It's a Choice

Jerrel and I have made a different type of choice in choosing our healthcare provider during this pregnancy. To us the choice didn't seem new or odd, for we had been reading about and researching midwives, birth centers, home birth, and varying other options for almost a year. We read these things out of personal and educational interests. While we hadn't ever actually met with a real life Midwife when we did, it honestly felt like a breath of fresh air.

I only wish I could get that feeling across to people when they ask the loaded question, "Who are you doctoring with?" It sounds irresponsible to say "We actually aren't doctoring." and they usually are equally confused when I explain that we are seeing a midwife 4 hours away, at a birth center-not a hospital, and they generally don't know what a birth center is exactly. Once I cover that I tend to get this awkward silence, sometimes it's simply them processing information that they had no clue they were walking into, sometimes however it's a silence filled with an odd emotion. It feels like a mix of judgmental questioning. 

I think people also wonder why. Even though I can explain a midwife is an actual expert in birth. Real-live expert. They see birth as normal and natural. But more than that, midwives actually see normal and natural births- because they let them happen. Midwives aren't concentrated with speeding the process up if it is progressing safely. They aren't concerned with starting the progress if it hasn't started naturally with healthy mom and baby. The vast majority of midwives don't control where and in what position you give birth.  Midwives aren't focused on you following their rules, because generally, you make the rules. They are a guide-a medical professional, yes. But midwives understand the power of women and the God-given right they have to choose their birth and progress through the process naturally.

I also know people around here think we are weird-but I've always been ok with that title.

I think some people may feel like their doctor wasn't good enough in my eyes, like I'm somehow condemning them for their birth choices (If you want to call them that.) But I'm not. There are instances where a doctor is very necessary and thank God we have them. Some women feel more comfortable in a hospital setting, and that's ok too. However, through our research and then Jerrel's rotations we learned so much. We didn't read about and he didn't see choices, empowerment, respect, or honor. Rules, protocol, pressure, disrespect, lack of education, and sometimes very scary situations were the norm. However in the end they all said "All that matters is that you have a healthy baby." With that comment we are just supposed to move on, because how can a mother feel like she can question that phrase when you are talking about her child. And while healthy babies are always top priority I think it's perfectly acceptable to expect and demand more from our providers. 

What I get from some women is that they have no choice. I really wonder if they understand that they have a choice on their healthcare provider, or is it whomever was available for the time slot. I get that from more than just women. You aren't actually working for the doctor or midwife-they are working for you. And if you don't like how they do their job you can fire them. Not see them again, and share with people why they were a crappy employee.

I read once that birth and birth options were the final frontiers women have yet to explore and stand up for their rights. Now I'm far from feeding into and agreeing with the feminist mentalitly-that's a whole other post, but I am agreeing with that fact. We tend to just let it happen to us. We go with what the culture has decided is right for birth. We hunt out the OBGYN or Family Practitioner that all our friends, family members, and colleagues have used, never once questioning their episiotomy rates, induction rates, epidural rates, c-section rates, policy on movement during birth, fetal monitoring, philosophy on birthWe don't care to find out that these things are even options most of the time, not necessities. We just seem to trust the system blindly and if we do make a decision it's out of fear. I refuse to live that way. 

I am not a sick woman, I am a pregnant and soon to be birthing woman. 

Don't get me wrong, if a red flag appears I will be the first to see a specialist-that's what they are there for. But for a normal, naturally progressing, healthy pregnancy and childbirth I will have my specialist of choice-my Midwife.

"Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear." ~ Jane Weideman

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change." ~Marie Mongan, Hypnobirthing

"If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any." ~ Diana Korte


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