So many loving thoughts and words have come through one of my lists and my private email... so many women abused and raped who are pulling me into their hearts and trust. I feel so blessed (and the word "unworthy" jumped to my fingers, but I will squelch that one)! Much work to do and one woman in particular had amazing points that were in my fingers earlier today as I was driving to the prenatal I had to do... that when I joined this particular list, the reception I received was chilly and, in some instances, downright angry and my email was nasty! Very, very interesting that it is obvious I hadn't been around long... the word "midwife" stinking up the room like an old lady's perfume long before I got myself seen and heard. I share what I know (no secrets here!)... and offer information and support to whomever asks, things are more calm... easygoing.
But, I wonder what the hand's off birth would have been like if I had had to do something. What if the baby needed resuscitation? Mom needed pitocin? What if she had asked for a vaginal exam? What if we had had to transport? Would it still have been considered a Perfect Birth? Or is only a midwife-observed birth or UC a perfect birth. What about a UC that ends in tragedy? Or a birth where the midwife starts an IV during labor because the mom hemorrhaged and transported last time and she is trying to avoid that happening again (an open line for IV pit which hits the system immediately as opposed to IM pit that takes 3-5 min to take effect).
What is the Perfect Birth and who defines that?
I remember this one couple... I had only just had my second kid (UC) and had been to maybe 2 other births... starry-eyed and HIGH with hearing birth stories. I listened as they told their story of laboring quietly in the livingroom in front of the fire... no one speaking, hearing the crackling of the logs... music playing softly in the other room... mom squatting for the birth... baby comes out, no tear, breathes right away... nurses right away... midwives clean up and leave. The woman/mother telling the story doesn't feel my jealousy... green with envy because my UC was so chaotic when my daughter couldn't come out and we called EMS (no 911 back then). But, I sat with eyes glistening in my place of wishful thinking and then she says after a pause, "But I wish we had blah blah blah instead." And I can't even remember WHAT she wanted instead (different music, different food afterwards, different choice for birth position... something like that), but the impact of the desire for alteration to what sounded to me like The Perfect Birth was amazing! I heard women, over the years, have similar wishes and grew to acknowledge that there is almost always something we would change about our births if we could. It seems to help some women who feel guilty about not making the "right" choice the first time (or 7th time) around.
In our society, however, women have fewer babies and the healing that we can accomplish through birthing might not be done via our wombs or vaginas, but perhaps our words... our acknowledgement of what occurred... maybe that is another path to the healing that women need to do. (Or any number of other vehicles... I am not wanting to seem arrogant that writing is THE way... art, dance, music, drumming, boxing, biking... endless options.) What do we do with the mom who had every semblence of the Birth From Hell and it is her ONLY birth experience she will ever have? I have at least 2 women in my life right now that that is the case and, besides therapy and listening to endless tales of their stories (one of which I attended, but was a near-observer), I don't know what else to do. Do I take them out to the desert and have them shoot targets? Do they stab sheets on the clothesline? Do they do as I did once and throw bread dough at the walls for 2 hours? Make confetti by tearing up 4 reams of paper 2 sheets at a time and leaving it around to kick for 3 weeks?
This discussion brightens my hope for my Self. I felt so disgusted with who I was and what I had done and now, I can honor those women's spirits and souls and thank them... just as I thank my firstborn every time I talk to him... for letting me learn on them... Be-ing my stepping stones (spiritually, literally) to where I could DO the hands off birth.
What if I had never found that specific list? What if that woman hadn't liked what I had to say those first couple of posts? What if she and I hadn't met 15 years ago at a pool party? What if I didn't live here? What if I hadn't attended her transforming birth? Where would I be?
Surely not here.
As I bless and thank the women I pained... I thank the women whom I haven't pained, yet have transformed me, nevertheless.
I love you all.