Friday, February 13, 2009

Hard to take an interest.

So one of my big interests (though that seems like the wrong word for it) has long been natural childbirth. I'm a huge advocate of unmedicated birth and out of hospital birth (responsibly done on both counts). It's something that I have spent a long time studying and researching and something I believe strongly and firmly in. I have planned on having a homebirth and that is the primary factor in my seeking midwifery care over obstetric physician care.

In fact, if I had my dream job - it would be childbirth educator/doula. Seriously. If I win the lottery tonight, I will be a SAHM (stay at home mom) part time, especially for the first few months, and then I would do every certification and training I need to in order to be an effective educator. I would love that.

I used to be on the spot whenever a question arose about natural birth or whenever an argument was brewing. If someone wondered about different methods of pain control, I was there to give them advice and if I the wondered about finding a midwife or choosing out of hospital birth, I was all over it.

It's truly something I feel passionate about. Not in a 'everyone must do this' way, but I do believe that if more women were really educated about how childbirth is supposed to work and were offered really informed consent, they would demand changes in our maternity care systems. This is near and dear to my heart.

Only . . . I can't do it right now. I don't know if I can do it anymore. I have seen a few questions in the past couple of days about these topics. There was quite a heated exchange earlier this afternoon over an article published in Consumer Reports about the overuse of technology in maternity services (which was entirely accurate). As inevitably happens, someone came in and ranted about how she and her baby wouldn't be alive if her doctors have saved them with an emergency c-section when her induced labor failed. That may very well be 100% true, but it was irrelevant to the article. But someone got snarky with her, she was snarky back . . . normally I'd be right there, facts in hand to discuss and diffuse the situation (because snark truly doesn't help and only reinforces the unfortunate stereotype that natural birth enthusiasts are a bunch of judgmental bitches).

But I couldn't muster more than a passing interest. Because honestly? It seems pretty much a giant waste of time equivalent to intellectual masturbation to continue jumping in when I don't know that these will ever be options for me. And not in the usual I hope the baby isn't breech and I am not high risk way. In the dear lord, I don't know if I will ever get to have a normal pregnancy that approaches term way. It's really, really depressing. I fear that life is trying to make an irony of me and my enthusiasm by taking away my opportunity to experience these things.

I think it's one of the things that most angers me about this situation. These are my life dreams. Be a mother. Have children. Raise children, enjoy pregnancy. Have a homebirth and a wonderful natural birth experience using Hypnobirthing. Learn all about childbirth and coping methods and teach them and/or be a doula. These are things that I have held most dear and they are all pushed away, all denied to me.

How do you cope with that? How do you move on away from that? Is my bitterness, my anger more understandable? It's giant chunks of my life and my hope ripped away from me with the remains of my children. And it's left me very empty.

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