Okay, so I said I was going to post once a week, and I missed last week. Such is life. Anyway, I have spent the extra time trying to decide what I want to write about. Let's be serious, my day to day life is just not that interesting. I decided to write about one of my newest passions. Over the past 2 years or so, I have become more and more passionate about natural childbirth. Don't get scared and run away! I am not a crazy, anti-medicine, hippie. I am not judging you if that is not what you chose/are choosing/will choose to do. I am not an expert. I just learned a lot of information in a relatively short amount of time that opened my eyes to things I never thought about before. So today, I wanted to share where it all started for me. What made me curious and what convinced me that it was the right choice for me.
It all started with a documentary. I took a semester off between graduating with my undergraduate degree and starting graduate school. In that time, I had more free time than I had had in a long time. After I burned through entire seasons of ridiculous shows on Netflix, I decided to give the documentary section a try. I found a documentary called "The Business of Being Born." It is still on Netflix if you have it to watch on instant stream. You can also pay a small fee to watch it here. You might also be able to find it at the library. It is worth a watch. The documentary is produced by Ricky Lake and outlines how births are happening in this country while advocating for natural/home births as an option for women. Why this appealed to me over 2 years ago, when having a baby was not on my immediate horizons, and when medical-type stuff on TV makes me cringe, I will never know, but I watched it. I loved it. Then I made my husband watch it.
Prior to watching this documentary, I was under the assumption that everyone that had babies got epidurals. Everyone I knew that had babies had gotten epidurals. I figured it was just part of it. People had been doing it for a long time, so what could the big deal be. I was educated. Every time I watch the documentary, something new sticks out to me, but I would like to share some of the first things that grabbed my attention:
1. While I was okay with the idea of an epidural, I have always been terrified of a Cesarian section. Being cut open while awake is not at the top of my list of procedures I would like to be a part of. One of the first things that caught my attention was the frighteningly high C-section rate in this country. Also, how interventions, such as epidurals increase the probability of a C-section. If all those interventions could lead to a C-section, maybe I didn't want all those interventions after all.
2. The fact that we don't know what causes many things such as Autism and ADHD, but we know that they happen less often when children are born naturally. Could something in the "modern" birth process have something to do with it?
3. Being pregnant is not an illness. If I am a healthy, young woman with a normal pregnancy, I don't really need an OB-GYN. This was big news to me. I thought at least most women got epidurals, but I was sure that all women went to OB-GYNs for prenatal care and delivery. I had no idea that midwives still existed, that they could deliver my baby, and that they would actually be all I really needed.
So, here I was, filled with information that I didn't know that I wanted to know. I was baffled and I yearned to learn more. Other than watching the documentary a couple more times, I started reading about midwives and natural birth. I started reconsidering what I would want when it was time to have my children. I was filled with the knowledge that women had been having babies long before epidurals and Pitocin and everything worked out okay most of the time or the population would be a lot less than it is now. I started realizing that I desired to bring my children into the world in the healthiest way that I could possibly do it, for me and for them. I couldn't let it go, and I didn't want to.
Again, I am not judging anyone for whom this is not the right choice. Everyone's birth is different. I just really feel lead to share my experience in this area and my passion for natural birth. Take it or leave it. Next week I am going to share about my experience after becoming pregnant. Further research and finding a midwife are next.