Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why I DON'T want your opinion. Like, at all.

I'm a reasonably healthy 23 year old woman, on no medications with no diseases. I am a healthy body weight with a BMI of 23.1. For the last year, we have eaten a very healthy diet, mostly whole organic foods, I don't drink alcohol and I don't smoke. It takes a whole lot to get me to take pain killers or any medication for anything and I take care of my body. I'm 18 weeks, 1 day pregnant.
Jon and I have talked about having a baby since we got married pretty much. February 2010 was when we officially started trying. It was a long road, but looking back, I wouldn't change it. We used those three years. We grew closer together, we became more stable in every way, and just as importantly: we learned. The night we decided to start TTC, I posted a status on Facebook. It was a VERY true statement. "I think childbirth might be the most terrifying thing in the world." If you had asked me my ideal birth experience then, I'd have said "Knock me out, do a c section, and wake me when it's over!" The mere idea... the whole concept of childbirth to me was traumatizing. What I didn't know, is I had a doula on my friends list (I had never even heard the word doula) who had to swoop in and comment. I don't even remember WHAT she said, but it got me thinking.
More importantly: it got me reading. It got me LEARNING. 
I found myself so incredibly intrigued by everything. People had babies at home?! Who in their right minds would do THAT?! People actually WANT to do it naturally?! WHY would anyone want to feel the pain when you don't HAVE to?  I had to learn more, I had to know why people would possibly make these crazy decisions that to me made absolutely no sense.
The more I learned, I mean REALLY learned...the less crazy they seemed. In fact, it made a whole lot of sense. What seemed crazy was taking a perfectly healthy pregnancy into a hospital and subjecting what should be a perfectly normal birth to a cascade of risky interventions.
What didn't make sense was spending 9 months avoiding medications, toxins, unhealthy foods, etc. for fear of how they may effect our unborn babies, but come labor, throwing that out the window for seriously heavy drugs like pitocin and epidurals and not even questioning the lengthy list of risks and side effects and complications that come along with them because after all, they're mainstream, common, routine even.
What I couldn't wrap my head around is trusting our bodies to go through this process of pregnancy, to grow our babies strong and healthy, and then throwing that out the window come labor and giving up all trust in the divine design of our bodies as women, and placing more trust in doctors than God, and more trust in medicine and drugs than our own bodies.
What seemed totally nuts is buying into the idea that this perfectly normal process needed any intervention from man in the first place.
Birth in our country is so screwed up. We subject ourselves to interventions that are so routine we don't even question them anymore. Women are given pitocin, and given a box they must fit into. "you must make X amount of progress in X amount of time or else [insert intervention here.]" and the chain reaction begins. Intervention A leads to intervention B which leads to fetal distress (or failure to progress... or a whole list of other "emergencies") which more often than not leads to an "emergency" C-section. Then we sing the praises of the OB a medical staff for saving the day and we're SO glad they were there....when really, all they did was fix a problem created by the medical intervention in the first place.
I don't buy it. The God *I* believe in did not send us here, command us to multiply and replenish and NOT give us the ability to do so. The c-section rate in this country is roughly 33-35%. I refuse to believe that over 1/3 of women are unable to birth their babies without intervention. I refuse to believe that our bodies aren't able to do what our creator himself DESIGNED us to do. I refuse to trust medicine and doctors more than I do my very purpose on this earth.
I trust birth. I trust that my body know how to do this. I trust that when left alone, birth is natural, beautiful, and safe. I DO care about more than just the end result. Getting Chase here safely is of course my top priority but damnit, I matter too. I care about my experience, and because of that I choose to use a care provider that believes in the beauty and safety of birth, that cares about my experience, and that believes not only in my ability to birth my baby, but agrees with my desire to experience it and is willing to work with me towards that goal.
I am SO SICK of hearing that this isn't the right pregnancy for a home birth, or that midwives are "for people who just slip the baby right out and I should focus on getting the baby here safely."(seriously. and I didn't even mention home birth. Just the "M" word when asked what OB I was using)  I assure you, ALL OF YOU, that I am making every single decision with ONE thing in mind: what's best for my baby, for myself, and for our family. I appreciate the concern and the GOOD place that it comes from. Jon and I (and Chase!) are so beyond blessed to have so many people in our lives that care about us, we truly don't take that for granted. I love and respect you all, regardless of your choices. But I am done listening to it. I already allowed myself to be scared into a care provider I have not been comfortable with up until this point, and I'm angry at myself for it. After the bleeding scare (Which is completely fine now, and not a concern for any reason. In fact the bleeding WAS the result of a problem (placenta previa) correcting itself! Amazing! My body knew just what to do with that misplaced placenta, imagine that!) I was feeling so much judgement from everyone around me that obviously things weren't right, and I should use an OB for the safety of baby Chase. And when my iron got low, I was feeling it again... things aren't gong perfect, better stick to that OB.
But you know what my gut tells me? What my brain tells me? These things are common in pregnancy. And guess what? No more bleeding, and just a week on iron supplements I feel a huge difference! Yes, I look tired because I AM tired. There's a lot going on right now! And yes, I have some things in my personal medical history that means I need to pay special attention to a good supplement regimen and nutritious foods, but guess what else? I'm doing that, and I'm feeling good! These are hiccups, not complications. I'm healthy! Chase is healthy! I'm so tired of being made feel like I need to be afraid of this process. All I can do is the best I know how, and trust that the rest will work itself out.

So you know what? THANK YOU to the snarky, judgmental, rude idiot on the phone at Valley OBGYN today, for reminding me EXACTLY why I didn't want OB care to begin with, and giving me the push I very much needed to stand up for what I know is right for my little family, and firing my OB and getting back to a care provider that suits my needs.

I'm not judging women who choose OB care, or to deliver in a hospital, or make ANY choices differently than me. I can see how it would come across that way, as I have some strong opinions. But, these opinions don't apply to you! I only know what is right for me, and what makes sense for me. I'm so glad that I live in a place that I DO have the choices I have. I'm glad women who feel more confident and comfortable in a hospital have that choice and are able to do so! If that's where they feel safest, that's exactly where they should be. If someone feels a birthing center is what they need or want, that's wonderful for them, I'm glad they're becoming more available for women.
As for me, Jon, and our baby? We choose home birth. Please respect our decision. I won't mention it in conversation if you don't.... but really, don't feel obligated to tell me how much you disagree with it. As much as I love and respect you, I really don't want your opinion. Like, at all.

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