when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

So She Said

Saturday, January 19, 2008
So She Said
(I posted this on my Take Back the Birth website a few weeks ago. No art will flow if I continue ruminating about this social ill, so I post it again today.)

A certain neighbor of mine is well below the drinking age and 24 weeks pregnant. She has pulled out of her high school classes and is finishing her senior year online. Although she tells me she is not a Goth, she is still wearing her heavy soled, clunky, black leather knee high boots and her mini dresses. She had to give up the black hair dye because her mother will not permit her to color her hair until after the baby is born. Her belly button is pierced.
"Hey, I don't know if you are aware that I have a bit of experience with childbirth," I told her one day recently, "If you want to give birth at home, I could possible help you with the details."

"I don't like my home (her parents)that much" she said.

Realizing her perception was that women have home births because they like their homes so much they just don't want to leave, I explained:
Actually, women have home births so they can labor in private, comfortably amongst people they are familiar with, they receive one on one attention and have non- medical, natural births which are safer for mother and babies.

She said she liked the hospital. She said she was planning on having an epidural. She said she would be happy to have a C-section. She said she heard it hurts and there was no way she was going to feel that baby coming out of her.

"Wait, you would want to have major surgery instead of experiencing the pain of childbirth which you have never actually felt before?"
"Well, yeah."
"How do you know it hurts that badly, what does it feel like, what hurts exactly. . . I started in with my birth education spiel."

"People say it hurts. Friends of mine have told me it hurts alot."

"Really? Do you have any tattoos or piercings?" I asked.
"My belly button is pierced. My mother won't let me get my tongue or nose pierced as long as I am working for her."

"You'd have your tongue pierced?!!!. . .But that really hurts. I'd rather have my head cut off and served to me for Sunday brunch than have my tongue pierced. I'd rather give birth without drugs ten times in a row than have my tongue pierced."

"My friends tell me it doesn't hurt. I have two friends that have done it."

"I see."

I stopped talking and the next day I lent her a copy of

Ina May Gaskin's newest book

Ina may talks about this very conversation with other women in her lectures and her book.
Articles are being written in academia on the subject of C-sections as a social problem, not a medical problem.
Before I begin to say bad things about people, I am going to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and send love and
Prayers to my neighbor and her unborn child.

(Yesterday said mother of mother to be, returned the book. She said, "we are not interested" )


Jerri said...

Maya Angelou says that when we know better, we do better. I pray that some day this young woman and others like her will know better.

Until then, you've done the best you can for her and her baby. Time to let it go, even though that has to be difficult.


Laura said...

It's so hard, but it's one of those things that sometimes the person has to learn on their own. If I could go back in time, I'd have a homebirth with both boys. I won't even go into the other things I'd do differently, medically speaking. I've always been open-minded, but I didn't realize how amazing a woman's body is during childbirth until I went through it, and realized, "I wish I were at home and comfortable instead of in a hospital."

You tried, though!

ds said...

yeah, but nobody else ever knows things.