I went to my first ICAN meeting yesterday.
I entered a room filled with pillows and five women smiling and laughing.
I was greeted and then welcomed, allowed to take my fill of the space and remain a quiet observer of the obvious camaraderie around me. I sat on a chair furthest from the women and watched them. I waited to be introduced, to meet new friends who would share war stories of dramatic deliveries and victorious VBACs. Ten minutes after I had arrived five more women sat down and we began to share our stories.
We each had a story we carried. We were soldiers dealing with the stress of a birth we didn't want.
None of us wanted our C-Section. None of us wanted the doctor to cut the child out of our womb.
When we shared our views on birth and what giving birth meant to us, we all agreed that it was our right to give birth vaginally. It was a right of passage. It was our entrance to motherhood. It was a violation to not have the birth we wanted. Medical intervention prevented us from having our desired birth experience.
Maybe that pitocin wasn't necessary. Maybe that epidural was too soon. Maybe we don't need to be monitored every moment. Maybe we should be allowed to birth like our bodies were intended to.
I joined in this chorus of women and declared I felt this was another example of woman being oppressed by the man. However, upon reflection, I think it is more than that. I think it is society's vision of dehumanizing ourselves. What is natural isn't necessarily good. Modern doctors continue to vilify eastern medicine, even though its old and has a place in medical history. Acupuncture works. Energy healing is real. However, talk to most doctors and they think it's a joke. We are not machines. We are women. We are complex. We are unique. They cannot dehumanize us. They cannot simply put us into a machine and spit out a baby at the end.
We are not a cog in the wheel of birth.
We are birth.
And that is what I saw yesterday. I saw a group of earth mothers.
Women in touch with themselves, their sexuality, their power as women.
Modern medicine is terrified of what it cannot control. So it attempts to control us through intervention.
There are births that need C-Sections. I am actually one of those women. Sadie had the cord wrapped around her neck tightly several times. She wasn't dropping at all after 24 hours. Another woman at the meeting shared how her water broke and walked around for four days without going into labor. She also needed that C-Section.
However, a 33% rate of C-Sections in this country is absurd.
Three hours after entering a room full of women I did not know, I left feeling like I found a support base. Every single woman there was a power house full of dreams and hopes and desires. They were all alive.
Birth mothers, I salute you.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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