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My precip-ing lady still hasn't had her baby. I did a home visit this morning and she wants the baby OUT. I did a vag exam and she is a tad more open, but I wouldn't strip her. The great news is the head is so much harder than last week... that made me happy.

She is incredibly emotional and called me yesterday telling me how she was making her kids cry and that she hated her husband, but couldn't remember why. She does this before each child, so we are probably close(r). I spent some time talking with her about her needs and they are for solitude more than anything since she is living with in-laws and they party every night (Mariachi Band and all, last night). We strategized about how to find some peace and even offered to have her come to my clean and quiet house or do home visits with me... whatever she needed, we could find a way.

Her fundal height is low and getting lower. It concerns me, but after discussing her history, it seems this isn't uncommon. Her kids are tiny even now and she isn't having eating issues or vomiting or anything and there feels like there is plenty of fluid (that baby bounces around easily), so I am just mildly concerned. I spoke with the CNM backing up for my regular LM since she is off seeing fall colors in the northeast and I think I want the client to come in Monday for someone else's evaluation and to consider an ultrasound. Mom said she would be fine with an ultrasound, too, so we'll see what happens. Maybe there won't be a baby inside to ultrasound by Monday.

I got into the circumcision discussion with a Jewish lesbian couple I met initially 18 months ago or so when one was pregnant and they were interviewing doulas. They didn't choose me. So, now they are at our Temple (actually, we are in theirs) and are much more kind and I love their baby. One of the women was a Rabbinic student and I mentioned my heated discussion with the Rabbi and she had the same arguments he did, especially about it being THE covenent of the Jews and how it is so sacred, blah blah blah. I asked her what women do to show God that they are Jewish and she said women don't have to do anything, that in times past, they needed to be protected and that circumcision would show who would really protect them. I blinked looking at her, disbelieving what I was hearing. I said to her, "you know, we are not even welcome in an Orthodox Shul," and she continued with how Orthodoxy is relatively new and that women can demand sex, not the man... how women don't have to do this or that, but the man does... and she totally missed the "Honey, Jews hate dykes" that I was trying to say.

I was exhausted and my partner tried to pick up where I left off, but I realize just how ingrained, culturally and religiously, these folks are and how I would never change anything with them. And the funny thing is, I don't think they need to change the religion to totally banning it (although that would be nice), but to acknowledge the holiness and purity and PERFECTION of God's children and allowing the parents - and the child - a choice in whether they have body modifications or not. I mean, if you believe that some rules should have been tossed out as others brought in, why isn't this one of those out-dated rules? I see it as archaic.

It's how my grandparents and great-grandparents looked when they talked stupid crap about blacks and Jews. They SO believed it and looked SO convincing. I could see the polished speeches in their eyes.

I considered, after the talk with the Rabbi, not going back. I was that angry and hurt that he couldn't understand what I was saying. Sarah said at least there was discussion at all and I told her there was zero discussion... it was his thoughts and opinions and my thoughts and opinions; there was no considering the other's side (I admit that, even for me). And then I reminded myself, again, of his humanity and his brainwashing and that just because he was wrong on this issue didn't mean he wasn't a good teacher on other issues I agreed with. So I sucked it up and went last night and held my head up high as I looked at him. I'm glad I did. I certainly don't want a man to get in the way of me and my relationship with my God (and the definition is open for interpretation, btw... it isn't some man sitting in the clouds) or my own inner work towards a deeper spirituality. It is easier for me, though, I acknowledge that, since it isn't me with a new baby boy wanting inside the Temple and not being welcomed. It would be a different story if we had a son we were wanting to raise as a Jew.

I created a title in my head: Rabble Rousing With the Rabbi

I think it's catchy.

Estrillas = stretch marks (I always got them confused with stars when working in migrant locations)

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Reader Comments (2)

what do you mean by "the head is harder"? do you just meant that the head is further down in the pelvis so vaginally you can feel it better? do you think her lack of fundal height growth could be due to the baby moving further down in her pelvis or scrunching up more? did the baby feel bigger to you?

October 25, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSage Femme

I wrote what I think about this under the last post about the rabbi.

Judaism is a patriarchal religion, for goodness sake. Christianity only a little bit less so. If your God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that God is your rock and your strength, and you believe that He is the creator of all, then your particular place in that world is not of such a concern to you.

In the Paradiso of Dante's Divine Comedy, he asks a soul in one of the lower levels of heaven if she minds being there and not at a higher level. Can her joy really be full and complete?
The saved soul responds "His will is our peace."

You have to realize that (as Christians and Jews see Him) the absolute and transcendant God,
the creator of the universe, is just. He isn't an abusive father.

I am not trying in any way to convince you of the rightness of this view. I think it is better that you have beliefs that are consistent with how the world looks to you, rather than thinking you can remake a traditional religion in your own image.

I just couldn't help wanting to be a voice for the Rabbi and his tradition, since there didn't seem to be one here.

I really value the authenticity of your voice and your approach to the truth, about birth and about everything else. I have already learned a lot from reading through your blog. Most of the time I would just learn what I could learn about birth from someone with such different views from mine and let anything else go. It is just because of your clear presence here, and my feeling that there is something kindred about your way of trying to figure out stuff as you encounter it, including facing the hard edges of truths, that makes me want to be able to be more truly present here also.

And that meant saying something about this issue.

I hope this doesn't piss you off too much,.

Susan Peterson

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson

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