What Did She Say

My mind is always open

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I was ecstatic. I was absolutely bursting with emotion and I couldn’t reach my husband. I sat on my stairs at home. I rocked a bit. I bounced. I was going nuts. I had to tell someone! So, I called my friend in Halifax, knowing there was no way she could see my husband before I had a chance to tell him. (Sorry honey. You weren’t the first to know…)

Tests were done and baby was confirmed. So, where do we go from here? So many decisions.

I briefly thought of a home birth, but quickly talked myself out of that. What if something goes wrong? What if I can’t handle the pain? What if I don’t know what to do? Fear. Fear. Fear.

Where did that fear come from?

I recently watched The Business of Being Born and it was a very good documentary about birth in the United States and why it might be the way it is. And maybe with some knowledge and the idea that we should be asking why, we can change things.

Picture a woman giving birth.

What was the first image that flashed in your head?

Was it a woman flat on her back? Legs perched on stirrups? Hospital gown? Doctor down in front? Nurse to the side? Hubby standing by (possibly getting yelled at)? Monitor strapped across the belly? Mom being coached by the doctor when to push, how hard to push, when to take a break?

If so, why? Why have we been bombarded with all these images? Why do we think we can’t give birth anymore without medical assistance?

I know I was too afraid to have a home birth. Both times. First time I had a family doctor and had the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am visits. Baby Girl ended up being delivered by a stranger in a hospital I’d never set foot in prior to that point.

Although, I’m thankful for that. Had we stayed at our original (very busy) hospital with my original doctor, I’m almost positive Baby Girl’s delivery would have ended in a c-section. I had already been warned to “prepare for a possibility of a c-section” due to my “big baby” and “small pelvis”. By the way, my “big baby” was 6lb 12oz at 6 days overdue…

News of second baby came along and I knew I wanted a midwife. Got one, unlike many who wish to go that route. Still wanted a hospital birth, though. Still not confident enough to be “that far” from medical intervention, if necessary. That birth ended in an emergency c-section due to The Boy having his butt stuck the wrong way.

Even in this country (Canada) I know someone whose spinal didn’t take and she felt her whole c-section. OUCH! I know someone who had huge issues with infection after a c-section. And this is here! In Canada. Where we have access to some of the best care in the world.

All in all, my experiences were not bad. I treasure my pregnancies and births, but I do wish I had a couple do-overs. I’d like to try a home birth. Maybe even a water birth. Who knows. But it took two births to get that confidence.

Now, the real reason for this post is Moms4Moms. Maternal health. Here’s what it’s all about.

Some shocking stats:

• There is one maternal death every 90 seconds.
• 15% of all pregnancies result in complications during labor and delivery and sometimes are fatal.
• Pregnancy is the biggest killer of girls ages 15-19.
• For every woman who dies in childbirth, 20 more suffer from debilitating complications.

And this one is the one that really got me wanting to do this:

• We have the knowledge to prevent 90% of all maternal deaths.

What if we each donated just a little bit of what’s spent every year on Mother’s Day? What if we asked for handmade cards and a donation to everymothercounts.org instead? Instead of a dozen roses from well-intentioned but completely unoriginal hubby, a life could be saved.

All the information you need is here.

Moms, did you have the birth experience you hoped for? Why or why not?

Were you confident in your own abilities to labour and deliver?

Whether your birth experience was empowering or left you feeling powerless, we have the power to make a difference. YOU have the power now to make a real difference. Do something today.

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