Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't be scared, be smart!

Most women nowadays are wimps.

No, wait, that came out wrong. What I meant to say is that most women nowadays are scared.


Wait, this one will work:

Most women nowadays are mostly uneducated and are just doing what society and their friends tell them to do.

There. How's that? Are ya mad at me yet?

A vast majority of today's pregnant population are choosing to have c-sections, to have labor induced by their doctor, or to have a pain-free birth with the aid of any number of pharmaceutical interventions.

Newsflash: giving birth is a completely natural process and should be treated as such. Birth has only become a "medical event" in the past 75 years. I believe we've spent too long listening to a doctor or hospital tell us how we should deliver our most precious gifts instead of listening to our own body tell us how we should give birth. Our bodies are designed to give birth and, if we are paying attention, they give us many, many cues to tell us when it's time for the baby to be born.

Some of you are likely thinking, "Well, it's my RIGHT to choose to have a c-section or be induced! It's my body and my birth story and I'll do it however I want!" To that I say, "Yes, you're absolutely correct. It is your right. But it's also your right to be educated about what you're doing to your body and to know the potential side-effects it can have both on you and your newborn baby." Some of you may say that you trust your doctor and medical team implicitly and will do whatever they say because they know what's best. After all, they've done this hundreds of times and they have extensive medical training on how to birth a baby.

If I only knew then what I know now...

If I knew in 2001 and in 2004 what I know now, then Slick would not have been born via c-section. Looking back, I'm certain that I was not in true labor when I went to the hospital. I mis-read some signs of labor and went to the hospital where I was put on a monitor, was poked and prodded, was "stripped" (some of you will know what that means), all followed by a promise of labor-inducing drugs the next morning (more than 12 hours later.) The pitocin was promised at 6 AM the following morning. Sometime around 2 PM (a mere eight hours later, mind you) the drip was started. What followed was the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. Now, before you say, "Labor is supposed to hurt, dummy! That's why it's called labor!" I have to tell you that my other two births were natural, vaginal deliveries with absolutely no drug intervention whatsoever. The contractions I had during natural childbirth were nothing compared to the ones that were brought on by the pitocin. The pitocin contractions were horrible. Not too long after the pitocin was proving to be ineffective, a different drug was given to stop them. Relief. Or so I thought. Next thing I know, the doctor is hovering over me telling me that Slick's heart rate is in the 70s and we were headed for an emergency c-section NOW.

It. Was. Awful.

I truly believe that if I'd been more knowledgeable and educated about the process, then I wouldn't have had to suffer through that failed induction and then the c-section. If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have had him naturally just like I'd had his big sister.

No one ever hears the good birthing stories. For years and years, we've been inundated with the worst of the worst birth stories. "I was in labor for 30 hours!" "It hurt!" "I'll never do that again!" "Gimme the drugs!" "You're crazy to do it without drugs or an epidural!" We hear that sort of thing all. the. time. We seldom hear of a good, positive birthing experience. I'm here to tell you that it IS possible to have a positive birthing experience, and to have a positive one that's *gasp* dare I say it, drug-free. It is possible to push the baby out without medical intervention, contrary to what society and our doctors would have us believe.

Honestly, it's not that's bad. You can do it. Go do some reading and educate yourself. Here are a few places to get you started:

Monday, August 2, 2010

For Anna Lee

My granddaddy had a little sister named Anna Lee. The story I've always heard is that she was playing in the yard one Sunday afternoon and fell on a tree stump. She had an infection set up in the wound and passed away that Thursday. I've always had an odd, sort of sentimental feeling about this great aunt of mine whom I never met. I've often wondered what sort of little girl she was, whether or not she was book smart or was the type of girl who wouldn't let a little boy mess with her. She was born in 1920 and died in 1927. She was just a little girl.

A cousin of mine found a poem that was written by her mother, who was Anna Lee's older sister. The poem was written by my great aunt Ruth after the death of her little sister. The poem was written on March 10, 1927. It's called "The Little Arm Chair". Yet another glimpse into her short life.

The Little Arm Chair

My eyes were caught to an object over there
In the corner of the room sat a little arm chair.
My heart grew heavy it was hard to bare (sic)
As I thought of the little maiden who once sat there.

Ten days of March had gone
When the death angel come (sic) to our home
She won't need the arm chair anymore
For she's gone to be an angel on the other shore.

There is a grave over yonder
But she's not there
I wonder if she sees us
By her little arm chair.

There is a vacancy in our home
Since little sister has gone
But nothing seems so bare
As the little arm chair over there.

It seem (sic) that I can see her
With the angel on heavenly stair
As I sit here so lonely
By her little arm chair.

By my great aunt Ruth 1927

Continue to rest peacefully on that lush green hillside, sweet Anna Lee. I'll see you for sure one of these days.