Thoughts from the recent birth of my son….

11 October 2009 at 10:30 pm 1 comment

I gave birth to my third son just a little over a month ago.  It was also my third midwife-assisted birth (and our midwife was awesome!) but my first waterbirth.  The water part was amazing, and I no longer have any doubt why water has been referred to as the natural epidural.  Mostly, though, this birth has caused me to reflect on the vulnerability of a woman in childbirth.

This labor was pretty difficult for me, much more so than my last labor.  I spent hours stuck between 6 and 7 centimeters, and I was exhausted.  Finally, after much debate, we decided to have our midwife break my water to see if that would push me over the hump.  Wow, did it!  I went from not quite 7 centimeters to having a baby in my arms in 20 minutes.  During the hardest parts of the labor, I was desperate for something, anything, to make it stop.  Though I never actually asked for pain medication, I do remember thinking in between a couple of bad contractions that I could understand why a woman vulnerable in the throes of labor would agree to all kinds of things if told that they were necessary to end the labor and deliver a healthy baby.  I’m pretty sure there was a moment or two for me where I would have though that even a cesarean section sounded like a pretty good idea.  I know an epidural did!

As humorous as it may seem now, the reality is that this vulnerability is exactly why the midwife model of care is so beneficial to a woman in childbirth.  The obstetrical model of care in this country all too often takes advantage of this vulnerability to convince a woman with no true medical need to get an epidural, Pitocin, a cesarean section, etc.  In contrast, the midwife model of care refuses to exploit a laboring woman’s vulnerability with promises of quick relief without regard to risk.  When I was in the midst of the hardest part of my labor, the only words I heard from my midwife were that everything was fine and that I could do it.  And I did.  While I am incredibly grateful for the labor support I received from my midwife and nurses, after this birth experience I am even more disturbed by the lack of support so often given to a laboring woman in what is one of the most vulnerable moments of her life.  And I am even more certain of how crucial it is that we continue to advocate for midwives, natural childbirth, and access to childbirth choices and education.

— Maren

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Petition to The Today Show Duggar Homebirth on TLC tomorrow night

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. NursingBirth  |  12 October 2009 at 11:30 am

    CONGRATS on your birth!!!

    You write, “The obstetrical model of care in this country all too often takes advantage of this vulnerability to convince a woman with no true medical need to get an epidural, Pitocin, a cesarean section, etc. In contrast, the midwife model of care refuses to exploit a laboring woman’s vulnerability with promises of quick relief without regard to risk.”

    I couldnt agree more 🙂 That reminds me of a post I just did about the “risks and benefits” talk. The comments section is where it gets really interesting:

    http://nursingbirth.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/why-educating-our-patients-is-a-professional-responsibility-and-not-about-guilt/

    Reply

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