Why I blocked you from my FB feed

I used to read a couple very well-known, popular birthing websites. I also have some friends who are very pro-this and anti-that, so they post a lot of articles pertaining to that subject. For a time it was nice to get all perspectives, gain some insight, etc. I would read the stories and the articles and at times be encouraged and touched and other times be very confused or just plain annoyed.

The other day I read a post that really bothered me. The writer was basically bashing OBs. This woman had a bad experience with her birth and pretty much blamed the doctor for it (totally her right to do so) and then proceeded to say she’s never had a good experience with an OB, they don’t know what they are doing, they aren’t holistic, all they want to do is medicate, they push induction, they push c-section, they don’t listen, they want to dictate, etc. And to read the comments, oh man. Woman after woman saying doctors should be removed from birth, it should be all midwives, etc. And that’s all well and fine. Midwives are awesome. Home birth is awesome. I honestly have no trouble with that. I agree that birth is over-medicalized, the US maternal mortality rate keeps increasing, for various reasons.

But doctors aren’t evil and neither are hospitals.

With my first born, I had one OB for the first 34 weeks of the pregnancy. He seemed to be on the same page as me, he knew my wishes (no induction, no meds etc), but at 34 weeks said he “decided” he would induce me at 39 weeks and that was that, no discussion.  I was educated enough to know that an induction for no real medical reason was ridiculous and could easily lead to other complications.  Did I cry and stomp my feet?? Yes I did.  And then went out and found another OB, one who would listen and would be willing to meet me in the middle, at the very least.  And I found him. When I met with the new OB, I informed him of my wishes (natural birth, being intermittently monitored, no insulin IV, etc), he was all for it. He wanted me to keep my pump during labor, he wanted me to be able to move and use the tub and whatever I needed to labor naturally. He was fine with me going to 40 weeks. He NEVER tried to talk me into induction, he never mentioned a c-section, he never acted like I couldn’t have a natural, non-medicated birth (as long as baby and I were doing fine, of course). He encouraged me to stay at home and labor as long as I could, he applauded my use of a doula, he listened, he was amazing.  He was right there as I labored and birthed my first born, in a hospital, with my husband and amazing doula at my side. The nurses completely honored my birth plan and I got through it without meds, no epidural, no nothing. And it was fantastic.  (Some may ask why I didn’t just use a midwife?  Because of my “high risk” status, I cannot have a midwife as my main care provider. I CAN be co-managed with a midwife and an OB, however.)

All that to say, every woman is different, every birth is different, every baby is different.  The name calling I see online is atrocious. We can’t all be like you and we don’t all want to be like you.  You don’t know everyone’s story, you don’t know their personal struggles and fears and what they are capable of, you don’t know everyone’s background. I had a woman tell me once that because I gave birth in a hospital, I couldn’t technically call it “natural.”  Really?!?! Not everyone is ok with birthing at home, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And really, not everyone should birth at home or in a birthing center. Some women have other medical issues that make it safer to be in the hospital. But some women don’t want any part of a doctor’s care and wanna birth in their own bathtub, and that’s fine too.  More people should explore the option if they are so inclined. I’ve met people who are so puffed up about how they chose to birth, instead of building others up, it puts down those people that didn’t follow the same path.  Really, if you’ve carried and birthed a mini-human, you are a bad-ass, I don’t care how you did it.

My biggest thing is to be educated.  Know your rights, know you can refuse things, know you can seek out other options, know that there are alternatives to almost everything, know that YOU are the one in charge of your care, take ownership, be empowered, ask questions. Don’t do things just because that’s how everyone else is doing it, do it because you know what it entails, you want to and you’re comfortable with it. If you don’t like your doctor, find another one. Look into midwives and doulas and classes and techniques, look up side effects and risks of various interventions. But hey, I have friends who say “ignorance is bliss.” They don’t read, they don’t ask….and that’s totally their right.  “Knowledge is power” but maybe to some women too much knowledge is crippling.

I don’t know what this current pregnancy brings. My goals are the same as with my first. I will stay the natural course, but I also know things happen and if intervention is necessary for the health of me or my bundle then so be it.  Flexibility is a good thing. Just get off each others back and encourage one another….natural, medicated, home birth, hospital, planned c-section, whatever….you are awesome regardless!