Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Other things I've learned recently

Beware all you squeamish types out there, this has to do with actually human body functions that tend to gross out the uninitiated so reader beware.
I've been reading a lot about Childbirth lately and there's a lot out there that's a lot different than what you'd see on Discovery health channel or TLC. I'm mad about it quite frankly. Not that DHC or TLC have any responsibility to me to educate me on childbirth. I'm angry that so many women are so uneducated about what there bodies are capable of.
I am not totally anti-doctor. I know many people who are but I am not inherently one of them. My wild one (2 and a half now) has been vaccinated, takes medicine when she has a cold and I don't hesitate to call our pediatrician when she's running a nasty fever at 2am. However, when it comes to any health issue, especially something as life altering as childbirth, I firmly believe it is up to the patient to know what the heck is going on and not rely solely on the Doctors advise. Doctors are people, fallible people. They do not know everything and they do not know everything about my body.
The experience of birthing a baby is far more than a medical event. It is a spiritual and emotional event on par with your wedding, graduation and every major life event all rolled into one. You are responsible for eveyrthing that happens to that child up to that point. They are in you and are your sole responsibility. Then, as the natural process happens, they become their own person, right in front of your eyes. Suddenly you don't do everything for them. They start taking over some functions that you previously did for them. It's all a metaphore for the journey of parenthood in genral. Through struggle comes further independence. The sooner a parent learns that lesson, the more adaptable they are to the challenges of parenthood.
When the doctors come in and interrupt the process by telling you that your body isn't big enough to pass the baby that you made, it isn't competent to handle the struggle of labor, it isn't strong enough to push the baby out and they have to come in and "help" with a vaccuum or forceps; they take away that lesson from you, they take away the experience and they take away the power that comes with that.
If Doctors instead told women that they were big/compenent/strong enough to handle the process that eveolution has prepared us for then maybe women wouldn't be so terrified of the things their body do. Maybe they wouldn't be so scared of the natural process and maybe they would be able to relax and let it happen instead of trying to fight against what their body is supposed to do.
What we ultimatly take away from women with all these interventions that have become so rampant with birth is the power that is inheritantly ours. The one thing that only women can do is give birth. It is ours alone. If your doctor is pressuring you to take steps to "help your body out" or making you doubt your own capabilities, go find yourself a good midwife and trust that your body knows what to do.
Yes, birth is an intense and sometimes painful (that's right I said sometimes, not all women experience pain in birth. Some even get off on it, literally) experience. However, it is what our bodies are built for. We are the product of millions of years of evolution of the female system. We are the most advanced baby-having machines out there, don't let anyone take that away from you.

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