Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not staying true to my word…whatever that means

In the past few days a reader posted the following comment:
why are you using a medwife? I was a little disappointed in you for not UCing, and now it's like wow you must not really stay true to your word.
She also emailed me this message:
Are CPM's illegal in your state if not why are you [not] using one? CNM's are really dangerous and I thought every unassisted birther knows this. They are more like medwives which to me would be way too scary. So why are you using one?
I would like to respond to these two comments. I am trying really hard to keep my tone restrained. Believe me, you don’t want to fall on the wrong side of someone who taught university-level rhetoric. So pardon me if I come off a bit strong at times.

Overall, these comments epitomize dogmatism and fanaticism at their worst—blind adherence to a belief system, inability to see beyond a narrow worldview, lack of experience with the messiness and subtleties of real life (or should I say real birth?), a black-and-white perspective in which choices are either absolutely Right or Wrong regardless of context, and gross generalizations.

Now, onto some particulars:

The “medwife” comments
Without having ever met the midwife I am seeing, the poster makes sweeping assumptions about her practice style and philosophy of care, simply because of the initials behind her name. I have worked with and know both direct-entry and nurse-midwives, and I have learned that you cannot assume anything about their style of practice from their educational background. To automatically label any CNM a “medwife” (a term used disparagingly to indicate a midwife who acts more like an OB than a midwife, in other words someone who is very medically/technocratically oriented) is not only insulting to the many CNMs who are very holistically minded, it also functions as a red herring, diverting attention away from important issues. We’re not going to move forward in our effort to improve birth culture and practices if we throw around pejorative terms like these.

For an interesting examination of the ideological conflicts (perceived or real) between DEMs and CNMs, I suggest reading Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change, edited by Robbie Davis-Floyd. It is true that there is, at times, an ideological divide between DEMs and CNMs. Davis-Floyd includes these two quotes in her introduction:
CNMs think DEMs have copped out, and DEMs think CNMs have sold out.
Joyce Roberts, President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, 1999

One group needs to tighten up, and the other group needs to lighten up!
Katherine Comancho Carr, President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2005
“I was a little disappointed in you for not UCing
I’m always a bit surprised to hear people tell me this. These comments imply that other birth choices are somehow inferior, less worthy of admiration, or indicative of weakness or lack of principle. If anyone is going to be disappointed in my birth choices, it should be me and me alone. If having an unassisted birth is right for one birth but not for another, then why should anyone be disappointed? Is there some hidden contest I’m supposed to be participating in, some Uber-Alternative-Mama medal I’m supposed to be aiming towards?

Now, this doesn’t mean that I am abandoning unassisted birth in principle or even in practice. To be more precise, my seeing a midwife this pregnancy, or my having an unassisted birth last time, goes no further than myself and my own experiences. I don’t uphold any one path to giving birth as The Only Right Way To Have A Baby. I do believe strongly in undisturbed birth, in supporting and facilitating the physiological and hormonal process whenever possible, and in gentle and empowering births that bring health and healing to mothers and babies. So yes, I do think that our national cesarean rate is atrocious, that far too many mothers and babies come out wounded and shell-shocked from their births, and that we have a lot of changes to make in both hospital and home birth culture. But I don’t for a minute believe that UC is more “pure” than having a midwife, which in turn is supposedly “better” than a birth center, which is of course preferable to a CNM-attended hospital birth. And don’t even mention those awful OBs who just want to slice & dice women, who only care about getting home for dinner…

So let’s please get beyond these trite beliefs and assumptions. I understand why some readers might be curious about why I am seeing a midwife this time, and I am more than happy to enter into a dialogue about that. But I am surprised at the inference that my actions during this pregnancy constitute a betrayal (of what? I’m not sure) or that I am “not staying true to my word.” I never remember making a vow to have unassisted births for the rest of my reproductive life. (Now granted, if I felt it was right for each pregnancy, I would gladly do so!) Did I miss something here?

I will be honest and admit that I do have some trepidations about having a midwife present. I think with any birth choice there are unknowns that can bring worry or doubt. During Zari’s pregnancy, I had moments when I wondered if I was really making the right choice, wanting to be sure my personal preferences weren’t getting in the way of what was best for me and the baby. This time around, as I have mentioned in other blog posts, I have wondered how I will be able to balance my need for privacy and autonomy with my desire to have a midwife present for her emergency skills & knowledge. I don’t know if there’s ever a perfect balance to these sometimes conflicting, sometimes converging, needs. Last time, I knew clearly that I needed to do it alone. This time, I feel more strongly the need for additional options and resources, even as I wonder if or how the midwife's presence might alter my ability to labor. Still, I feel good about continuing along the path I have chosen. A lot depends on what happens as labor unfolds—will I call her early? late? will my birth unfold quickly enough that she arrives after the fact? I don’t know—I can only say that I will be closely following the intuitive and spiritual promptings that guided me strongly and clearly during Zari’s birth. If I do that, then there is no room for doubt.

To conclude this post, I wanted to include a recent comment from another reader, Irene, in the hopes that I have answered her questions and concerns adequately. She has identified the core tensions that I, and many other women, experience between privacy, autonomy, and security. After reading my post about working through some conflicted feelings, she wrote:
Hi Rixa, I just breathed a huge sigh of relief. At first your choice in having a midwife this time around alarmed me, I even felt somewhat confused and betrayed as I saw you as such a wonderful spokesperson for UC moms. But as I read this last blog, I realized that pregnancy and birth are so personal and intimate it is so difficult to make the choices we make. I truly hope you have the birth you desire and that your baby is healthy and that you are happy…

For myself, the only reason I would want a midwife around would be for the afterbirth--in case of an emergency situation and to help with the cleanup but the pros are pretty even with the cons as my need for privacy and birthing alone would definitely result in more complications. (I learned that with my first birth too, even having hubby in the room slowed my labor a lot, I really needed to be alone). So I think that for myself, having a midwife around would ease some concerns but ironically open up Pandora's box to a slew of new concerns and perhaps complications that could have otherwise have been avoided.

Thanks so much for your blog. I am sorry that I at first somehow felt betrayed by your desire to have a midwife; I guess you made me second question UC but after reading this blog (I do check your blog but not too frequently so I missed this one at first, stating your reasons for wanting a midwife), I realized just what a tough position you are in. In a way I think you are looking for what we all want—privacy & autonomy, but a midwife would provide the added benefit of security. Ironically, a midwife would also take away some of the privacy and autonomy so really it is such a tough call.

I look forward to reading your birth story.

38 comments:

  1. *Sigh*

    And this is the kind of crap that more "mainstream" parenting forums feed on - they use stuff like this as proof that homebirthers are just a bunch of selfish women who don't care about their childrens' health and just want to prove a point. Sad.

    You know, I might have written something like this when my second child was a baby, something along the lines of "you did this once, if it is the right way, then why aren't you doing it again" the way this person who e-mailed you did. Well, after five children, all who have had very different needs and personalities, I would no longer write such a thing. I don't know, call it maturity, call it experience, after several children you start to realize that not everyone's life experiences equal your own and that what you personally experienced is not necessarily what someone else experiences. Having a severely disabled kid that likely will not ever has put a LOT of things in perspective for me personally. I'm no longer so quick to criticize a parenting choice that someone makes for their child and I don't have much patience any more for people who do, whether they are more "crunchy" or "mainstream".

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  2. Whoops, that sentence about my daughter should say "Will not likely live on her own ever in her life".

    I guess what I am saying is when it comes to parenting, even the same person rarely ever has two children who are exactly alike.

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  3. I'am sorry. I'am just really jealous of people who have had a homebirth. I wish to god that I knew that I had a homebirth for my children which makes me want to have a midwife there, not for fear of complciations, but to be a suppot system, so that I won't easily give up and go to a hospital, but I don't want her there to cause complications, so it is very frustrating to me. I'am sorry I lashed it out to you. You don't deserve that. I just wish tommorow I will have a homebirth. It won't be a goal, a dream, or a wish. I want to say it actually happened. I'am sorry.

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  4. Thanks for presenting such a well balanced, down to earth point of view. I really enjoy reading this blog. This is all about choice, we should be allowed to choose the perfect setting to give birth to our own babies, using the intuition built into each of us.

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  5. Hey Cassandra, I didn't take it personally (and I hope you didn't either!). I understand your frustrations and feelings--but I wanted to point out the need to be careful about not overgeneralizing things, especially when it comes to something so complex as giving birth.

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  6. Rixa, this was a wonderful post. Perhaps I should take some rhetoric classes. I frequently would like to be able to express my opinions in such a clear and concise way as you just did.

    Though I was very interested in UC before my pregnancy with #4 and spent a considerable amount of time on the Internet reading the stories and forums, I was turned off by what seemed to me to be a slavish devotion to an idea. I think you have done an admirable job of considering all options, championing the ones you believe in, and choosing the ones that are right for you. If only all women would do what you have done, our maternity system would drastically change of its own accord.

    And kudos to navywifeandmom for writing this: "I'm no longer so quick to criticize a parenting choice that someone makes for their child and I don't have much patience any more for people who do, whether they are more 'crunchy' or 'mainstream'." You've hit the nail on the head! I wish more people would hold that view; the world would be an easier place to live in if we did. These "Mommy Wars" do no one any good.

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  7. Thank you for this. Sometimes I feel judged because of my birth choices, and I tend to judge the choices of others.

    What is right for the mama is what is right for the mama, and no two births, pregnancies or children are the same.

    I desire privacy in birthing, but I found a midwife who is no a friend who I look at more like a doula who has done some high risk births. I take comfort in that.

    That said, there are some women who are CNMs who are only working in that distinction because they have no option to be a CPM or to attend homebirths without it.

    I applaud your effort to keep things real.

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  8. This situation is an example of what goes on between mothers as a whole. Prior to becoming pregnant I had no idea that any decision I made could be seen as a criticism of the decisions made by another woman in a different situation. I no longer talk about my plans for a homebirth in front of my friends who have had c-sections. I downplay my plans to stay home with my child in front of career oriented moms. When my friends ask what formula I've decided on, I tell them, "I don't know yet" because I don't want to discuss the fact that I plan on nursing. Its very difficult and energy intesive. How did we come to this? Why isn't it ok that everyone is different and that choices may change from one point in a woman's life to another? I just don't understand . . .

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  9. Beautiful and articulate, Rixa.

    I wish you peace and comfort in your every decision as the coming days and weeks unfold.

    I agree with Kelley that a slavish devotion to any idea impedes rather than promotes change. To honour the particulars of a circumstance is to resist that type of political rigidity...and that is how change is made.

    Not that your agenda is to change anything -- rather I understand it is to honour what your heart, mind and spiritual guidance are suggesting this time around. But hey, if you open some minds along the way, more power to you!

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  10. that was a great post rixa. Dogma in a any form can be incredibly dangerous to a society. It shuts things down; communication, trust, understanding etc etc. Blowing open dogma, and the rhetoric that serves it, is always illuminating.

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  11. I'm sorta surprised by how many people seem to think they should have voice in what YOU do in your birth...

    to me, when you break it down, isn't that kinda an anti-UC kinda way of looking at it. If I need a stranger to tell me she was dissapointed in me for not having the kinds birth she wanted me to have, I'd be in the hospital. UC is a personal choice and should always be such.

    I admit I was a little bit surprised when I saw you were using a midwife this time. but not badly surprised. I just didn't expect it - but I also care very little how you birth (no offense) as it has no bearing on my choices. as it is our reasons for UC are FAR different from one another to begin with, so again... it makes no difference to me. add to that you aren't me - and well I really have zero say on how you should birth.

    if someone chooses to make you some kinda icon, sales person or spokes person for UC in there eyes, well I think that is unfortunate. unless I missed that post, I never saw you claim that title for yourself...

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  12. Excellent post, Rixa. Is it bad that I knew exactly what it was going to be about when I saw the title on my blogroll? *sigh* This is my huge beef with the UC community. Women like yourself seem to be so few and far between...and the rest seem to be made up of "OMG if you have a MEDwife you obviously DON'T TRUST BIRTH/are an IDIOT/insert other self-righteous crap here." Uhhh, what? I guess those "my way is the ONLY way" people come in every social circle!

    I also take offense at the MEDwife comment. Most CNMs I know could quite fairly be labeled MEDwives, but that definitely doesn't mean they ALL are, and it definitely doesn't mean ALL CPMs are better. In fact I have heard of some CPMs who are even more invasive, micromanaging, and intervention-happy than a lot of CNMs! Yes your education affects much of how you practice, but the letters after your name do not ultimately determine how you feel about the birth process. That comes from within.

    When you said you were using a midwife this go round, I wasn't surprised so much as just, "Huh. Okay then." It just didn't seem like a big deal to me. You're an extremely intelligent, intuitive woman and I knew that if you were hiring a midwife, it's because you felt that it was the best thing to do. Who can argue with that??

    If anything, this proves even more that not all women who support or do UC are wingnuts on a quest for the "perfect birth." I think your different choice this time illustrates how dynamic birth can be and how ultimately we just have to roll with the punches. It is not realistic to cling to radical ideals on EITHER end of the spectrum. Be flexible. Respect birth. Follow your instinct. You will do great.

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  13. Rixa,
    As a midwife and mother of 6, I have found that each birth, like each child, is unique and God has a different plan for each. He has led me to birth in the hospital with a CNM, then at home with a DEM for the next two. #4 was a unplanned (by us, but not by Him I'm sure)unassisted. For #5, He specifically led me to have not one, but two CPM's present, and for #6 he led us to plan a UC. Be at peace that He has led you to this birth for this baby. As in all life, we need to be open to His leading and not dogmatically fixed on a path. Thanks for all you do to bring truth about birth to us - I love your blog!

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  14. I was drawn to UC during my pregnancy, and was unable to labor past a certain point for days. I had my midwife, my midwife's assistant, my husband, my mother, (uninvited) my FATHER, and my best friend in my space at any one time.

    I can't help to wonder if I would have had a safer birth if I'd been able to be alone or just with my husband.

    As I've been working through the occurrences of our birth, I've only come to the conclusion that we all have to make our own choices and respect the choices of others . . . no matter how different they are from ours.

    Before experiencing a traumatic birth, I was cocky. I thought I knew everything. Interventions were bad, it was all black and white, and I was going to conquer the world.

    Birth is something so personal because it is NOT just a physical act. It is a mental, emotional and visceral epicenter of humanity which involves the desires, conceptions and thoughts of not only the mother, but the unborn child.

    There is a fine line between wishing a great birth (an ultimately pleasurable peak experience . . . which almost by definition is the ultimate situation in terms of health) for a fellow woman, and declaring that a certain type of birth IS the best for her.

    How could I EVER know what the best type of birth is for a woman and her baby? I can barely know those sorts of things for me, and the decisions surrounding such important choices can take every minute of my concentration and STILL not be answered adequately.

    The marriage between intellect and intuition is a delicate balance, and what it comes down to (I've recently discovered) is trust and respect. Do you trust yourself and respect yourself enough to make the right decisions? Many times the answer is "no" when it should be "YES!" We should all apply this sort of trust and respect to ourselves AND TO OTHERS.

    I was curious to understand why you would choose a midwife birth this time around, but I never thought you should do anything different. I could never crawl deep enough into your head or come close enough to your soul to know what will or will not work for you.

    All I can do is to hope that you have a blessed birth, that you continue to inspire women like me by trusting yourself enough to make the tough choices, and that the ground rises to meet your steps.

    Thank you, Rixa.

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  15. Thanks for this post and for sharing your journey. I admit that at times I feel the weight of expectation that I will UC every one of my children because I did my first. I cannot know what will be right for each child until the time comes, and the pressure to uphold an ideology or be true to a group of people who cannot know what is happening inside my body, bothers me and makes me anxious.

    Your journey gives me strength to let go of anxiety and remove outsiders from the equation of MY birth choices (because that is what led me to UC in the first place!!!).

    No woman should make birth choices to please someone else. Any birth activist worth their salt knows this.

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  16. Wow. I know the fringe of the fringe of the FRINGE exists, but it's always something of a shock to see it like that.

    The reality is that each birth is a journey for the woman birthing and the child arriving. The lessons learned are unique, along with the choices made and the needs in each individual case. There is no absolute right way. Period.

    For one, I applaud you for being so public about your plans, thoughts and feelings. Reading you gives me a sounding board of sorts as I work through my own personal issues and come to terms with my needs for this birth. There is no contest, we women may be in this together but in the end, we all reach the finish line in solitude.

    *hugs*

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  17. You are so well spoken and convicted and I respect you so very much.
    I, too, am so done with "who's right" in birth. Yeah, I prefer homebirth. With a midwife. But I'm a woman, a doula, supporting women in their choices for an empowered, conscious birth. However that unfolds.
    You are exemplifying how we must tune in to our body wisdom and intuition to birth our babies (which can sometimes be conflicting and a fine line to walk, as you mention).
    Your birth will ROCK.
    xoxo

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  18. very cool post to read.

    i guess i was curious about your choices to some degree, but still, they were yours. after anatoly's birth, UC was the ideal for me, his was so "right". through the next pregnancy i just knew i should UC again, towards the end i became afraid but honestly, i had no other option at that point. i wondered why i felt so much fear when that was my 4th baby. when they say each one is different, that is so true.

    i never wanted to be one of those women who had a scare and then spoke out against UC. and i won't be one. birth choice is right, and we each have to make it. autonomy facilitates healthy birth, this is true. but i felt invincible and i was not. i look back at romneya's birth and thank God we are still alive. If I gave birth again, it would probably not be UC. and i should hope everyone around me would understand that would not be because I think UC is dangerous, or that a midwife can 'save' me. we have to make that choice not once, but every day we are preparing for birth.

    anyway, it is a great post for all of us to read and re-visit too, no matter which side of the situation we may find ourselves on.

    tabitha

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  19. Your points are good, Rixa. I had a great, hands off homebirth with a CNM.

    I am still working on letting go of investment in other ppl's birth choices. I am struggling. I get so sad and frustrated when smart, healthy women who are amazing make choices that I think put them and their kids at risk. I want to ask them "what are you thinking?? why are you being such a sheep when in every other area of your life you are a leader???" I know I need to let this go because I can't carry that around with me -- it certainly won't change minds, and it just makes me cranky. I hope with more time/babies I will move beyond that. In the meantime, if someone's choices have upset me I try to avoid witnessing/talking about it until after they've had their babies -- I hide them on facebook and avoid their blogs until the tyke is here and then I can say congrats and not dwell. *Shrug*

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  20. Lauren, I know. It's so hard, and I am nowhere near being able to just be okay with some of the things I see. It's one thing to make a truly educated decision. But it's hard to see people who KNOW that X or Y thing they're doing isn't evidence-based at all, or even goes against all of the good evidence out there, and still go ahead and do it. You know--an induction at 40 weeks and a few days for being "overdue" with a really crappy Bishop's score and no medical indications at all, that of course leads to a C/S because her body wasn't ready to go into labor yet.

    That was one of the hardest parts of being a doula for me.

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  21. Interesting. Really interesting. The thing is, that a whole lot of what is articulated about UC by people who plan or have UC has to do with trust in birth. The implication then is that those who don't UC, who want a midwife for the possibility of some problem, are those who don't trust in birth.

    That idea comes pretty directly from how birth is "meant" to be according to the writings of Laura Shanley and others.

    As for medwives and madwives, as used by midwives about other midwives: the definitions are entirely relative (similar to the epithets slut and prude). A medwife would recommend (unnecessary?) intervention when you wouldn't, a madwife would (recklessly?) avoid intervention when you recommend it.

    Personally, I think all the herbs, optimal fetal positioning, dietary advice and all the 'stuff' that women feel they need to do in order to ensure a good outcome are pretty interventive!

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  22. Oooh, haven't heard "madwife" before! That made me laugh.

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  23. Rixa,

    Thanks for posting this. I really needed to hear it. As someone who has been an advocate for homebirthing for a long time, but now finds myself pregnant and frustrated with my options, I am really struggling with trying not to feel like a sell out for considering a hospital birth. I agree with Lauren that it's hard to not get invested in other people's births--especially people that you care about or are very close too, but I'm working on it.

    Anyway, I appreciate the reminder that it is NOT a contest nor is it anyone else's business how or where I birth my babies.

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  24. Ah,Rixa---wishIweresurprisedbyanyofthese comments, but I have been there, done that and been right in the thick of the MDC boards and the dogmatic extremism and got way toocloseto worrying what "others" will think of my decisions since I have comeout with ya know, the blog and all, didnt I "owe" it to the world to do XYZ?

    Fate, God, life doesnt care about blogs. Or the past. Or the future. Or what we preached when we were younger and knew it all (not saying you,Rixa,but you know what I mean...)
    Fate, God, Life are wild and unpredictable and all any of us can do in the best of circumstances is to try and carve out some realistic actions working within the realm of money, law, emotion, intuition, information, and our personal access to any of these "options" at the time of birthings.

    When people support and understand, it is lovely. And when they don't, it can be annoying, hurtful, frustrating and sometimes alienating isolating and sucky. But it doesnt matter. Like someone above said, you Keep It Real. At a time when it can be so hard....

    Mother and Baby and hopes for a safe journey. Thats all it ever SHOULD be about.

    The work us women have to do just to wade through the muck and mire and lies and coercion is energy we could all be spending in otherways. I pity today's pregnant woman, and I applaud the entire tone of this discussion.

    hugshugshugs

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  25. Wow! Having had all of my children with CNMs (insurance would not cover CPMs) and planning to become a CNM myself, I'm surprised by the post. To close oneself off to the variety of options is far more dangerous than simply doing some research, and making an informed decision. So many circumstances shape the kind of birth we end up with (show me a birth that goes exactly as planned, I dare you) that really all we are doing is making a tentative plan. For example, for my second pregnancy I planned on giving birth in a birthing center with a CNM. The insurance covered it and the midwife was wonderful. At 18 weeks we found out we were having twins. I was going to switch to a hospital, but could find no one who would let me deliver vaginally. My midwife said, no problem. She'd be glad to still help us if we felt safe. Fine.

    Then at 36 weeks, her insurance company contacted her to let her know that a twin birth could result in a loss of coverage and the loss of her birthing center. She told us this, but still said she would be willing to honor our wishes. We decided on a homebirth, in opposition to our families. Perfect outcome. 4 hours of labor. 2 healthy full term infants, and hardly any tear.

    I'm happy with the experience, but it was not my first (or 2nd, or 3rd) choice

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  26. I'm another one who is tempted to learn the principles of rhetoric based from your writings. I find a logical approach to emotional tirades very refreshing and I try to use that approach. Having a better understanding of available tools would be useful...I wonder if my favorite learning company has a DVD course on rhetoric...

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  27. Hey there...I love reading your blog. I'm having my 3rd this summer and enjoy learning more about birth perspectives!

    I think it's helpful to remember that most mothers make the best choice for themselves and their babies *with the information they have*. Remembering this makes me have grace for people who choose differently than me.

    I did have a wonderful hospital/epidural birth, and at the time, I thought I was choosing the best for me and the baby. I do not regret it, even though I have changed my thinking since then.

    Now, that I'm having my 3rd, and have more birth knowledge, I'm making a different decision. (Still a hospital, but natural, with a doula). I think I'm making the best decision for me and my child, given a variety of factors. And I trust that you too are factoring in a lot of things and making the best decision too!

    I think we as women need to strive to be gracious with each other in our decisions, encouraging each other to make intentional, thoughtful decisions, knowing that we all want the best for our babies, even though my version of "best" might look differently than yours.

    Hope you have a wonderful birth and I'll look forward to hearing about it!

    ~ Suzanne

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  28. Rixa,
    Congrats on your pregnancy (yeah, I know, very late, but three kids is a handful and I hardly blog/read blogs anymore :)). I am really looking forward to reading your birth story. I would also like to say I HEAR YA in regards to the whole midwife discussion. I find it very disheartening. ALL supporters of home birth, need to stand together or we will never get anywhere... I've been working on bringing CNMs and CPMs in my area together more and will attend my first birth with a CNM (as an assistant) this fall and I can't wait!

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  29. Excellent post!

    Add me to the list of people to was surprised to learn you were having a midwife this time around :) There has been a lot of food for thought in your posts about your decision-making process.

    I toyed with the idea of a UC with my second baby and am almost positive that that is the choice I will make with my (as-yet-hypothetical) third. I do feel a sense of "pressure" within the UC community that there is only one "right way" or "pure" way to birth and the fact that I feel fairly strongly that I would like to have a midwife come over postpartum has made me wonder whether I "trust birth" enough, yadda yadda, whether a UC with a midwife in the wings would "count," etc. This post is a good reminder that birth is individual and that decisions should not be made on what other people (particularly semi-invisible other people!) think of your/my decisions.

    Best wishes for a beautiful birth!

    Molly

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  30. women should have complete and total control over their reproduction- abortion and childbirth. you are exercising your right as a woman to make your own choices in childbirth. :-)

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  31. Rixa, I think you are awesome, and you are so the voice of reason and education and informed choice decision making, and you have hit the nail on the head with this post, its your body, your baby, your birth, call it as YOU see it!!
    You ROCK!!
    Supportive hug from Kelly in Canada (Midwife)

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  32. This is a new baby and a new birth and you have the intuition to know what is best for this birth! Good for you for following that intuition!

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  33. I have had 2 UC births. If I were to get pregnant again, I am not sure what I would do. Because of my experiences, I know I would not want to be "messed with," but I did miss feeling supported by others. My husband, although a wonderful, obliging person, kind of annoyed me in labor sometimes(I think this is probably common). I wanted to feel valued and supported by a wonderful community of people throughout my pregnancy, and I never got that. I do think it is a very personal choice, one that should be unique to each birth. One of the most spiritual birth stories I ever read was an elective C-sec! There was no indication for this mom to have one, she just felt strongly that it needed to happen. She had previously homebirthed many kids, and homebirthed after this Cesarean birth. It ended up that the baby's cord was so short, they had to cut and clamp it before they could get the baby fully out of her uterus. We truly have to listen to our hearts, and not allow the nay sayers to sway us.

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  34. I love you Rixa! You just express the division that some of us feel so concisely and succinctly. I too have debated about using a midwife or not. I truly believe in the midwifery ideals but like you do not know how it would work practically in the birth situation. I haven't yet reached a conclusion but since I am only 3 months I have time. Good luck and I hope it works out for the best.

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  35. "In all this, I find I am getting a lot of crap from my natural childbirth groups, because they all think I've become a "hypocrite" to the cause. And I'm not the only one..."

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