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Well, *I’M* guilty of not doing my research…

Posted by Sandra on November 23, 2008

Here I preach and holler and say women must do their research for childbirth options, become informed, arm themselves with the data they need to have the childbirth they want, and I find out this morning that *I* was misinformed on something and took it at face value and didn’t do MY research!!!

I taped this great show from Discovery Channel called “Freebirthing“, I was mostly curious if the mentality of the United States has started to understand that most childbirths need no intervention (I was disapponted to see there’s still myths and stigmas, however).  They stated that feebirthing (childbirth without medical assistance – at home, with just daddy or mom, no one in the medical field) WAS legal in all states, with very few restrictions.

My doctor told me it was illegal. (DUH… I really should’ve known a doctor would’ve said that, why I took it and ran I don’t know).

Dammit.  I would’ve had Ayla at home. 

I would’ve had all of them at home, in hindsight.

Anyways, the show was beautiful.  The woman they were focusing on that encourages and teaches about freebirthing, Laura Shanley, was amazing.  I highly recommend everyone that is expecting, with a low-risk pregnancy and anticipated low-risk labor, to read her site and research her information.

The focus on pain-free birth was what I found most amazing.  I managed to have them, even though I was in a hospital setting.  How that can be was summed up by one mom – scared = tense, tense = pain.  She reiterated over and over again how she wasn’t the least bit scared about childbirth, and I can see now why she and millions of other women including myself could have pain-free childbirths.

The discussion of birth rape was brought up again, and I’m beginning to re-evaluate the experience I had with Brett in a military hospital 15 years ago.  For some reason, I feel angered every time I “re-live” his birth in my mind, from the bully doctor telling me I HAD to have an IV, to the incessant internal exams, to the unnecessary constant fetal monitoring, to being told I was laboring too fast, to the blatant disregard for my wishes not to be cut, and on and on an on.  The unnecessary episiotomy caused me problems in labor #2, caused me to tear, and I again had to remember my anger and disappointment in Brett’s childbirth.  For childbirth #3 I was VERY very very (can I say VERY?) vocal about my wishes, I made them known to anyone that came by, I said “no” many times during labor, and dammit, I had the childbirth I wanted, other than the fact I thought I had to be in a hospital.  I went home within hours, not days, and was happy.  Same for #4.

So why am I ultimately unhappy with chilbirth #1, even to this day?  Can I call it birth rape?  I am beginning to think that’s what it was.  I was constantly being told by doctors I didn’t know what I wanted, that I would demand drugs (one nurse even rolled her eyes when I said I would be refusing any drugs), and I was mutilated by an unnecessary episiotomy.

I am mortified, however, at the Brit’s mentality about freebirthing.  One woman had a child at home, everythign with the baby was fantastic, but she failed to deliver the placenta in a reasonable amount of time (not mere minutes like the hospital forces a mom to do).  After a few hours passed, she made the decision to go to the hospital and have assistance with the placenta.  The nurses and doctors treated her like, well, CRAP.  It was sad, it was pathetic.  They acted like she was an idiot.  And to top it off, they’re sending the Britain equivalent of children’s services to her home to evaluate her as a parent.

Are you KIDDING ME????

While the show encouraged me and gave me hope that women all over the world are empowered enough to take control of their own bodies, it frustrated me as well, seeing the medical profession still be such bullies to women.


8 Responses to “Well, *I’M* guilty of not doing my research…”

  1. Christina said

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to be more proactive in the birth process *IF* I decide to have another baby!

  2. Diane said

    Not sure if you lurk on our NBBC birth board or not but there is a good discussion going on about this show. When it first showed up I thought of you. Though with as rude as people were to you I don’t blame you for not coming around. I occasionally check your blog. Miss seeing you around.

  3. Jess from BBC said

    Actually the girl who went to the hospital afterwards, I’m fairly sure was in the US though I forget where exactly. The other 2 women were from Britain. They actually never sent anyone to her home though (she post at a board that I post at & gave everyone the details).

  4. Sandra said

    No, Diane, I stay away from the mainstream boards, I should’ve avoided them to begin with, but I thought I could help some people have a different view of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting – not enough open minds, too much “WTEWYE” followers… lol… so I stay on, which is an awesome board for moms like me – EXACTLY like me… it’s very pleasant!

    Jess, thanks for the correction – no surprise then that an American doctor would’ve treated her like crap!

    Gee, ya think docs are afraid of losing income with all these moms taking control of their births? 😉

  5. Thanks for the link and nice comments, Sandra! I share your frustration about the way medical professionals view birth and specifically freebirth. While I’m happy that this documentary was made at all, most of my comments about the dangers of medical intervention ended up on the cutting room floor. The doctors that were interviewed were never confronted about the increase in infant and maternal mortality in the hospital in the past ten years (the stillborn rate has doubled in American hospitals since 1998, which means that every 15-20 minutes a baby is stillborn in an American hospital). Many people believe this is partly due to the increase in inductions and c-sections. Yet hospital birth was presented as the safest option.

    Nine pregnant women were actually interviewed for the program and all nine went on to successfully give birth unassisted. This was never brought out in the program. Only one woman had “trouble” with the placenta, and of course they chose to focus heavily on this. Heather (who lives in Colorado, by the way), now regrets going to the hospital, as she feels it would have come out on its own. And yes, she was treated horribly there.

    The good news is that Discovery has told me that “Freebirthing” was their highest rated show and they’re now looking into making several more documentaries about “alternative” birth and parenting! The truth will prevail! 🙂

  6. Mommato6 said

    Bad things can and do happen no matter where a woman gives birth. My baby is dead because homebirth is so safe with a good midwife.

  7. Sandra said

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Mommato6… yes, they can happen anywhere, it’s unfortunate we don’t have a 100% rate in either situation, but frankly, I would much rather trust being at home than in a hospital.

    Again, I’m sorry for your loss.

  8. Diane said

    Sandra – I completely understand. Can’t figure out why it’s so addicting though! Thanks for being around to give me advice and educating me though 🙂

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