Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thank God for women like this

I linked to this blog earlier, but as I explored her writings further I just have to share another link. Go, read this now! I'll wait for you. I'm begging. And I have to say, I'll probably be sending my readers here quite often. All three of you :)

I don't exaggerate in the title of my post, either. The Lord has, for many, many years now, put a burden on my heart for women who are with child and laboring to give birth to those children. It has been indescribably painful for me to continue to see conditions for laboring women in this country deteriorate as the years go by. The statistics are infuriating, as are the attitudes of the doctors in position of power whose arrogance allows this trend to continue. I have been to two hospital births of women close to me and been appalled at the events of what would could comparatively be called "good" births. Compared to the peaceful, beautiful, empowering births I attended during five years of lay midwifery training, these births were not "good". (sorry, S and L, you know I love you guys) They had good outcomes, yes. Neither woman had a c-section. Both babies and mothers were healthy. But the succession of small violations of privacy, opinion and preference, the constant pressure to "conform to hospital policy", the flat-out argument neccessary to ensure that the woman's desires were respected was exhausting. And the complete disregard for the humanity and autonomy of the mother and father was sickening. It ought not to be that way, folks. I had a similar experience in the hospital with my own miscarriage.

The fact that there are still women like this out there, working in hospitals and birthing centers around the country, influencing birth one woman at a time is so gratifying to me. I know there are many others like her. Midwives, l&d nurses, doulas, lactation consultant and even doctors. Thank God for them. Reading blogs like this one make me hope that some day the medical mafia in this country will no longer rule birth with an iron fist. Someday maybe the Lord will send me back into an active role in the field. Until then I'll just sputter on in impotent rage. And send you to blogs like this.

(stepping down from the soapbox now. you can call off the dogs.)


Jenny said...

I've heard several birth stories lately that just make me shudder -- docs forcing inducement because the baby is a couple days late, inducing not working, giving drugs to help mom rest over night and then re-induce the next day leading to a 60 hour labor! ugh! But,I have to say that I was so impressed with our docs and nurses when I had Evie. It was a fabulous experience. I even had one nurse on my first night (as I was in labor) who encouraged me to my plan of not to get the epidural. With all the complications we had (back labor, me stuck, her stuck, etc.) those nurses were awesome! They encouraged me to try anything I wanted to try - the tub, the toilet, any position, walking, ball, etc. They definitely let me know that I called the shots. Of course, once my "delirium" of exhaustion set in, I dcided to go for the epidural and things started happening fast, but that's another story;)

Herb of Grace said...

I am so glad you had such great nurses, Jen. I am beginning to think that nurses set the tone of a birth a lot more than I used to think. At one friend's birth we had one evil nurse and then one nice one and the difference in the labor and mood was amazing.