May 22, 2010

Settling

Breathe, breathe, breathe. In for two, out for four. And… we’re good.

Apologies for the brief interruption in sanity that was my last post. I was teetering on the edge of “holy sh$% is this going to be my life for the foreseeable future???” and contemplating what types of substances could opiate me enough to not notice the circumstances until we got past the colic. Luckily for us, Version 2.0 recognized his mommy’s instability, weighed the costs and benefits of continuing the crazy-making behaviour and thought the wiser of it all, ending the sleep strike of a few days’ duration.

Today, and the last couple of days, we have been back to a mostly angelic child with a discernible fussy time in the early evening/late afternoon. This, I can handle (even though I feel somewhat zombie-like due to an unfair bout of insomnia last night). I’m still sleeping on the couch with him at my side, due to a toddler unwilling to sleep in her room while the guest bed is being occupied. It’s just easier to have my own, compact space to sit up, feed the Hoover, and then lie down again to sleep.

So, we’re settling in to something of a routine.

Another way I am settling (and if you are offended by my critical view of zealots and overly passionate do-gooders, skip the rest of this post):

Coming to terms with my medically interventioned delivery.

This is a big, hot topic and I’m going to try and be brief, but doubt my ability to do so. I’ve fought for awhile to try and educate the very passionate individuals out there who (usually with good intentions but lousy forethought) are actively alienating a good portion of the population of the women they profess to be supporting. These are the women who went through childbirth with surprising ease and likely no medication or intervention, and believe now, strongly, that every woman can do this if they just reject the horrible pressures and fear-mongering of the medical profession, plan to give birth under a shady oak with their friends and family chanting beside them. Surgical procedures are unnecessary, drugs harm the baby and mama, and we all live happily ever after because EVERY woman is designed to give birth.

My assertion has always been that as long as mom and baby are healthy and happy, who cares how they got here? Also, not every woman is designed to give birth. Without the tools and procedures available to us, we would see alot more deaths and injury to both mom and babe. That’s the way it is. Let me say it again… we’re not all birthing divas, for various reasons. Some of us need help in order to have a healthy baby. As long as we know that this help is available, we are able to feel more confident and less fearful.

Logically, I know all this. Pragmatically, I know I needed the intervention I had, whether it was the emergency c-section this time, or the epidural last time, and I can reason that out. BUT! GET THIS! I feel disappointed this time. I feel like I’ve somehow not risen to a challenge – that I copped out! REALLY? Why is that? Oh! I know why! Because the zealots have created an environment in our society where anything less than the drug-free, quick hero birth is somehow seen as sub-par. Like we haven’t really done our part. Where does this come from? Videos (I’ve seen some doozies where the distributors insist it’s not meant to alienate anyone, just to celebrate life…. yet right there, in the video, in plain text, it compares and contrasts drug-free and not drug-free births and how the babies have suffered or been unable to ‘perform’ to the optimal degree… um, guilty much? Oh, actually my favorite is the new FB group called “I had a home birth. Not crazy. Not brave. Just educated.” …. seriously? Could you be more condescending? I’ve read and read and read and based on my experience it is just not for me. Don’t call me uneducated for THAT!), discussions, prenatal classes, public health nurses, online communities, EVERYWHERE. You can’t NOT support these approaches without being disregarded as jaded and fearful. Imagine a new to-be mom watching these, reading these, hearing these, and going in to deliver their first child absolutely convinced that anything that is suggested to her is an abomination and she suffers the disappointment and guilt when she requires assistance of some kind or another. You want to try and tell me that that doesn’t instil unnecessary fear of judgement and criticism to a new mom? It’s absolute crap.

And here I am, feeling like I’ve missed something because I had to have surgery. I don’t have a birth story like I did the first time. I don’t know how long my labour would have been, how much I dilated before my water broke, how many pushes it would have taken. I went into labour, it was very quick, and he was out of me within 3 hours, taken surgically. I KNOW it had to happen, there was no choice in the matter (and trust me when I say, there was no choice…. I was NOT blindsided by some bored doctor who just wanted to get home). I should have no remorse.

But guess what? I do. Not only because of the aforementioned emotional and psychological battling, but also because the recovery is so much more intense, and frustrating. It’s unlikely I will have more children, so I won’t have to decide what to do next time, but that also means I will never have another chance to try again at natural childbirth. But why the hell do I care so much?

I’m not alone, I have discovered. In fact, I am in good company. Every other woman I have spoken to about this who has had some type of intervention (and many who have not), feel the same way. They feel guilty, like they have missed something or done something wrong, or possibly put their child in a less optimal situation, when really… they have not. They did everything they should have and the last thing they need to feel is more guilt than we are already going to face for the rest of our lives as parents.

A word of advice to you passionate people who mean well… take a second to think about what your message means to all the women who have had an intervention of some sort (and likely felt ok about it until you posted that last video or article). Take a minute to think about what you are insinuating to the rest of the less ‘fortunate’ population who chose something other than your way. By all means, do what is best for you, enjoy every minute of it. Noone is here to judge you. We’d appreciate it if you would return the favour.

To all the zealots who go a step further and actually get vigilant and abusive in your messages… give your heads a shake. You’re making it worse for the vast majority of the population. It’s none of your business how someone else wants to give birth or raise a child, nor is it for you to judge whether their situation warranted intervention or not. Why don’t you try spending your time supporting the women who need it, and leave those of us who were happy with their end results, happy.

I need to go and cuddle my little man now, and celebrate what I have, no matter how he came out. I guarantee you he’ll never be worse for wear because of it.

3 comments:

Nicole said...

Wicked. Love this post.

jaco said...

You go Pharmacy Girl!

nonlineargirl said...

Like you said, if both mom and baby come out healthy, in the grand scheme of things it does not matter if intervention was needed, wanted, used. In terms of parenting, pregnancy and childbirth are really the least of it!

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