Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pushed and Pulled- Women's right to Choose

And I'm not talking about abortion. I believe that life starts at conception, no and if or buts about it. It is a BABY. If you got pregnant you already made your choice- you choose to have sex and that's what can happen when you make that CHOICE.

No, I'm talking about woman's right to choose what is done with her body when pregnant and giving birth. I think that we live in a country full of extremely ignorant people. Television and the media are in our home bombarding us with images of things gone wrong, we rarely hear the good stuff, and we're so busy we don't have time to dig out the good stuff. Add that to the fact that in our day-to-day life we are surrounded by horror stories- some one always has one. It's easier to just believe what's in our bubble of expierience, than open our eyes and ask if "this is it".

I'll be honest, I have my own horror story- it could have been worse- and it had a semi happy ending (baby was okay, but I have a giant scar and am now labled as a risk, for the rest of my child bearing years). . I admit I wasn't as informed and educated as I thought I was when I went into the hospital to have my daughter. I knew a lot, but what I didn't know is how your body takes over and your brain stops working when you're in labor land... You can't advocate for yourself, you're at the mercy of those caring for you.

RJ's birth left me thinking, "is this my only choice??? To be strapped to constant fetal monitoring and told when and what I can and can't do while giving birth- this it IT?!?" (because I'm a VBAC Mom my rights have been restricted so that the hospital can cover it's butt...I mean "keep me safe")

And in essence, legally, it WAS my only choice. In my state finding an alternative to a big hospital birth is nearly impossible... And if it weren't for online communities and a series of fortunate events- I would still be stuck with one choice: hospital birth.

Now, I want to preface this by saying I am not against a hospital birth. If the woman feels safer in the hospital she should absolutely choose that way to give birth. I honestly thought I would feel safer in the hospital with my daughter... I thought of maybe doing a home birth some day...But I wanted to "go through it once" before trying that route- and honestly like I said it's HARD to find some one to attend a home birth in my area of the country. So I went through it, I went through constricting regulations and protocol...When things varied from the normal route (my labor stalled) I was jabbed with an IV of pitocen, strapped to my bed so my contractions and baby could be monitored, and left to "manage my pain" laying flat in bed (yea really working with gravity to work my baby down through my pelvis...I was told that "gravity really doesn't matter" and to stay on my side, upright wasn't gonna do any good)...I knew I didn't want all THIS. I knew that gravity DID help- but when you are in that much pain, have been up all night and your body has been working HARD, you're not thinking "oh they're wrong I should tell them to leave me alone"...You're just thinking, "I want this baby out NOW!". When the pitocen was more than I could handle (Pitocen is like transition contractions times 10= HELL!!!!!!!!), I was told that I'd need an epidural- I really didn't want one but I couldn't handle any more pain and the other drugs weren't cutting it. I got the epidural and the pitocen was turned up... Which caused my baby's heart rate to become erratic which lead to an "emergency" csection.

I decided after that experience, I wanted to choose something different. I wanted to be safe at home while in labor- I wanted to let my body do what it needed to, no time crunch, no desire to get me through the process as quickly as possible. But I don't appreciate the medical community thinking that my CHOICE is dangerous and ignorant. I have done my homework, I am well aware of the risks and I have chosen to stay home to have my baby. Under the care of an expeirenced and trained hand of a home-birth midwife.

Anyway, all that to say that this interview kinda made me angry: at least at the OB

part one

part two

I appreciated this interview, it's some thing that needs a lot more attention. There are WAY too many restrictions on birth in our country. I don't have time to go into all the things I wanted to but I highly recommend the book "Pushed" it talks a lot about these things. The problems within our health care system, my husband can trace it way back in history and it all comes down to money and control... Simple changes aren't really going to do it, the problem is deep.

I just feel so frustrated that what that OB was sharing in the interview is the opinion of the majority of health professionals in our country... They are scared, they have seen things go horribly wrong. BUT what lenses are they looking through this at? Birth as a normal natural process that isn't as painful when fear isn't present? Or Birth as some thing that needs to be mangaged- and accident waiting to happen. If it's the latter than of course they are going to see more things go wrong! You get what you ask for, if you're looking for problems? You're going to get them.

I really apreciate Ricky Lakes work for women. There is so much need for education, this country needs to start seeing birth as natural and normal thing- instead of an accident waiting to happen.

I looooved this commercial- it's for a mattress in Spain.. Home birth is so normal that they are using it to sell a mattress!!!!

Here's the LINK to the commercial

Also check out The Busines Of Being Born trailer- it's a great movie, I wish all women in America could watch it.

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