Friday, June 05, 2009

Singin' In the Rain and Accostin' Pregnant Mamas

Last night, JDub and I went to see Singin' In the Rain at the Hale Center Theatre with my parents, my sister and brother in law. It was SO much fun. I didn't know what to expect, since I'm a HUGE fan of the movie. I didn't want it to be too copycat. I didn't want it to stray too far. I was convinced that nobody could possibly play Cosmo as well as Donald O'Connor.

I was more than pleased with the production. Wow. It was just SO good. The dancing was incredible. There was real "rain" and we got very wet in the front row. The costumes were amazing. The guy who played Cosmo gave an EXQUISITE performance. He was hilarious and spot-on through the whole show. When it was finished, my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much. All in all, a well spent night. Thanks mom for treating us all!

During intermission I had a little conversation with JDub. I determined that there are three things that are hard for me to watch: live theatre, live soccer and pregnant women. With all three, I just want so much to be involved and it takes some doing to just relax and enjoy.

Today I've been particularly thinking about the pregnant mama connection. Perhaps it's because I'm currently not doing any birth work, but every time I see a pregnant mom (especially one who looks like a first time mom), I just want to accost her. In a loving way, of course. :)

I want to ask every pregnant woman I see the following questions:

"Who is your care provider? Do you trust and feel comfortable with them and do you know about their intervention rates?"
"What childbirth books have you read? Can I give you a good list?"
"Have you taken or do you plan to take a GOOD childbirth preparation class?" (Typical hospital classes don't offer much more than VERY basic physical and consumer information.)

I just want every pregnant woman to have a positive, healthy pregnancy and birth based on the following criteria:

  • excellent, compassionate care from a provider who respects her body's ability to give birth and her desires and choices
  • true choice based on solid information, not scare-tactics or pressure from others
  • a wealth of resources to help her navigate the physical, social, emotional and cultural aspects of birth
  • a feeling of empowerment and the confidence to, at each moment, mindfully make the best decisions for her and her baby -- no matter what those decisions are
For many women, their first birth is not a positive experience. This makes me sad beyond words. I want all women to have the best experiences possible with birth.

Understand, that by "best" I have few definitions of what "type of birth" is best. The one thing I've learned over my last 6 years of birth work is that women know. When well cared for, well-informed and given the message that their bodies work, women inherently know what it is they need at each moment to birth their baby. It is different from woman to woman and from one birth to another. A peacefully accepted, necessary emergency cesarean. A drug-free home birth with music and candles. A hospital birth with a speedy epidural. When mindfully chosen, any of these scenarios can be positive birth experiences.

I find that knowledge, compassionate care, mindfulness and a sense of personal sovereignty have much more impact on how a woman feels about her birth than the actual physical circumstances of that birth.

So, I'm planning to write (and probably have a few guest posts) on enjoying pregnancy and preparing for birth. I hope they will be helpful and that everyone who reads here regularly will disseminate them to as many people as possible.

I have a few ideas of what I will be writing. But I'd like to know what you would like to see. What do you wish you had known with your first birth? What books, advice and preparation have been most helpful for you during pregnancy and birth?


Emnacnud said...

i wish i had listened better to my birthing instructer when told that birth may not go as planed, i knew by the time we had the c-section that it was going to happen, though so that was good. i would say all my births where good. my birthing from within class was all i had and it has served me well, having you and joe there to listen to my wants and needs was great you telling me to breath through contractions and not tens up was great. i could say more but the kids are calling so i must go.

Emily said...

I haven't given birth (and am not planning to in the near future), but I'd love to hear you talk about all those things!

AFarCryFromNormal said...

What I wish I had known is that there were other options ie home birth, that there can be bad side effects to medications both for momma and baby and that I didn't have to stay with my provider if I didn't feel 100% ok with her ( I felt I had to stay because that is where I started and out of loyalty) Bwaaahaaa! What I wish I had known but on the other hand now looking back those negative experiences have taught me many lessons and has given me the inspiration to help others at least know of their options etc.

BTW, I too feel the same way about many things. I want to be involved and just share but I don't want to offend and be pushy etc. I think I have found a balance......most of the time.

Jeff and Jessie said...

What I wish is that someone would have warned me about sneezing when you have stitches. Or that I would be tip toe-ing for the next few days because walking hurt in the groin. Or that castor oil does NOT bring on labor-just 12 hours of BAD runs.
What I do wish is that people would stop telling me I am insane for having 3 natural births and actually be amazed-I am! I am so proud of my body. But just because I did it doesn't make me any stronger than the one who has an epidural-just different. Women need to be amazed at the process their bodies just completed. It is not a competition.
I wish nurses were better prepared to help a mother do an unmedicated birth. They gave me a look of terror when I said, "no epidural-thanks!" It doesn't have to be the main stream...
I also wish they would have told me how euphoric I would be at the little miracle I created. I couldn't believe that I couldn't stop hugging, loving and cuddling. And still can't!
Sorry-I got on a soap box-huh!

Trishelle said...

Magically Mama, your desire to reach out to these women just shows your love and commitment to them. You truly possess a rare and beautiful gift. We Mamas are lucky to have you on our side!