Thursday, April 28, 2011

Childbirth

Since my dad was out of town, Chad and I had my mama come over for supper with us last night. Chad had some work to do in our storage room, so it gave me some time to just catch up and have some good ol' girl-talk with my mom.

Can I just say that I love, love, love my mom? I could say it a billion times. My mom is just the greatest. They don't make 'em better... that's for sure.

But anyway, my mom and I were talking a bit about childbirth. Coming from a woman who has done it (naturally) five times, I trust what the woman has to say.

I follow so many (too many, probably) blogs - many of them from women like me who either recently had babies or in the process of it. And so often, I read about women making their big stance on natural childbirth... and wanting to do it in birthing centers, with midwives/doulas/etc. They site their higher rates for natural births versus conventional OBGYNs+hospitals. I had to admit, just reading it- it does make it seem pretty convincing.

But I talked about this with my mom (a former NICU nurse), who made such a good point. Any women who has ANY sort of complication during their pregnancy is going to be turned away from any midwifery/birthing center in the first place --- for liability reasons. These places will tell you that they are designed for healthy, low-risk mothers and healthy babies. So right off the bat, you're eliminating a huge chunk of women that are going to need medical intervention during the birthing process anyway. (+1 in favor of the 'natural childbirth stats' for birthing centers.) And chances are, that healthy, low-risk mom and baby would be able to have a "natural" birth in a hospital too, so long as there were no complications.

And then, you read stories about women who had completely complication-free pregnancies like Sherry on Young House Love who a year later shared the birthing story of her daughter Clara. She had a completely normal and healthy pregnancy. Yet, when she gets to the hospital to have her baby, IMMEDIATELY she is thrown into a very dangerous situation and ends up in the emergency operating room minutes after arrival. I can't help but think, as I'm sure her and her family do, about what would have happened if she had plans to go to a birthing center without a team of doctor's and nurse's ready and equipped to handle the serious issues her and her baby were dealt with (without warning.)

I think about my own sister in law, who also had some very scary complications during and after the birth of my sweet little nephew James. I remember me and Chad being SO grateful that she was in a hospital that night and not somewhere else. I remember talking to my mom that morning and her saying, "Carrie, now THIS is the reason people have babies in hospitals."

The thing is, of course I want a natural childbirth. I want a complication-free, easy delivery with no unexpected issues. But that's why you find a doctor that you trust. Let them know that you want to do whatever you can - as long as its safe for you and baby - to keep things as progressing naturally. I'm sorry but I don't believe that these OBGYNs, who have spent their lives devoted to birthing children and having healthy mamas, are conspiring to give you drugs early and often in order to keep you in the hospital longer so they, the hospitals and insurance companies make more money off you. Please. Any doctor worth his salt cares about keeping you and your child safe. Period. If you don't trust that, you need to find you a new doctor.

But, for me, I want to have my child in a hospital... a GREAT hospital. I want to have a world-class team of doctors and nurses right there ready and able to take care of me and my baby in a instant if anything goes south.

Because here's the thing: you ask ANY mom... from those with easy labor and deliveries and those with the most complicated... as long as a healthy baby was placed in their arms at the end of it, that's all that matters.

I remember feeling so bad for Molly that her birth didn't go as planned. I was sad thinking that she would be so caught up in all the things she "missed out on" because she had a rough delivery. But you know what... one look at her told you all you needed to know: all she cared about was that little boy.

So, for me, that's all I care about. If I have this magical birthing experience, yippee! I'll be thrilled with it. But I would rather, a million times over, feel completely sure that if the worst were to happen, I'd be in a place were it could be handled and in the end, a healthy baby would be placed in my arms.

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