Friday, January 22, 2010

On My Soap Box

In our society it is believed that medical intervention is needed for a 
baby to be born. That woman must be monitored and given drugs to 
speed things up or slow things down. There is a general mistrust
of birth and of the woman doing it. I believe the exact opposite, I 
am a birthing advocate, I believe in birth and I believe it is a natural
process and I believe every woman is built to do it. Not only do I feel 
this way, but its my job to feel this way. In fact, for years I have been 
saying this sentence in my prenatal classes:

"you instinctively knew how to make this baby and you will instinctively
know how to birth this baby!"

Ha! how silly was I? can you just imagine my surprise when my 
"instincts" to make a baby failed me? Can you imagine what this 
could do to the belief in your body and how it can give birth? I mean, 
If I can not trust my body to make a baby, can I trust my body to 
deliver one?

Over the last few years as a doula I have heard many "rhymes" 
spouted off by OB's to let woman know they "needed" medical
intervention for their birth. "40 at 40" is one that comes to mind, 
meaning if a woman is 40 when she she is pregnant, she will be 
induced at 40 weeks. There is no medical indication of this, but it is 
a cute rhyme. I mean, what if mom and baby are healthy at 40 weeks? 
should age really matter? 

The latest rhyme I heard was just yesterday "Intervention going in, 
intervention going out!". I nearly crawled out of my skin, I have been
repeating those words in my head for the last 24 hours. Is that what 
we as IF woman are to listen to? How could we possibly go into a 
birth with that repeating in our minds? 

So, even though my body has let me down, do I believe this rhyme?
absolutely not! how would it even be possible to study this as a 
medical fact when 90% of woman are using intervention to deliver
their babies, IF or not! It's just a rhyme, a cute rhyme, but JUST 
a rhyme. 

Yes, its hard to trust our bodies when they let us down, but eventually
we need to trust again. Even after losses and interventions and IUI's 
and IVF ext...... Eventually our body DOES take over, it accepts
the pregnancy and begins to grow fingers and toes and eyes and 
ears. Can you believe it? your body does all this work, instinctively!

It is possible for a woman who has gone through assisted reproduction 
to have the birth that they hope for (whatever that may be), I know 
this because I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen these little 
miracle babies enter the world in a calm gentle manner and I have 
seen trust begin to rebuild in a woman's body and heart. For those
of you reading this blog right now who are pregnant and hoping 
for the birth of their dreams, it is possible! It's more then possible
you can do it!

Thats it, I'll get down off my soap box now!!


  1. I think I am probably a bit in the middle (this is more of a fact of being born via c-section - my mother would never be able to give birth to me or my sister as she has fused hips) and the fact that my uterus, well it will never be pregnant or grow a child... so while I am not a huge fan of medical intervention, there are places it is needed and I am HUGELY thankful that our GS has OBs and a whole team of medical people to help our babies when the time comes.

    BUT if I was able to be pregnant myself I would probably have the midwife and doula birth in hospital thing.

    And intervention in intervention out! Holy hell! That is awful.

  2. I agree with you expectant duck!!! I am SO happy we have OB's and R.E's and all the great people that help us out when there are special circumstances! I just have a hard time hearing statements that belittle woman with no medical evidence. I am also very thankful your GS has an OB that will help bring your babies safely into the world, and SO SO grateful that science has gotten so far that a GS can exist and are able to give such an amazing priceless gift!!!

  3. OF course! I know it is no offense hun :). I think too many people are having inductions (I personally believe if the baby wants to stay in there - it has a reason - plus the whole spirit baby thing).

  4. I totally agree with this post! I think more doctors are worried about lawsuits and not willing to "waste their time" waiting for a woman to labor naturally, and from what I've heard - most doctors now have never actually seen a natural birth. They just don't trust that women can do it anymore.

  5. I would like to dream that I could have a midwife and a doula if I am ever blessed with a pregnancy. I've also dreamed of birthing my baby at home.

    After all of the medical intervention (which is little in comparison to most!) that I've experienced in the past 4 1/2 years of IF, I'm sick of doctors. I want to reclaim my body!

    Then again, I was a preemie born via c-section. I don't know if I would've survived if I was carried to term (I don't know if I will ever know since my mother is not exactly forthcoming with the details of my early birth).

  6. I really appreciate your perspective. You are spot on that just because our bodies have let us down in the past, it doesn't mean a pregnancy or positive birthing experience is out of reach. Thank you for posting this!

  7. I'm a big fan of reframing stupidity to make it less offensive. So I'd take "intervention going in, intervention goint out," as applying *exclusively* to the birthing process itself -- in other words, the "going in" means the onset of labour, not conception. I like this explanation because it validates the suspicion that the more we unnecessarily monkey around with the initiation of the birthing process, the more likely we may find ourselves ushering in unintended consequences and not-what-we-wanted conclusions. And I have to do this reframing because the other explanation -- the one you detailed in your post -- makes we want to hurl.

  8. Great post. I was talking with a friend recently whose stepdaughter was induced (at like 38 weeks. ARGH!) and ended up with a c-section because she didn't progress well. Turns out that her doctor "has all the rooms" every tuesday for scheduled inductions and that on this particular day half of her patients ended up with c-sections. 50%! I think this sort of thing happens more than I realized and I'm sure is contributing to the skyrocketing c-section rates in the US. I'm sure this doctor schedules inductions for Tuesdays because it's more convenient to her and probably the patients as well because they can then "plan" things. I wonder how many of them "plan" for recovery from major surgery.

    Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. LOL!

    Take care!

  9. Great post. My sister had a home birth and I always thought I would too. I was raised a vegetarian and to believe that for every ailment there is an herbal tea. Now that I find myself gearing up for IVF after not having the patience for natural remedies to work (still not believing they would not have ever worked, just want a child now, and don't want to use up my age-related ivf window), I still hold on to the idea of natural childbirth, if not homebirth for myself. I recently learned from a friend who did IVF that they never let IVF babies go full term. What? Why?

  10. I gave you an award! Visit my blog to find out what it is.

    Ps I have SO much empathy with you. x

  11. I just found your blog, it's great. I can't wait to hear more.a bumpy ride - p.s right there with you on the pregnancy announcements