Friday, November 23, 2007

To all the New Mothers out there...

There is a moment during every holiday where I stop and think of all the mothers untimely induced or given cesareans in order to accommodate travel, vacations, family obligations, parental visits and obstetricians vacation schedules. There is a moment afterwards where I wonder how many mothers escaped the knife by going into labor on Thanksgiving itself when no one wants to climb out of bed late at night to come in for a surgery call or wants to spend just another hour out with family.

And I know Christmas is coming and with it all the insane inductions for reasons like tax deductions or family plans. I know how many women will wind up with major surgery between Turkey and New Years. To those women, may you find ICAN ( or other healing to go forward in your journey and may your healing be quick. May your holidays be spent being pregnant and enjoying it, aches pains and ickies all around, while waiting for your little one to come rather than forcing that day upon yourself too soon. May you not spend a night in the NICU because of an induction or cesarean that should never have happened. May all your VBAC's be successful. May...the peace of the season and the reason for it, a simple home birth of a small boy child, envelop you with the feeling of sacredness and respect for this process so old and so worth the journey, and may you see that one special moment that millions of women make without ever witnessing the miracle.

And for the perfect Black Friday moment: May you spend more time planning your birth and your care provider than you do buying a new toy or crib item for your layette. After all, you will remember your birth for the next 80 years. A dancing Elmo won't be remembered at all...

So, now I'm going to take time out to say "Happy Birthday" to someone I know who's mother helped make Thanksgiving dinner 28 years ago and then went and had a baby :) Nope, it's not my mom but the mother to a great woman who went on to have a cesarean and become a fellow activist in the field, helping women to overcome their hurts and go on to pursue healthy births. And it's now something to be celebrated when a labor is spent without bells, beeps and whistles and being told what time and when to have the baby, so I think her mom deserves some credit for the work of bringing her into the world. No schedules, no pressure. Amazing that women used to give birth on days where we were giving thanks and now, we strive to make sure there is nothing to be grateful for on that day. Kind of missing the point, aren't we?

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