This article is a part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlower, Every Breath I Take, I Thought I Knew Mama, African Babies Don't Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month's topic is Natural Birth Choices. Be sure to check out all of the participants' posts through the links at the bottom of this page.
A surprise pregnancy, followed by a rushed wedding, and moving all over the country left little time for birth preparations. I wanted and knew I would have a natural birth, but to what degree? I had always loved the idea of a water birth but thought these things were impossible in the smaller towns of South Africa. And a doula, whats that?
I was SO naive!
Thank goodness I did research things such as vaccinations, circumcision and breastfeeding or else the whole event would have been an absolute disaster.
I went in to labour on the 30 November 2010 with a cough, losing my mucous plug. Pain followed shortly afterwards feeling like mild period cramps. My birthing partner (my mom) was still at work four hours later, and we still had an hour and a half drive to the hospital... I was convinced I was going to have Jesse in the car as the pain progressed suddenly.
Ignorance is bliss???
I had done absolutely no reading on labour or birth at all, who knows why, I think I held the thought that women had being doing this for years, and I refused to go to the ante-natal classes at the hospital because they had it all wrong anyway (lol).
We arrived at the hospital and I was dilated only 1 cm - What the?? I was so convinced this baby was going to be born NOW! My blood pressure had sky-rocketed and the gynea threw around the C word, they then administered Pitocin (the unnatural part of my natural labour) - I thought to bring my blood pressure down but it turns out its is a labour stimulant and so my child was born two hours later with much tearing and a very foggy brained mommy. If I had done any research at all on interferences in labour, I would have refused the Pitocin of course, it has been linked to autism, and in the heat of the moment it is really difficult to concentrate, let alone make decisions, this is why preparation is SO important, I know that now.
Why natural birth needs advocates
Even in these days of the internet, information can be hard to come by, especially the information you want to find, in other words, not what the mass media / consumer driven society wants you to read, but the truth. I did a few google searches for midwives and water births in my area and came up with nothing. Now while I do live in a third world country, natural and home births are on the rise, and you really just need to know where to look! (This blog is a start, October is natural birth month and I intend to publish everything you need to know ;) )
Natural birth advocates who blog, or post information on Facebook are getting that information out there to new and pregnant moms who otherwise may not have found it. I like to think I may have made a difference in a couple of new babies lives with the information I published on breastfeeding, and I'm hoping its the same with natural birth.
Why has birth become a medical emergency when is a natural part of life? Because lots and lots of people make lots of money out of it. Women need to regain their power by stepping up and taking control of their births. Women are incredibly strong, our bodies can do amazing things, if only we allow them the opportunity to, and follow their lead.
I wish I had not allowed any interferences in my birth, but next time, I am determined to birth possibly unassisted, definitely in the comfort of my own home!
Are you an advocate for natural birth?
Bloggers, visit GrowingSlower to sign up to be a part of next month's carnival.