I started writing this post as a preface to my next post revision of my birth preferences letter, but I’m so freakin’ annoyed today that I decided to just put it all out there separately and get it off my chest. It feels better anyway to keep my birth preferences posts happy and positive because that is how I feel about this upcoming birth: I am calm. I am hopeful. I am excited. I am educated.
As a quick recap, I am planning on a hypnobabies midwife-assisted hospital birth (a compromise between me and the hubby – I wanted home water birth, he was more comfortable with a hospital birth). The only reason an OB would be involved is if an emergency c-section became necessary for the health of me or the baby. This decision was made after a lot of research on my part during the TTC hell years. Before, I had always assumed (induction + epidural = baby) was the only way to go. I no longer feel that way. I also don’t sit here and judge women who haven’t come to the same conclusion as me – it’s a hugely personal decision. I’ve been blogging here about my personal preferences simply because I hoped people might find some of my research helpful when they’re making their own decisions.
So here’s the deal. Both my midwives at my practice and the nurses at my hospital specifically requested that I come with my birth preferences written out. They are all of the belief that it’s a positive thing to be prepared and to understand the options available to us as parents, both during the birthing time and during the first hours and days of a baby’s life. I truly appreciate that – it’s an amazing feeling to know that my thoughts, hopes, and concerns will all be heard and honored whenever possible. It’s a huge reason I chose the midwife practice that I did, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the wonderful working relationship they have with the nurses at our local hospital as well.
… this is where I start getting pissed off.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of posts in the IF world that are highly critical of women like me who want natural births, and specifically I’ve read a lot of posts that are hugely critical of those mothers who come in with a birth plan – like that somehow makes me needy and demanding and unrealistic. I have read multiple posts and comments where it was stated that women like me are somehow “asking” for things to go wrong because I have an idea of how I’d like/hope things go during our birthing time, and that I’m somehow putting my baby in danger by stating my birth preferences.
These are often the same people who perpetuate fear and horror stories about birthing having to be an incredibly painful process full of complications and basically say that it’s irresponsible to want to try a more natural approach, especially without the option of hospital interventions in the room. This drives me INSANE, especially because I truly believe that a huge amount of the complications and “emergency” c-sections we have in America are actually caused by all of the hospital interventions that have somehow become standard now days in our country. Did you know that 1 in 3 first time moms give birth via c-section in the US? That is one of the highest rates of all the industrialized nations of the world – there is something hugely disturbing with that statistic. Birthing can be a long process, and I think that often times the doctors, the nurses, and even the birth mother get too impatient to move things along and intervene before it’s necessary or even prudent. YES there are emergency situations where a c-section has saved the life of mother and/or child, and it is wonderful that we have that option, but I 100% believe there is absolutely no way that women’s bodies which were CREATED to birth babies should have a 1 in 3 chance of needing a major abdominal surgery in order to safely birth the child.
*I believe that having a birthing preferences letter in place will help my midwives and nurses to know and respect my hopes and wishes for this birthing experience whenever possible.
*That in no way means that my utmost goal isn’t to have a birth experience that includes a healthy mommy and baby at the end.
…so please, for the love of God, quit saying that I’m somehow unrealistic, irresponsible and putting my body and my baby at risk by arriving at the hospital with a birth plan.
Btw, RockStar is kicking in agreement with me right now, so I know I’m right. 🙂