I've seen this movie about 25 times now, but this was the first time on the really big screen. There were parts the first time that didn't make me angry this time because I know more back story. I wasn't crazy mad about Abby bottlefeeding her baby, Cara coming to attend Abby when she was having a premature labor (although I would have had her meet me at the hospital instead of going to her home) or that Abby's crazy birth ended the movie. I am glad, however, that they are doing another film that explains some of the confusing pieces of BoBB. It still was odd to see Cara (the midwife) without gloves, catching babies so many times. It's rare for midwives to be caught without gloves... at least in my experience.
After the movie there was a Question and Answer with Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein, BJ Snell, CNM, Lorri Walker, CNM and Dr. Rober Biter (Dr. Wonderful for those that read her regularly). Audience members came up to a microphone, most thanking Ricki and Abby for their work, telling them how the movie changed their birth experiences. It really was lovely. The stars were delightfully accessible, staying to sign their new book (My Best Birth) and take photos with all of us.
Only one question was confrontational and came from a woman whose daughter "almost died" in birth and she wanted to know if CNMs/midwives could be prosecuted if something bad happened at home that wouldn't have happened in the hospital. She explained that her daughter went in to be induced and they broke her water and the baby's heart rate went down so bad they did an emergency cesarean. BJ Snell was great saying it was very difficult talking about one specific case, but that midwives stay with their clients during the birth and would be aware of something untoward happening, allowing for them/us to transfer a woman to the hospital for help. Then Abby came in and fabulously asked why she was in the hospital not in labor. The (birth) woman herself said she was overdue, pressed, she said by a week. Abby said, "According to the book, that isn't a reason to be induced." Then the woman was told that breaking her water was also not the best idea to get a woman into labor. Abby was wonderful! Much less diplomatic than BJ - and I was really glad. Sometimes tip-toeing around women's feelings isn't the right thing to do.
And we talked about that, too. How women who have had VBACs or natural, wonderful births are constrained in our society, unable to talk openly and passionately about their births lest they hurt someone's feelings, someone who had an epidural or a cesarean. It's time we stopped that hindrance. We need to talk about the wonders of natural birth! If women feel bad, they need to confront that, deal with it and make a different choice the next time if they want the same kind of amazing birth. Women, holler about the pain AND the after-joy of your births... tell everyone how great natural birth is... how strong you feel now, how it impacts every part of your life. Talk about how much the cesarean hurt, how you couldn't walk for 2 weeks without excruciating pain, what nursing on an incision feels like, that you had to pack your open and infected incision for 12 weeks. We need to get to the truth about birth, dispel the crap that is on tv... we have to do it together. I will do my part, too.
I am so glad I drove from San Diego to Laguna Niguel... about 75 minutes away... last night. The theater was almost full, one ICAN friend described it like a birth junkie's prom. We were all giddy and laughing and so excited to welcome two wonderful women into our space. I missed this morning's book signing at Milkalicious, but heard there was a great turn out. Nice!
Here is a pic of me with Ricky and Abby.
And me with Dr. Biter.
If you haven't seen "Business of Being Born," see it now! And please, please get "My Best Birth"... it is a great book about choices, helping women make their OWN choices for their births. I'm reading it now!