Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The making of a Birth Junkie


I never thought that birth would become such a passion for me. Such a passion in fact, that I had to create a blog just to get my feelings about it written down. Ironically, as I sit here, I am at a loss for words. Didn't I have an entire tirade mapped out in my head? Midwives vs. OB's, episitomies, the skyrocketing c-section rate, birth trauma, homebirths, inductions, amniotomies, evidence based medicine, doulas...the list goes on. But I find myself paralyzed. Where do I start?

I suppose I should start at the beginning.

My interest in birth began, not surprisingly, when I became pregnant with my first child in 2004. I prepared myself reasonably well, I thought. I found an OB whom my friend liked, eagerly attended my childbirth education class at the hospital, read all of the popular books (What to Expect, Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Girlfriends Guide), got my weekly babycenter emails and caught all of the episodes I could of A Baby Story and Babies:Special Delivery. I felt knowlegable and comfortable with everything. My OB and I joked about the huge "turkey" I was growing and I didn't bat an eye when, at my 40 wk appt, they scheduled an induction for 41 weeks because "The Dr doesn't like anyone to go past 41 weeks." That's just the way it was right? Dr knows best! Luckily I went into labor on my own the day before the induction. I had wanted to go "natural" and avoid an epidural, mostly because I don't like the thought of needles going into my back. I tried my darndest but ended up with an interthecal at 8 cm which I was pleased with. I came out of the hospital very happy about the birth. Sure, I "needed" an episiotomy but as far as first births go, I had thought it went well.

Two and a half years later I am pregnant with baby numero dos, and decide I want a totally natural childbirth this time. I started going to my prenatal appoinments with my new OB who was really nice. Early ultrasound, no quad screen thanks, blah blah blah...then IT happened. I read the "book". The book that shattered my rosy view of childbirth and maternity care completely. Holy crap, how was this happening in our country? How was it that no one seemed to care? Why the frick did I have an episiotomy? How am I going to have a natural birth with my OB? I need a midwife!

What book you ask?

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

And so it began...


Jessica said...

What a fantastic way to start your blog! I am hooked. The title says it all. I am astonished with the statistics. I look forward to reading more of your blog as it grows. Great job so far!

Kara said...

I agree! I'll be following this blog very closely. Our birth stories are so similar, too. By the "book" pregnancy, wanting to go natural but ending up with an epidural, etc... My sister-in-law had a baby a month after me (she is a nurse who works with midwives and may become a midwife someday) and had a completely natural home birth. I was so skeptical about what she was doing at first, but in hindsight, I think it was great. When are you due with your second baby? Congratulations, by the way!!!

Alicia said...

Thanks Kara! I actually had my second baby in January. I just haven't gotten the chance to post the birth story yet. I had a wonderful natural birth with a nurse midwife. I wish I had had a homebirth though. I have quite a few friends who did and loved it. I thought it was crazy when I first heard about them too and now my thoughts are on the other end and think hospital births are scarier!!lol