Friday, September 26, 2008

How a 17yo opened my eyes to the cesarean issue.

Last night, I was helping a young girl write an essay based on her professor's requirements. Her professor required a description of a place that could only be positive. No "buts" and no "negatives". No detractors. How does this apply to a Cesarean Awareness blog?

"Oh, but my cesarean was necessary."

I heard this again Thursday and once again thought to myself...we are conditioned to respond to a cesarean. My first instinct was to tell this mom that the tissue of lies she had been fed did NOT equal a medical indication for a cesarean, but in fact were an obvious attempt by her OB to make her "lawsuit proof". This was a closed and shut case just from the most obvious markers. The mom didn't even get a chance to have a trial of labor because, well, it's so much easier to just schedule since you are going to 'have' to wind up with one anyway! And then I thought, there has to be a better way to LISTEN to a mom, UNDERSTAND her feelings, DISCUSS with her the facts and slowly but surely remove the gauze from her eyes that help her to SEE that she could have made her own choices and decisions and not blindly followed down a path that might have led to giving birth. And at the same time, just plain validate that you understand why she walked the path she did. You get it. You know why she believed what she believed. And she can be angry, pissed, accepting, or whatever she feels once she realizes that the OB made these decisions for her and not with her and take whatever actions she wants to, but that it's ok for her to have been where she stood and that you get it. You've been there, too.

No. My cesarean was not necessary. My OB sure thought it was, he did it in all belief that what he was doing was the right thing. He didn't do it based in science or in anecdote, he was just blindly following what he had been taught to believe. As this mom was doing. She was blindly taught to believe her OB, even Elmo says "do what your doctor says". And I was blindly following my OB as he made my decisions for me. Her Ob was blindly taught to believe his teachers or at least, to regurgitate their beliefs in order to pass the class. He was taught that the only way to defend himself in a court of law was to do what these other "peers" said to do or he would lose his lifestyle, his position, his money.

She's never going to have another baby because of these beliefs. I'm sure her OB will go on to deliver plenty more.
And the 17yo will write her papers to fit in to a society that says she has to, according to the will of her instructors.
Because it's not about developing the future of a mother or an individual.
It's about bending to the societal mores that says it doesn't matter as long as you get the degree.
And it doesn't matter how a baby is born as long as you get a "Healthy Baby".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who's Laughing Now?

Ok...so last week in the store, I did something I've never been tempted to do before. I picked up a Jenny McCarthy book. Her first book on dealing with her son's autism (There is a new one due out in the stores soon or now?) and as I sat there, reading her parenting thoughts, I was overwhelmed by what we had in common. I was floored by that "moo" that her son gave her, because I remember coming home from the ICAN conference in 2003 and sobbing because someone else's little 2yo told their mommy "I love you" and mine couldn't. Mine couldn't say "I love you" because his tongue couldn't make those sounds. His brain wasn't there. He was lovable, sweet, but refused to be touched. I heard her anger, hurt, self-pity and it felt so real...

So I picked up her other books and wanted to see what was there, underneath, in her life. I wanted to hear her ridicule other women and be mean about "Breastfeeding Nazis" and make comments about how great her epidural was (though it helped to cause her cesarean). I wanted to know what her life was like before she really had to care about her choices. How it felt back when things just "happened" and before the reality hit. How cavalier life is before the impact crater sends out wave after wave of destruction through your life, rewriting everything you thought you knew. She took everything for granted that it would all just work out...right?

Now, today...I wonder...does she regret her choices? Is she aware that her choices might have MEANT something, in the case of her son?
Knowing that pitocin, epidurals, cesareans, not nursing..lead to higher rates of autism.

I don't know. I only know that I'm not laughing. As I watch these rates rise, I can't help but wonder how many women don't know that autism is one more thing affected by interfering in birth without respecting the process.