Friday, November 23, 2007

Birth Choices

Lately it seems that everywhere I look I meet pregnant women. It seems that all of these woman are due soon and "just have" to be induced early.

Generally, I can't keep my mouth shut when I meet women who are inducing early and bragging about it. Over the last few weeks I have absolutely strained myself to keep my mouth shut when all of these pregnant woman have talked about just having to be induced early by their doctors.

Now you should know that I am very shy. So when I open my mouth at inappropriate times it tends to surprise people at first. Maybe this foot-in-mouth disease keeps me on the shy side. I'm not sure.

Does anyone out there remember that a due date is just an estimate? Generally due date fall somewhere is a four week period. That's two weeks before your due date and two weeks after.

If you are due over Thanksgiving that does not mean being induced the day before so your doctor can have a big meal with his family.

If you are "feeling big" and your last two kids weighed in the seven pound range that does not mean that you have to be induced before the baby grows too big. 99.9% of the time your body will not grow a baby that is too big for your body to handle.

These woman are playing with fire. They are playing with their babies health. They are playing with their own health. They are adding to an already over medicalized system of birth.

The infant mortality rates in the US are way up. The solution is an easy one. Take the doctors and the hospitals out of the equation for healthy women.

Countries where midwives and home births are the norm have lower rates of infant mortality and c-section rates plummet. Higher rates of early mummy and infant bonding. Mummy can take care of her baby earlier because she hasn't been cut and shot full of heavy drugs.

Personally, I had two very different births.

The Cliffs Notes version has me first pregnant with Little Girlie. I was young, working around a ton of nosey women in a school. Everyone shared their horror stories. I had no one to look-up to. I went to an OBGYN and a hospital looking for guidance. My labor looked like a three-ring circus with standing room only and nurses leaving my door open and inviting others in to see the "lady who can't push." My Girlie and I almost didn't make it through. I had a host of post-birth medical problems. Hubby and I decided to stop having children because it wasn't worth the risk.

With my Little Guy I was a little older, better connected with other mummies and much better read. I decided that if I could have a birth my way then I would try for another child. No interventions, no medications, no doctors, no hospitals. I had my son in a comfy bedroom at a freestanding birth center. I was allowed to get into a birthing tub in a dark, quiet room.

I gave birth to my 12 pound, 23 inch Little Guy peacefully in the water the way my body told me to. Within the hour I was up and around heating-up lasagna in the birth center's kitchen. Five hours after Little Guy's birth I decided that I was ready to go home.

Hubby, myself and my new Little Guy all dove home together at five hours old. The three of us slept the day away together. Never apart even for a second.

On days two and three the midwife came out to my house and visited us. Over the second week my mummy came to stay and help with my Girlie, myself and the house while I took care of Little Guy. On week three I had a postpartum doula come visit and help out for twenty hours.

Gradually I was on my own and the was OK.

To all of those pregnant woman out there, please listen to your bodies. Your mummy gave birth, your grandmummy gave birth, her mummy gave birth and their bodies all knew how to do so. Be strong and have your experience.


Ruth Dynamite said...

Stop right there.

12 POUNDS???

Unbelievable. I don't know if I'd have been so brave.

Gruppie Girl said...

And would you believe that he is a complete peanut now?

As for being brave...once I was there, there was no turning back. There was only one way out. ;)