Remember the Dutch! The Magic of Creation

Newborn Toes

Emily and I have been doing our birthing classes for the past three weeks preparing for birth. We are taking the Bradley Method classes because we’re both interested in having a natural birth (or at least as much of one as is possible). But that’s where we’re running into some difficulties. We’re finding that the less-than-helpful medical system of which our insurance company has thrust us into isn’t as pro-natural birth as one would hope. One problem is that we have an HMO that offers no alternative to a hospital birth. There are not separate standing natural birth centers we can go to (and be covered) and the insurance company knows of no doctors who are “friendly to natural birth.” We have a lot of friends who have had natural births but they are either PPOs or on Medicare (so far as I know). It just seems really weird that within a 30 mile radius of where we live there isn’t one place covered by our HMO that is on board with this stuff. I mean it’s not like we live in the boondocks. And how does a healthcare group really not know if any of their doctors do take natural childbirth seriously?

Secondly, when (in our very limited experience) asking a doctor if they are “friendly to natural birth” gets you a strange look and a less than satisfying answer, you start to get a little scared. Why is it that in our society we are obsessed with the over medicalization of everything? The current doctor we’ve been seeing (our second so far) said she is “sort of friendly” to natural birthing methods, but when it comes down to it, she’s actually not into it at all. For instance, we learned yesterday that the doctor has a c-section rate of over 30% in line with the rest of LA and its everything pristine, Hollywood mentality.

In the LA Times recently a woman said:

Too many caesareans are literally medical overkill. Yet some U.S. hospitals are now delivering half of all babies surgically. Across the nation, 1 in 4 low-risk first-time mothers will give birth via caesarean, and if they have more children, 95% will be born by repeat surgery. In many cases, women have no choice in the matter. Though vaginal birth after caesarean is a low-risk event, hundreds of institutions have banned it, and many doctors will no longer attend it because of malpractice liability.

Not only is a C-section arguably more risky but it’s just not necessary most of the time. This website points out that for patients of natural birthing methods, those who are well practiced and prepared for birth, their c-section rate is closer to 4% (a majority being to due to complications). It says:

Of 11,814 women admitted for labor and delivery and attended by midwives to 84 free standing birth centers in the US, 15.8% were transferred to the hospital and 4.4% had a cesarean section. Although the women were lower than average risk of a poor pregnancy outcome, their cesarean rate is one-fifth of the national average.

For us it’s hardly about just c-sections, though I find the study of its growing popularity fascinating from a cultural standpoint. The bigger problem is that we want to feel like we have the freedom to have a baby naturally without being pressured otherwise. Overall, this doctor has requested some things of us, done or made suggestions that have made us feel rather anxious about having her as the doctor who will see the birth of our baby through. Will she push unnecessary medicine on Emily in the heat of the moment? Will she demand inducing birth if the baby doesn’t come “on time” (she already told us she will)? Will we be able to keep the baby after birth? Will she respect any of our wishes when push comes to shove (no pun intended)?

I am realizing these are important issues for all of us to think through. As the church we’re called to be a contrast society in the world, that can at times mean asking uncomfortable questions and being irritating to the “professionals” of the world. But if it means that we can be honest about how our faith and choices work together (and sometimes don’t) and ride against the powers of our culture then it seems worth it to us. Having a first child is really exciting but we’re finding it’s also really scary. We want our daughter to be born in a way that is safe and healthy, as well as not over medicated or unnecessarily unnatural. I don’t believe these two things don’t have to work against either. Let creation work its magic. Do we really need intervene when it’s not necessary?

We heard while we were in the UK that Holland doesn’t offer any kind of anesthesia or any other drugs during birth unless it is medically an absolute necessity. They recognize that women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, and that maybe our interfering has negative repercussions we don’t see. So we’ve adopted the saying “remember the Dutch” as a way to remind us of this simple, yet important point: creation has a powerful magic of its own.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

23 thoughts on “Remember the Dutch! The Magic of Creation”

  1. Wow, kids, keep looking! At 21 and 26 years ago, I had here in backwater
    Salem, Oregon, a family centered, no-drugs, keep the baby with you option in
    the hospital. Back in the day we did Lamaze.

    The people I know up here are now giving birth in their living rooms in wading
    pools with doulas, and sometimes, crowds of friends. Not for me, but the
    hospitals up here now, have to compete and have these fabulous birthing suites,
    and I don’t know anyone pushing c-sections.

    stand-alone birthing centers have mostly died due to the cost of malpractice
    insurance.

    you might try hospital shopping instead of doctor shopping. Find a hospital
    that is family friendly and open minded and ask who delivers babies there. Most
    hospitals will give you a tour of their birthing facilities. See if you can get
    the nurses to talk to you. Ask them who the natural friendly docs are.

    Go to the flakiest, natural grocery in your area and read the bulletin board.
    Call anyone who is doing anything related to kids and ask about opttions.
    Would your insurance pay for a naturopath? Some of them deliver, and if they
    don’t they might be able to make a recommendation.

    Call yoga teachers.

    From my old woman perspective, for a first baby, I would want a hospital with
    good neonative care. In my experience, the nurses were vastly more important
    than the doctor, who in each case, was there for about one hour of the whole
    deal. Great guys both of them, but not the most important piece of the picture
    that day.

    My first child received a formal delivery because the doc thought I had a long
    time to go, and tried to use his opera tickets. She was delivered by a man in a
    tuxedo, and carries that sense of herself to this day.

  2. Peggy,
    Thanks for all the good advice! Great tips here, and stuff I hadn’t thought of for sure. Yeah, we’re definitely not opposed to doing it in a hospital and originally really wanted to be in one for our first, but this doctor we’ve been with has been a bad experience and made us think we needed to look elsewhere. But I like your advice about checking out the hospital just as much. We are doing that, Emily just got word yesterday on a good “family friendly” and natural birth friendly hospital near here, so I think we’re going to go and check it out.

    Maybe I should wear a tux for the whole shin dig.

  3. Hey Wess – I really enjoyed reading this post. Props to you and Emily for asking the tough questions. I’m particularly grateful that you are so involved in this process, because it seems like some men are scared of this process. It’s really amazing to see the partnership that you and Emily have as you go into this together. (I wouldn’t expect anything different from you both.) πŸ˜‰

    On a less practical level, I believe that women’s health has never been at the forefront of the medical treatment – particularly in western medicine. There is a history of fear connected to women’s sexuality, childbirth and women’s bodies. I am really glad to see the natural birth movement gaining momentum in this country and I hope it’s a product of women becoming agents and the affirmation of the life-giving power of women’s bodies. Just a thought.

    Did you see this editorial in the LA Times a few days ago about birth rates and the disparity in rates among African American and Latino women? Check it out: http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-crossette26sep26,1,3862434.story

  4. I have told you the story about my sister who gave birth to her first child in Holland, right? Wanting to at least have pain meds at her disposal should she chicken out on the whole natural birth thing, she asked the doctor if there was a way to pay extra or something and maybe then she could get drugs?

    The doctor looked at her, and said “in this country, you can’t PAY for better or different health care”. He was deeply and seriously offended by the suggestion that money would have anything to do with anything. Ahhhh, nationalized health care. Remember the Dutch indeed!

    Anyhow, she did it naturally. And then went to France to have her second kid. So that she could have drugs, or at least the option of drugs. But by the time she got to the hospital it was too late so she ended up having #2 naturally as well!

    And on the flip side – here in LA my sister-in-law had to fight off nurses who kept trying to give her meds during the birth of first child. Every 15 minutes or so they would come in and ask her the same questions that she had answered NO to all along. She had NO in her birth plan! It was really frustrating for her and my brother who was the one beating the nurses off. She did #2 with a midwife (but at a hospital) to avoid all that.

  5. It is my conviction and experience that birth is holy, no matter where.

    I had two hospital births, following two medically complicated pregnancies. Even so, I saw the doctors involved with both my children’s births for about 1-2 hours tops. Nurses are important. I missed all the Lamaze classes my first time, since the baby came so early, so the delivery nurse explained it all to me on the fly, or rather on the operating table. You might also ask your Bradley instructor for names of nurse-midwives or doctors who can help.

    A doula or midwife is also a great idea. It will cost you money, but it will probably be worth it. One good thing is that if you have to go to the hospital, it helps to have an advocate who is not having her/his first baby (unlike both of you) who knows what you want/don’t want and will have the strength and presence of mind to keep to that, rather than panicking in the moment.

    I’m not planning on any more children, but if I did, I would do anything to deliver my baby at home. But not with crowds of people. I think that it’s barbaric that we expect women to travel when they’re in deep labor. I think that is traumatic and distracting at a point when a woman needs to focus and relax.

    Not that I have any strong opinions about this, or anything.:-)

  6. Hi Wess: another resource is the Bradley instructors–ours had trained hundreds of couples and knew a lot about practices at various hospitals and doctor practices.

    Most of the maternity wards I’ve seen have added curtains and feel more like the birthing suites of twenty years ago. At least this has improved. But OB/GYNs are very medicalized and insurance and the doctor culture has pushed toward intervention in every possible case. It’s sad.

    With our first child we tried to prepare. We did the Bradley classes and found a nurse-midwife attached to a small doctor’s practice. Plans went awry when the midwife went on vacation the week we were due (grrr…), dumping us into the hands of an unsympathetic doctor we didn’t trust. Retrospect has made us all but certain that Theodore was never going to come out a natural way no matter how good the midwife (he had a huge head (>95th percentile) and Julie’s family has a lot of died-in-childbirth stories). A good nurse midwife who had gained our trust would have been able to explain why we were the 4% that really needed a c-section, saving a lot of agony.

    It was very very hard to find a hospital and practice that would even entertain the notion of a VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarian) for our second child but in the end it was a moot point–another big headed baby for us. At least we’re over all this now. If we have a third we can simply schedule the c-section 9:30 on the Monday morning 280 days after conception. Philosophically it sucks but we’ve gone through enough hours of labor for ten kids.

    Our prayers will be with you through all this. If you or Emily ever want to talk with me or Julie, just give a ring.

  7. Not that I know much about this, but my wife reported to me that during her rotation in the Maternity ward at Kaiser last year, births took a long time. Now, I know that means “$$$$” to those (pause, ahem) “cash strapped” HMOs, but it also meant more C-sections. Less time = more $$$ = more C-sections. Or, in old parlance, “time = $$$ = C-section.” Einstein said that, right? Didn’t he receive HMO coverage? πŸ˜‰

  8. Thanks everyone, there’s a lot of really amazing advice and good stories here.

    @Cate – I can’t believe it, I think I stole your story and didn’t give you credit for it. I thought we heard that in the UK and here we heard it in the LA. Sorry, everyone the Dutch story is from Cate’s sister not some travels abroad.

    @Holly – thanks for the link and good point about Women’s issues and medicine. Robin’s point about the strangeness of making women travel while they’re in labor is a great example of what you’re talking about. Thanks for pointing that out.

    @Robin – thanks for your advice as well. We are looking for a doula currently, and hopefully we’ll find one even though the baby is due on Christmas.

    It’s good hearing from you and Martin both, who I look up to in a number of ways, and hearing that even with all the good intentions in the world things just don’t always go as planned. It’s something I need to keep in mind as we consider all this.

    @Martin – I didn’t realize it would be so hard to find a doctor who would even allow a VBAC, that’s seems really strange. Do you know if it’s true that postpartum depression is linked to c-sections at all? It’s something I’ve heard but wasn’t verified.

    @Chad – thanks for the comment. Its a hard truth to hear but it sounds like it’s more likely to be true than some other version.

  9. Our daughter was born in the UK (London) and we went through a National Childbirth Trust set of classes. Of the 11 in our class, there was only one C-section and that was advised well ahead of time as a medical necessity. Of the remaining 10, my recollection is that about half had epidurals – one had planned for it but it wasn’t available in time. A big part of the process was having a birthplan and interacting with midwifes who, for the most part, really wanted to help make the plan work.

  10. Hi Wess: don’t know about any c-section/depression connection. I will say that I found the Bradley material embarrassingly out of date and badly-sourced. It was excellent to learn the techniques and very helpful to review the step-by-step of what would happen beforehand and while I would heartily recommend the Bradley system, it sometimes crosses the line into propaganda. I’d take any claims it might make linking c-sections to anything else with a grain of salt. In the end c-sections are mostly just an inferior-but-effective way to get the baby out. The only repercussion we found was that recovery time for c-sections is a lot longer (it is abdominal surgery after all) and the stomach never ends up looking the same no matter how many pull-ups the new mother does.

    We didn’t want a caesarian. We worked hard to avoid it. But in the end it didn’t really matter that much. We have two happy kids, a healthy family. The birth is only the start of family life, just another chapter in the adventure. Speaking of which the kids have just woken up and are here asking for peanut-butter crackers….

  11. @Fernando – It’s good to hear how the spread of your class went. There’s only us in our class, so we don’t have any one else to have as an example.

    @Martin – I totally agree with the outdated material, borderline propaganda stuff, and we’re definitely doing our best to take all the advice we can and sift it with what is reasonable for us. Thanks for a clearer picture of your story, it’s difficult from our side to imagine much after the birth as it seems to be taking up so much headspace, but you’re point about it only being the beginning is good insight.

  12. I’m so excited for the two – I mean three – of you, Wess! What an awesome time of life for you guys as a family. Incredible!

    My wife had to have a c-section when our son was born. It was an emergency c-section. I’ll hit the major pints of a very, very long and emotionally taxing story:

    1. We went to the hospital the night before my son was born because of contractions.

    2. The docs and nurses had difficulty finding our sons heartbeat. They finally did find it, but it was very low.

    3. They did an ultrasound to see if the cord was where it should be. They decided that it was ok and sent us home.

    4. The next morning my wife went into labor. Each contraction she had resulted in my son’s heart rate dropping to dangerous levels. It turned out that the cord was not in the right place; it was wrapped around his neck. So, every time she had a contraction the cord would tighten up and basically choke him.

    5. The docs whisked her away – at record speed, I might add – and performed a c-section.

    6. I was in the room, sitting by my wife, shielded from the c-section operation by a blue, tarp-like shield. When they were bringing my son out, the anesthesiologist tapped me on the shoulder, and told me to look over the blue tarp-like shield so I could watch my son being born. For some odd reason, I listed to him and stood up and looked! WOW! Needles to say, I wasn’t prepared for all of that. πŸ™‚

    7. I did, however, watch them count out loud while they unwrapped the cord from my son’s throat …2 1/2 times.

    I have to say, that the c-section was terribly hard on my wife. natural birth would have been so much healthier and better for her all around. Her recovery took much longer. However, without a c-section, I probably would have lost both of them. I thank God everyday that I did not. πŸ™‚

  13. Shawn – Wow! Thanks for sharing that. I am glad everything worked out well for all of you, it sure does sound like it was intense. I’ve heard about babies having the cord wrapped around their necks, how scary…

  14. Remember the Dutch! Good post!

    Keep looking, you’l find the place that’s right for you. Don’t be discouraged. If more people asked these questions and demanded natural childbirth, the industry would start listening!

    (Have you considered home birth? Lots cheaper! And no arguing for a natural birth! *smile*)

    It’s just easier not to have to fight about it during labor. But, remember, that you can have a natural childbirth anywhere as long as you are really committed to it. WIth all this good preparation, I have no doubt you’ll both handle it wonderfully!

    I’m so glad that you are all preparing so well for your birth. Your baby will thank you someday! πŸ™‚

    Daja, your propaganda…ur…Bradley Instructor. πŸ™‚

  15. Hey Daja! Thanks for the comment and thank you for all your advice and help. I think you’re a big reason why we’ve been unhappy with our lamo doctor! πŸ˜‰ But I think we finally got in touch with a doctor you told us about, we’ll tell you more Monday.

    A home birth would be awesome, but I’m not sure we’re ready for that one just yet! Then again I’m not sure I’m ready for this one just yet!???!

    Oh and the about borderline propaganda – don’t worry about that, I’m a Quaker! I live for that stuff!!! πŸ˜‰
    Keep up the great work!

  16. Hi Wess,
    A joyful time in your life! And well worth trying to find the right doctor, nurse/ midwife, and hospital, and making clear to everyone that you want a natural childbirth.

    Here’s my story:
    Our daughter was born 33 years ago, Lamaze all the way. Went to doctor 2 weeks before due date for routine check-up and was told I was on edge of going into labor, and she was positioned breech (that is, bottom-down instead of head-first). So they sent me along to the hospital, took a quick scan, and decided I could probably deliver without a C-section. Nothing happened for hours; by the time I went into labor, my doctor had gone off to deliver another baby so they called his partner, whom I’d never met. Luckily he was a very calm experienced guy who must have delivered thousands of babies. He showed up, asked me if I wanted any meds, and when I said no, proceeded to deliver my daughter, “frank breech”, no anesthetics. (Tricky – they come out bottom-first, up to the navel, then the doctor wiggles out the legs, then you get them out up to shoulders, then they extract the arms, then you deliver the head last.) The whole labor, start to finish, was under 3 hours. I was up taking a shower just a little while later. She was a healthy 7 lbs, wide awake and Apgar 10, and I felt fine (well, as soon as that head came out)!

    Suggestions based on my experience:
    1. Yes, good nurses are important! But for that last two hours, the doctor was the guy who counted. It really mattered that he had delivered a LOT of babies, all different ways. Ask how many babies the doc has delivered and whether that includes VBAC, breech, etc.
    2. Had we still lived in CA or moved to East Coast instead of midwest, I would probably have been forced into C-section. An obstetrician friend in NY was horrified when she heard about my delivery. They are constrained by hospital and insurance regulations and also possible individual sanctions if something goes wrong. You have very little control over that.
    3. We were lucky – I am slender but was very fit and the baby was not too big, and my doc knew what he was doing. But we could easily have had a major crisis. Having anesthesiologist, operating room, neonatal critical care unit right there is important. My sister had to ride 30 miles in an ambulance with a newborn with a heart problem to a hospital that could care for her, a very frightening way to start out.

    May this delivery go smoothly and peacefully!

    Laurel

  17. Hey Wess,

    I don’t normally read your blog (don’t have time to even check my emails) but I do sometimes read where Martin’s commented and follow links. Martin and I don’t see each other very much and so at least that way I can see what he’s been thinking about lately.

    Just a couple of things, and of course ditto if you guys are interested in calling us anytime about the whole thing. I definitely talked things over a lot with people during both pregnancies. I’m an anal retentive researcher and try to always explore all possible options thoroughly, bounce ideas off others, etc., so I sorta know where you’re coming from. We definitely spent many, many an hour talking about the very same issues I see you and others talking about here.

    (Martin meant sit-ups re: my stomach, btw, not pull-ups. But he’s very underslept. And unfortunately he’s right that most women don’t seem to get their previously flat stomachs back post-C-section, but I’ve learned to live with my little “kangaroo pouch.” Looks like I’ve been hemmed. I coach gymnastics 6 days a week and so I’m resolved that I’m not getting my flat stomach back. Actually a woman I work with who looks like a tall, skinny model from a magazine had a C-secion with her first and you’d never know it. Don’t you love people like that, Emily? Anyway, all that stuff’s small potatoes in the end, but in our society I imagine it’s a hard pill for most women to swallow…)

    On the Bradley method, I cannot help myself from saying: Please don’t follow the diet. (Unless they’ve changed it.) All those eggs everyday and LIVER? Disgusting. I refused to follow it. I gained 60 pounds with each kid (mostly water what with late August babies and the edema) which I eventually lost, but if I’d followed the Bradley diet I’d have been as big as the Goodyear Blimp. Maybe bigger. And with a heart condition too. Take most of the things they say with a grain of salt…exercise common sense and do your research to keep your head.

    What Bradley’s good for is four things, IMO. (1) Emphasis on having a good and healthy diet (not necessarily THEIRS though). Proper nutrition + exercise. Stretching! (2) Emphasis on healthy distrust of the medical establishment, keeping an open mind to reasonable alternatives. (3) MOST importantly, and the foundation of Bradley, those RELAXATIONS! DO DO DO practice them. They saved me in my first labor, which was long and painful and lasted 40 hours. Martin helped me to prepare by doing these relaxations at home in the evenings and when the time came I could more easily switch into this mode when the contractions came. Even if you wind up in the surgery room or with any kind of pain in life in the future, the practice will not have been a waste of time, I assure you. (4) Having a childbirth coach or partner, preferably a husband. Involving husbands in the pregnancy and childbirth is so important. People our age take this for granted these days I think, but I cannot imagine my own dad being as supportive of my mom as Martin was of me throughout my pregnancies, etc. I don’t know how in the world women go through labor and delivery alone, without a friend to help them.

    On the HMO/Dr. front, we feel your pain. I researched many practices ahead of time before I decided. (The second time around the choice was obvious because she was my second-choice the first time around.) I would think that in the area you live in, though, you’d be able to find a good CNM (nurse midwife) who can work with you and who your HMO will cover. Even ours covered my solo midwife with baby #2. We had no fancy plan, I assure you. As has been suggested, looking at the hospital might be an option, but I know for myself that having a trusted nurse (or dr.) during my pregnancy, labor, and delivery was more important than the hospital itself. With baby #2 I had both a good midwife and a good hospital. My midwife even assisted the dr. in the surgery (heck, I’ve got no doubt she could’ve performed the surgery herself if allowed by law). In your area the hospitals are probably numerous and with good resources available anyway.

    If you end up in a less than desirable situation with your dr./midwife, just try to have a birth plan and communicate your wishes as clearly as you can, and remember that ultimately the decisions are yours (well, mostly Emily’s) to make. While in labor with #1 our horrendous dr. yelled at me while I was in labor, and this only increased our mistrust of him. He tried to bully, belittle, and berate me. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know who he was dealing with. We suspected he might’ve had a golf game in the AM or something. It was about as bad as it could get, but as he probably regularly intimidates women into having abdominal surgery cuz he doesn’t want to wait around while they’re in labor, he performed a pretty darn good C-section. Silver lining was he had lots of practice. Later on another doc in that practice who visited me in the hospital walked in on me without knocking and I was barely clothed, and then laughed at me when I told him I was in pain and wanted another day in the hospital. You’re right to want to choose carefully, as you cannot assume the dr. or midwife you like will be the one on-call when you go to the hospital, even if they promise you.

    And cynically speaking, even if you find a great midwife, like mine, remember you might still have differences. I recommend mine enthusiastically, but I differ with her vociferously over some diet issues. I agreed to go on a low-carb diet with baby #2 so I might have a chance at a smaller baby, but since it was the head (scull) causing all the troubles I failed to see how the low carb diet would help all that much. Also, I am small, apparently, therefore a true cephalopelvic disproportion scenario. As it turned out I guess I was right about the diet, but I wanted to give it a chance just in case. Also she advocates this flaky hypnotherapy stuff and I purchased a CD (didn’t go in for the whole course) and while listening Martin and I laughed so hard we hurt. As if the rainbow visualization crapola wasn’t funny enough, it sounded like it was narrated by the stereotypical “Pat the biker dyke.” Ashame I don’t know where that CD is or I’d send it to you for a good laugh. It was bizarre. The bottom line is you should feel comfortable with her/him and basically trust the advice they’re giving you is well-researched, reasonable, and in YOUR best interest (not theirs).

    Please let us know how it goes. Pray to the Most Holy Mother of God for help in this. She never fails in pleading on our behalf to her Son!

  18. Laurel and Julie, thank you both for your stories and advice. There’s no place like the midwest!

    Emily and I have read through all these and are trying to take all the advice everyone’s given. It has all been really helpful.

    And if anyone else is still thinking about these issues (not yet pregnant or really early on), I do encourage you to search out your community for Bradley Method instructors (hit up google or the bradley databases). It’s been really helpful, and it helps put all these stories, advice, etc into a context – at least it does for me.

  19. We had 2 of our 3 children at home, in Mongolia unassisted and with no insurance. When the last one was born we had $11.00 in our bank account!

    The Mongolian medical system is about 20 years behind America and it’s terrible. My first son’s hospital birth was a disaster and I won’t go into detail here. The home births were not without their ups and downs but God was definitely in control.

    I wish you and your wife luck as you make sense of all the info out there. Home birth or hospital, I wish you all the best!

  20. Wess and Emily,

    You probably don’t remember me, but I am Melissa Brewster, wifey to Jed Brewster. About four years ago, we were living down in your neck of the woods- we were the crazies living in our old VW bus with our one year old, Ezra. We met you through church and hung out with you guys a bit before moving back to the Northwest. Anyhow, just some background.

    First of all, congratulations!

    I know that this post is older, but I just wanted to mention a couple of things…. this will probably be very unorganized, as I’ve got a baby lying on my lap and nursing while I try to type one handed. πŸ™‚

    Birth is normal- it is not a disease or a medical complication. Women have been giving birth forever. We don’t need someone to deliver our babies, modern medicine has just normalized that. Our bodies respond and know what to do- God made us with amazing bodies that are capable of so much more than most of us realize.

    C-sections are a wonderful tool for emergencies…. but terrible for routine births.

    Yes, there is definitely a link between c-sections and PPD, as well as more difficulty in bonding with a new child, more pain, exhaustion, you name it.

    I don’t know what HMO you have, but if you haven’t found a path or a provider yet, there may still be options.

    As a mother of three, and a woman who has experienced both home birth and c-section birth, I cannot encourage you enough to be firm in what you want. Natural birth is a beautiful thing- the most amazing experience I’ve ever had (and the reason that I am pursuing midwifery)….

    …but beyond that, this is Emily’s body we’re talking about… she has the right to say what will and will not be done to it. In every other aspect of our lives, we as women are taught to protect our bodies…But in the medical realm, we are expected to just sit nicely and allow a doctor to control one of the most intimate times in our lives! It’s absurd!

    Anyhow, enough of my rambling, here are a couple of links:

    http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=763364

    http://www.socalbirth.org/index.htm

    http://southcoastmidwifery.com/

    Oh, and I think that a doula would probably be a great idea.

    Blessings on your journey and birth!

    -mel

Comments are closed.