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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Birth of an Advocate

                          YMCA scene from my wedding on June 18th. My mom, my son, me, my new hubby, his sis, her daughter and her sister..

     This weekend, my mom was at my house. She had taken my son on vacation and was bringing him back. Well, I was online on Facebook at some point and had clicked on a post with some still scenes from a birth while my mom was sitting next to me. My mom was fascinated. You see, she has never seen or experienced natural childbirth. When she was pregnant with me, the only thing she knew about pregnancy was how to get that way. She didn't really know anything else about pregnancy, childbirth, labor or newborns. She was a tiny little thing, barely 4'10" and barely 98lbs when she got pregnant. The doctors told her that her pelvis was too small to deliver anything other than a 5 or 6 pound baby and it was decided that I was a big baby and that she would need a c-section. She was due June 30th, but, was allowed to go until she went into labor apparently because she woke up in the night on July 18th in labor. My dad drove her the hour to the hospital and they whisked her in to the OR at 1 or 2 AM because by 2:18AM I was born. I was 8lbs and 14oz and 23in. so yeah, I was a bigger baby, but, we still don't know for sure she couldn't have me. My mom was put under for the birth because she couldn't take the feeling of them working on her, so, she missed out on a lot. She never planned on nursing me anyway so her missing out really didn't affect that. :)

     In showing her those videos, I wanted her to be armed with knowledge not only for herself, although, she is past having kids, but to be a voice for anyone else she meets that needs a voice. Maybe her niece, or cousin are pregnant and she hears them mention c-section or big baby, I know that now, she will speak up about things after having seen these videos. She was truly fascinated. She asked questions too!! I explained that one birth was an unassisted birth, she asked if it was legal and could you get in trouble. I got to tell her that it is legal here and you CAN take charge if you want. She asked why the mom was on hands and knees and I told her that the position is the BEST for opening the pelvis and making room. I told her that the lithotomy(back) position used in hospitals was the worst and closed up the pelvis more. She asked me why the doctor would use it if it was the worst and I got to tell her it is so they can see better. She was not happy about that could see it in her expression. I even showed her a breast crawl video, she seemed less impressed. LOL She said well if baby kangaroos can crawl up and into the pouch without anyone telling them or putting them there, why can a human baby find a boob to eat from? Indeed mom, touche.

    Why am I telling you this? Well, I want you to see all of the places where one might inform or educate an otherwise unlikely student/mom. I also want you to see the possibilities for ripple effects from  this bit of info being shed on someone. Now, instead of spreading her story as "I had to have a c-section because my pelvis was too small and baby was too big.", she might start telling the story as, "I wasn't allowed to give birth naturally because the doctors jumped the gun and said I had to have a c-section." Just that change in wording might help the next person think a little beforehand. Would it change the fact she had a c-section, no. Would it maybe prevent another scheduled one for someone else, possibly. Maybe this small change in perspective for her will help her when talking to future pregnant women. It's a start at least.


  1. The more women open themselves up to questioning their birth experiences, the more they will discover that they have choices in childbirth and can help others avoid the same pitfalls they encountered. After my own traumatic instrumental birth I am that much more adamant that women I know become aware of their options and seek the proper birthing support like doulas and midwives.

  2. Thank you for your insight. That is wonderful. Kudos.

  3. My daughter was 10lbs 13oz and 22 3/4in long. The ultrasound I had the week before they estimated she was 7lb 13oz (obviously they were wrong, or she gained 3lbs in one week) Because they were not expecting such a big baby I had a vaginal birth as opposed to a c-section. Because she was so big she got stuck and I needed 3 nurses on top pushing while the doctor pulled and the result was that my baby broke her arm and went through so much stress they had to start her breathing and she scored a 3 on her first apgar test. I believe that doctors do in fact know more now then they did when our parents had us so if they suggest a c-section I will take consideration to that and listen to them because they do have the best outcome in mind.