Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Okay, now I'm peeved

Why, in any article advocating "natural" childbirth or anything like it, do they have to attack giving birth in a hospital? And paint all births in hospitals as a nightmare of medical intervention where women feel like they were totally ignored and hate birth as a result afterwards? Also, notice how they only share the stories that end in c-sections? Ricki Lake has a new movie out where she talks about how wonderful homebirth is and how awful hospital births are, and I read an article about this movement called "Freebirth" where you hold your lighter up in the air and yell "Play some Skynard!" at the top of your lungs as your baby crowns. Not really. Although, maybe I'll try that next time. Actually, you deliver the baby yourself without any medical intervention. Or midwives, or doulas. Nobody except you and your partner, although your partner is more of an observer than a participant. And of course they describe all medical professionals as evil barbarians who just want to slice you open and yank out your baby, who they then steal away with to a nursery where they pump it full of formula, thereby denying you any hope of bonding with it or breastfeeding it. Yeah, because people get into medicine because they HATE HELPING PEOPLE!

Why does it have to be so either/or? Why can't an article say, "hey, hospitals are great for some people, but for some people they aren't. Why don't you check out my ideas on childbirth and see if they jive with what you're looking for?" I'll tell you why, because for some reason a lot of the people who get the most press are the ones who try to scare you into doing things their way. I'm sure there are midwives and natural birthing advocates, (hey, can I go on a side tangent here and point out that "natural" birth as a term doesn't make a whole lot of sense? Perhaps "non-medical" or "non-medicated" would make more sense. I mean, my baby came out of my lady pocket-more like lady "clutch" at that point-and even if she did it while I had an epidural coursing through my spine and an IV connected to my hand, I still think it was pretty damn natural. Plus natural implies an air of superiority. My friends who had c-sections don't love their babies a lick less than the ones who gave birth vaginally, either medicated or not medicated.), who see their way is just another option for pregnant women, but you never hear from them. I applaud women who go the non-medicated route, good for you, you go girl, but I am tired of people saying that everyone who goes to the hospital has a terrible experience. Other than the hospital being full when I got there, I had a great birth experience in a wonderful hospital. I like to share my experience with as many pregnant women as possible because they hear so many damn negative stories.

All I'm saying is, why do we have to be tearing each other down all the time? Can't we all just get along?


Tara said...

100% agreed on all points. I don't personally think that a non-medicated birth is the route I'd want to take, but power to the women who do.

Can you imagine the uproar if I wrote a book explaining to women that God helped man evolve and develop medicines so that they don't have to endure a painful "natural" childbirth while squatting over sorm sort of baby catching pot?

Like you said, there are plenty of rational people on both sides of the medical fence; they just don't get the same sort of press that the zealots do.

Mindy said...

Totally agreed! Had I not been in a hospital, Oli may never have been born, or there could have been life threatening complications (did I mention the 16 inch head?)

Even if I had been able to birth him without the C-Section, he would have likely died shortly thereafter because my antibodies were killing my baby. Talk about guilt!

Every other child I have will be born the same way because theres a 75% chance the next one will have the same problem. Seriously, I didn't know you were supposed to check a man's bloodtype before sleeping with him.

If you want to go "natural" good fer you, but don't criticize me because I didn't lay down two lives for your high ideals.

Marsha said...

I agree with your live and let live attitude. As a non-medicated, birthing center mom, I got very little support from other women while I was pregnant -who basically told me I couldn't do itwithout an epidural and tried to scare me into thinking my baby would die if I didn't go to the hospital and let the nice docs take care of me. I wouldn't tell another woman what was best for her, but I seem to be in the minority. I Wish we could all just relax and support each other. Oh, and let midwives deliver in hospitals in Texas so we wouldn't have to choose in such black and white terms.

larson.sean said...

Amen. As someone who did not have a baby in the hospital and as someone who thinks the midwife model of care is a great thing, I still think that this whole issue does more to divide women than bring them together. Each side has an agenda, and there's a certain amount of disinformation from both the medical community and "natural" childbirth advocates, and there are stereotypes being perpetuated by both sides too. I think as long as a woman is educated about her options, is educated about birth, then whatever choice she makes is perfectly fine.

And for the record, I try to say "non-medicated" instead of natural.

Jooley Ann said...

I had an amazing, planned C-section delivery. It was the most wonderful day of my life, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

I had the same experience as Marsha, but from the opposite side of the fence. I guess I hang with a lot of granola types b/c it seemed like EVERYONE needed the entire freakin' story as to why I scheduled a C delivery 11 days before my baby's due date. During conversation, I felt like I had to qualify it as quickly as possible so no one would think I was one of those "horrible" mothers who schedule a C just for the convenience. Again and again I made it clear that I and my baby had a significant risk of DYING from a RUPTURED UTERUS if I didn't get a C a tad on the early side.

Even then, I had someone (a stranger) say, "Ohhh...have you at least consulted a midwife?" No, lady, I consulted the doctor who had to cut a hole in my uterus to remove a fertility-threatening, golf-ball sized fibroid, thanksverymuch. He knew exactly where he cut the muscle, and in which direction, and how deep. He didn't have a CHOICE as to where/how to cut, as a doc does with a C-section. He had to cut where the fibroid was growing, duh. So I wasn't a candidate for a VBAC type delivery b/c I didn't have a previous C. I had MAJOR SURGERY that resulted in, unfortunately and due to no fault of my outstanding DOCTOR, a pretty harsh scar to my uterus.

Uggggggh. I'm sorry for ranting on your blog. You touched a nerve. *sigh* Frankly I'm a little surprised I'm still this defensive about it.

The other commenters are right. This issues divides women. I fully support my friends who have given birth all sorts of ways. Like you say, it's not like any mother loves or cares for her child any more or less based on how she delivers. A woman needs to make the choice that's best for her, and not judge the choices of others.

PS -- I love Tara's idea about a book explaining God's helping man to develop medicines, etc. It is with great thanks to modern science that I was able to have my beautiful daughter. :)