Beginning of the Birth

A prenatal mother has a period near birth when her body and/or her intuition is telling her it is almost time but not quite. It lasts days and sometimes even weeks before birth. Because of the fear of birth that out culture instills in us, most women now go to the hospital during this time. If they are lucky they have a practitioner who tells them to go home. Years ago, before the caesarian was improved (about the 1970s), they would have been told to go home. Doctors and hospitals, unfortunately, have gotten into the practice of getting the birth over quicker. It is in their best interest to do this, not the mother’s or the baby’s. It isn’t how birth itself works. The period of cognition exists because the body is preparing for the birth. If she waits, there will come a point when the mother knows without a doubt that it is time. It is the fear of the unknown (and sometimes the awareness of past unnatural, medical births) which keeps her from waiting through this period.

Nowadays there are precious few of us who have succeeded in getting to the point where we can have a natural birth. I’d like to think that the number is growing, but there are so many cultural factors opposed to it. Almost all of us have too much fear before having the experience to balance it. Almost none of us have had knowledge of someone close who gives birth in a positive way. We are taught it is too painful to bare. We are taught that someone who has a good birth is somehow exceptional in themselves. With my first birth I had less unnatural fear, but I had a bad doctor who wasn’t about to let me give birth naturally. Despite going through Lamaze, I was unprepared. I had no idea that I needed to be prepared to fend off unwanted and unneeded routines. With the 2nd I was afraid because of the bad previous birth. I had a great midwife, but her partner pushed to induce. Rather than fight at my birth, she did not state her opinion. She left it up to me, but I needed to hear her opinion. I did not trust myself enough to say no. The 3rd time I had only midwives who believed in waiting, and so I had the perfect birth. Not because I’m exceptional. Because I had seen enough to know it was possible and I had the crucial emotional support to help me wait.

Thank you, thank you to the midwives-Heather, Susan, Nancy(who wasn’t one yet), Ellie, Chris, and Julie(who also wasn’t one yet). And to my friend Sandy who shared her experience and gave me hope and knowledge for a better birth.

*It should be noted that before the 2nd birth (a homebirth/waterbirth) I was given knowledge of an awesome (and I don’t use that word lightly) birth. I also began to read extensively about birth-particularly the differences between natural and medical.

Posted by hermes21c on May 25th, 2007 filed in Uncategorized | 12,066 Comments »