear in my mind and one day my child will have Jennifer to thank for a great deal. Jennifer you are wise beyond your years, but you already know that. I love you and you are a gift in my life, but you already know that too. ; )

Seeing the film was one of those planets aligned kind of moments and that I was able to watch it with Kayla the first time made all the difference. It was one jaw dropping moment and conversation after another followed but a good hour of looking up more birth videos on You Tube (I don't recommend doing that) and getting prices on birthing tubs (surprisingly inexpensive and Cliff jokes that we'd keep it and the kids could swim in it later! Can't you just hear it now, "mom can we blow up my birthing tub, I want to go swimming with the neighbor!" Oh my goodness as if we don't laugh enough in this household already).

I am no longer terrified. I am not even remotely afraid. I know that it will all work out as it should and when it should. I believe that the medical industry is interested in facilitating quick turnover in the name of profit. Their sole interest is not the health and well being of moms and babies. By default they can't think that way, it doesn't keep the lights on. I believe that women are being made to think that we are not equipped to have babies on our own. That we need interventions like pitocin to speed things up (and maybe sometimes we do but NOT as often as they are using it).

I talked with Jennifer again yesterday and we chatted about the film some more and the way it changes you. She shared a story with me that one of her clients shared with her. This women (let's call her Joy) was in labor at the hospital. The doctor (let's call her Bertha, lol it's my story and I will call her what I want and Bertha seems fitting) enters the room and sees Joy laboring on all fours and immediately says "this is not going to work for me, I have a bad back." HOLD THE PHONE! Bertha wants Joy flat on her back strapped to the table in agony for the sake of her back! Umm she's now the one in labor here. The mamma should get to be in any position that feels best at that moment. I don't give two shits about Bertha's back pain. So from there the baby is born and it is taking some time for the placenta to deliver. 1o, 12, 15 minutes in Bertha looks at the nurse and says, "let's start her on pitt." Joy says- what? That is not in my birth plan, we are not doing pitocin to deliver the placenta any faster, can you let my body do what it is supposed to do!?!"

I know that not all stories are horror stories but my point in sharing this with you is this - - having a baby in a hospital is largely time restrictive. Docs want to get home for dinner and hospitals want to be efficient. We are no longer listening to the body. Period. We are discounting the natural process of things.

I don't think it is too much to ask for a natural birth, to allow your body to do what it needs to do in the time it needs to do it. Watching this film I felt so grateful that my mom!

Gosh I know how this all comes across. It sounds very granola, very hippie earth loving let's all squat down and have a baby. There were so many moving parts to this film and I could go through line but line but the big point is that for me today, knowing what I know and standing in the truths that I feel in my body I will absolutely have a natural childbirth without medical intervention if at all possible. If I need help, I'll get it. If I need a C-section, I will have it. BUT as a women, my body knows what it's doing and I plan to honor that. ps- Kayla could you please remind me of how strongly we felt when I am dying in painful agony one day?! Could you please remember to be funny in that moment?!

I think it's actually fun that you've seen my evolution since this posting. The conversations and discovery that have taken place since that posting have changed me life!

Thanks for reading, you are a trooper if you got all the way to the end. I changed a few fonts along the way and made some words bigger to keep your eye interested in reading on. LOL Hope it helped. XO


Marizee said...

Claro! You know I'll totally be funny!! The funniest times seem to always be when we're miserable and making fun of ourselves.

I think you know how I feel on the topic but its great to read your post too. If anything, that Ricki Lake knows how to make one hell of a convincing movie. Maybe we should hire her to sell cliff's strap!!

Love you. Miss you so much.

kelli said...

My sister recently had a great home birth of her third child. She had the first two naturally but in the hospital (barely made it there with #2)
She recommended this film as well but I have to admit I haven't watched it yet.

I had a not-so-wonderful hospital experience with #1 (doctors in training, too many rude nurses, pitocin, first baby cluelessness...), a wonderful experience with #2 (no one in the room but me and hubby, a sweet nurse and awesome midwife), and then a middle of the road experience with #3 (they didn't think I was really in labor -walked the halls for 8 hrs to prove it then finally got a room and had the baby REALLY fast -they felt guilty about making me wait - But the delivery doctor was hilarious and fun and the nurse very sweet and helpful so the actual birth was amazing and perfect in the end)

OK -thats a whole lotta rambling for one little comment box. Sorry.

All that to say each experience has been different and looking back there are things I would do again and things I'd change...but the important thing is, I have three healthy babies and three amazing memories!

Looking forward to future installments of the Lacy baby adventure...:)

Jennifer said...

i LOVED your whole blog! you already know my opinions on this topic, but thanks for putting the right words to it, well done! and i am so glad that i could be a catalyst to such a great movement and change in your life. you know i'll be rubbing your back while your in your birthing tub and trying to convince you that you actually wanted to do this! drug free! much love to my sweet lacy XO

Tammie said...

I saw the movie a long time ago, and it did not change any of my views about my birth experiences. Joshua was facing the wrong way and broke my tailbone on his way out with his big head, and I got no drugs. :( (Every year when he starts asking for B-Day gifts I remind him.) With Bryce, I had the same back pain as I did the first time until the wonderful epidural. (I could have done it without the meds, but I truly did not want to.) He was NOT facing the wrong way but I still had back labor. I could not focus on pushing except while laying on my back with nobody touching my legs. (They want to hold your legs in the natural birthing center.) On the other hand....women in the entertainment world (and many others) like Cindy Crawford, and Ricki Lake do the home or tub birthing and talk about how magical and spiritual it is. (I didn't even want to watch my own progress with the giant rolling mirror they offered.) When a woman makes a birthing plan, she needs to keep in mind that she will not be in control of the situation, her body will. she has to be prepared to accept a change in plans. If having babies was unbearably painful, there would not be so many people on this planet. Babies have been around longer than both doctors and drugs. (But thanks for the epidural anyway.) ;)

Mary said...

Haven't seen the movie and I don't have an opinion one way or the other. Whatever works for you chick-a-dee. Ideally, I think any women would rather go from prego to "awww.. isn't he/she cute" without any pain. Birthing is painful. So, again..whatever works for you.