Contact: superninjamommy [at] gmail [dot] com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Freak of nature.

I know, I don't usually post pregnancy related stuff here. (For the new followers, pregnancy stuff is all here.) But I have to get this out there.

Am I really that strange?

People seem to think I'm a freak of nature for the way I'm treating this pregnancy, which is to say, I'm not treating it like an illness. They absolutely hit the roof when they hear I haven't seen a doctor ("Why?" I say. "I'm not sick.") They can't believe that in this day and age a person wouldn't take full advantage of all the technology out there. When people hear that I have no idea what our baby's gender is, they're speechless. Then you can see them work it out in their heads. "Ohhh," they say, knowingly. "Baby wouldn't show you on the ultrasound." Uh, not exactly. Can't really have an ultrasound if you don't have a doctor.

Maybe I'm not comfortable with ultrasounds. Maybe I don't feel like getting a whole bunch of tests with high false positive rates. Maybe I feel like pregnancy and birth are just part of life, not some horrible sickness to be "managed." I do not have cancer or AIDS or multiple sclerosis or emphysema. I'm just pregnant.

"Think of all that could go wrong!" they say. Yes, think of it. Is any of it preventable? Nope. An ultrasound might show me a baby with birth defects, which would cause much more anxiety than it would solve. A glucose tolerance test might show gestational diabetes - but so will a regular urine disptick test for sugar. Another thing the doctor won't tell you is that you can tell where the placenta is without using an ultrasound. It makes a certain sound on a Doppler, so rather than expose my baby's developing tissues to ultrasound radiation for 30 minutes or more, I'll let my midwife check with the Doppler for thirty seconds.

And what about labor? "You need to be in a hospital in case something goes wrong!" Oh, yes. That's right. Something going wrong. Well, in all my previous births, all the things that went wrong were direct results of interventions the hospital took. And statistically, the odds of something going wrong are low enough that I am more than comfortable staying at home.

Honestly, if I could have it my way, I'd have the baby here at home with no one else. No midwife, no doula. Just me and my family welcoming our new little one into the world.


Cara said...

SNM, to be 100% honest, I'm totally awed by the way you are going through this pregnancy. It bothers me to no end that it's treated like a disease. Even though I'll be using a doctor if/when we have a 3rd, things will absolutely be different than they were with the last 2. Way to go, momma.

Lisa said...

As a Mom who had two ultrasounds and two induced hospital births, with drugs (though not epidurals) and ended up fine with two perfectly healthy kids, it is a little bit hard for me to picture you not seeing a Dr. at all, but knowing what I know about birth stats and health care issues in this country I can totally understand why you don't want to do things that way. Don't worry about what other people think. You're doing what you're supposed to do- taking prenatal vitamins, etc. and you've been though this many times before. Your body knows what to do. Screw other people's opinions. I have to listen to crap like that all the time over my decision not to feed my kids meat. I just smile, tell them my kids are probably healthier than theirs, and move on with my life.

Jenni said...

pregnancy is totaly medicalized in this country. a friend of mine in the Netherlands told me that under thier insurance system, having your baby at home w/a midwife is free. having it in a hosptial will cost you like $150 or something. and in the UK, they are supposed to offer all pregnant women the option of birthing at home. they supply birth kits for free. we've got birth all ass backwards here.

Anonymous said...

Midwives are absolutely capable of helping women bring babes into the world - they were doing it for centuries before doctors figured out they could make a ton of money in that area.

Before this century most women gave birth outside of a hospital, many completely unattended save family.

I completely and wholeheartedly believe that (barring specific medical conditions) women are more than capable of giving birth to their babies without modern medicine and the interventions that come with it.