Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Business of Being Born

I finally got the opportunity to watch this documentary and I was so pleasantly surprised.  I was worried that it would be heavy handed, preachy or fanatical but it was not! It presented a balanced advocacy for homebirth that appealed to intellect and reason but did not neglect the emotional and psychological aspects of giving birth. It goes into the history of birthing in the U.S., offers comparisons and interesting (sometimes alarming) statistics.  There are some graphic images (like drugged laboring women being tied down to keep them from hurting themselves and others) but there are also very beautiful and sweet images too.  I highly recommend this documentary.  

As a person who has had both experiences of giving birth, I can honestly say both were beautiful and transformative.  But my homebirth was empowering in a way I cannot fully describe.  I wanted to say to every pregnant woman I saw, "Are you low risk?  Is everything going routinely?  Yes?!?  You should have a homebirth!!!!!"  But I contained my excitement and eventually learned that you can't just be telling any and everybody you had a homebirth.  In fact, when you do tell folks you had a homebirth, the response may often be "On purpose?"  It's still viewed a Bohemian.  Backwards. Earthy.  Not cosmopolitan and advanced and chic.  You know, right in line there with breastfeeding.  

I honestly feel like if you are able to give birth in a hospital normally, you only narrowly escaped a whole series of interventions and a c-section.  I watched one of my best friends go through it.  She called as they were wheeling her in to have the c-section and I wanted to say, "I told you so" because I told her not to be induced.  Told her to let things take their course.  But it's hard because you're not a doctor and if a woman doesn't trust her own body, she needs someone to trust (the doctor) because this is not just about her--it's about the life growing in her.  I would love to see the business of being born taken out of the hands of medical doctors and put back into the hands of midwives and women.  I'd love to see more women begin to have faith in the process and not in the technology.  Birth is a natural process.  Not to be crude . . . but it's like having a bowel movement in a way.  Sometimes you need help but the vast majority of the time, it just happens.  

Anyway, if you've never read my homebirth story, take a moment to click the link on the sidebar.  And when you get a moment, see The Business of Being Born.  (I borrowed it from my library.)


Anonymous said...

I also enjoyed Business of Being Born. I'm planning a homebirth right now and I was thinking of blogging about it but I don't quite know what to say about it yet. I will write about it eventually because I think it's important for WOC to see that this is an option for them too. Sad to say, but I don't see too many visible brown faces in the homebirth movement so I'm always excited when I find some.

Aimless Wander said...

I'll probably check this out too. I like hearing about "alternatives". My friends seems to think I'm crazy because I'm always reading about some hippy method to raising babies. It's funny how in this country we're only presented with one way to have/raise children and everything else is backwards and third world.

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