I’m sure a lot of “crunchy” moms have at least heard of this movie. If not, you need to rush to your Netflix account right now and watch it!
I watched it for the first time when I was pregnant with Aubrey. It amazed me at how birth was such a “medical” thing. I knew that you went to the hospital to have a baby, there were doctors and nurses all around you and that there was pain medication. Until I watched that documentary, I didn’t fully understand why there were doctors and nurses and pain management. A woman’s body was created to birth a baby and our bodies have been doing it since time began! Generations ago, most woman gave birth at home with a midwife and that was normal. Now, if a woman wants to have a home birth with a midwife, people question her on why she would even want a natural birth! To me, this is ridiculous. What has become “normal” for laboring and delivery, is medication, intervention, and a place where the sick go: the hospital. I am not saying that the hospital is some horrible place. I had both of my girls in the hospital but when you arrive, you’re on their time clock. If you don’t progress as quickly as they think you should… then you get an emergency c-section due to “failure to progress.” Each woman is different. Each baby is different. Each birth is different. While it may take my body 8 hours to prepare for delivery, it may take her body 50 hours to prepare. You just don’t know. Some mothers and babies require a c-section due to a high risk, but I highly believe that American doctors are cut hungry and are more concerned about getting home for dinner or a good nights sleep rather than allowing their patient to actually labor naturally. There has been a rise in our country’s c-section rate. 1 in 3 mothers will have a c-section. Are you trying to tell me that 1 in 3 women are not capable of actually delivering a baby? Most c-sections happen because of medical interventions such as pitocin and/or epidural putting baby into distress. Doctors then almost manipulate women into the c-section because they’re almost threatening baby’s life. Well Mr./Mrs. Doctor… If you hadn’t pumped me full of drugs, baby probably wouldn’t be in distress.
I fell into this trap twice. I was lucky and did not have the need for a c-section, but I did not get the births that I had wanted. With Aubrey, I had gone to the hospital in labor to find that I was maybe 3 cm dilated. I wanted to go home and labor more at home but was told that my insurance would not pay for my visit because I would be leaving against medical advice. Seriously? So I decided to stay because I couldn’t afford for my insurance to not help with the costs. A few hours go by… they check me again. And I hadn’t progressed. I had told the nurses I wanted a natural birth with no drugs, no epidural, just natural. Because I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they wanted, they gave me pitocin. Pitocin makes your contractions longer, stronger, and closer together causing your body to force itself open and deliver. Since the contractions are stronger, they hurt a lot worse than natural contractions. Seeing that I was in a ton of pain, they started asking if I’d want an epidural. Seriously?! Asking a woman in labor, with pitocin, that’s hurting, already vulnerable, if they want to get rid of all the pain? Heck yes! I’m so lucky that my husband and mother-in-law fought for me to continue my natural birth for a few more hours. Unfortunately, I gave into the epidural. Was I happy with my choice at that time? Yes. Did it still give me that perfect little baby that I had been waiting to meet? Yes. But am I happy now, 3 years later, with how it turned out? NO.
My second time around, with miss Bai, I fell into the induction trap. Baileigh was measuring small and I was having weekly ultrasounds to make sure she was still growing. The midwife I had (that worked in a doctors office) suggested to induce. Trusting her, I went ahead and did it. I scheduled it for Wednesday morning but ended up going in hoping I was in labor by myself Monday morning. Nope. And here came the pit. I had no real problems with it until I was actually close to delivery and then I opted in for the epidural. I didn’t even try to have a natural birth because I figured either A) maybe I just wasn’t strong enough or B) they were gonna try to force it anyways like last time. Once again, I had my beautiful baby and it didn’t matter how she was brought into the world. She was there. She was perfect. Who cares, right? Wrong. It wasn’t until she was 3 hours old that I really regretted my decision for the epidural. The nurses wanted her under the heat light to get her temperature to a good place. For a few minutes, I was alone with her. She was under the heat lamp about 10 steps away and I was in bed, still numb from the waist down. Of course, I couldn’t take my eyes away from her. And then she started to turn blue. I pressed the call nurse button and just prayed that they could get to her in time since I was unable to move my feet out of the blankets, much less get out of bed and run to her. Thankfully, they got there in time but I hate knowing that I had to rely on someone else to get to her because I was physically unable to because of the epidural.
If there is a next time, my husband and I have already worked out a plan that we are both comfortable with. We’ve talked about it multiple times because we both need to be on the same page. After all, who else is going to speak up for what I want when I’m vulnerable and my mind is clouded? I want to close saying that I’m not saying that the medical field is some awful, horrible thing when it comes down to labor and delivery. I’m saying that maybe they need to step back a bit and rethink what normal is. What our system is looking like right now, is NOT normal.
Please Note: I am not a professional or any kind of expert. I’m just a mother sharing how I feel about topics that I have been constantly educating myself on for the past 3 years and sharing my personal experiences and how they have affected my views.
You can purchase The Business of Being Born by clicking the link below! 🙂