Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Orgasmic Birth and Midwife-to-Midwife Scare Tactics

So I saw Orgasmic Birth on Saturday. I thought it was outstanding. I obviously believe that normal birth belongs at home, where women are treated as they should be - normal, healthy, strong laboring women - but this film did an excellent job at showing the stark comparison between home and hospital.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, given the film's title, but it was a beautiful representation of the intimacy of childbirth. Laboring and birthing is such an intimate time between a woman and her partner, or it should be anyway. The film showed how intimate birth is when they showed the scenes of the women birthing at home. Kissing passionately, slowly, seductively with her partner. Touching, cuddling, whispering, loving. The film also showed a woman who had 2 rolling orgasms during labor and birth. Now THAT'S the way to give birth! ;)

People don't realize, or don't want to see, that birth is a very intimate, even sensual and sexual thing in a woman's life. Endorphins are released, oxytocin is released. The same hormones that are released while one is making love. This idea is seen as "gross" or "weird" to so many women, and that makes me sad. If only more women could see birth as an intimate time, I believe it would make a difference in how our babies are coming into the world.

The film showed 2 hospital births. One in which the mother arrived to the hospital, after laboring beautifully and intimately at home, at the very end of labor. The nurses didn't even think that the mother was far into labor. As beautiful as the labor was, it was a typical hospital birth, just without drugs. She was in bed, delivered on her back, and baby was assaulted with gloved hands, and suction, as soon as he was out. The other hospital birth was an induction. Pitocin, eventually an epidural. Mom was on her back, now disconnected from the baby she was laboring out. In the end, because of the epidural, baby was suctioned out with a vacuum, after 2 different tries and threats of a cesarean. This baby was also assaulted upon delivery. And what did mom say? She said that as much as she wanted a natural birth, you "have" to be prepared in case things don't go as you intended them to go.

My interpretation? Stay out of the hospital if you want a shot at a normal, healthy, beautiful birth. If you're there, you are HIGHLY likely to have at LEAST one unnecessary intervention, and not likely to have your baby left the hell alone for the first hour when it's so very important. Here's the trailer:

So I bet you're wondering where the midwife-to-midwife scare tactic comes into play, right? At the screening I ran into a midwife, S, who has been around for some years. I was a doula at what was supposed to be a home VBAC ( ended up in unnecessary hospital transport ) with S. I was appalled at how she was with the laboring woman. I was appalled at the language she used during a woman's labor. I was appalled at the repetitive and unnecessary vaginal exams, followed by breaking the mother's water after the mother explicitly said NO. At some point during labor, said midwife basically accosted me ( I had never really met her before this, definitely didn't KNOW her ) by asking my intentions for midwifery. I had said that I wasn't sure yet. She went on to tell me how my preceptor was not responsible in remaining a traditional midwife, and not obtaining a license. The same midwife that S has called for help, or referred to in the past when she's had a client with twins, or a breech baby. Convenient, huh?

At the screening, she asked what I am up to. I told her what I am up to. She went on to tell me examples of midwives being interviewed over the phone, to find their licensure status, disguised as interested clients. She then asked if I'm worried over the possibility, in the future, of the risk I might take. What I wanted to say, and what I did say were slightly different. She knows, as well as every other midwife, damn well that *every* midwife takes a risk every single time she steps out of her door to attend a home birth. Licensed, not licensed, or with a dozen different title initials behind their name. And since S has been attending births recently that are outside of what her licensure allows, she is acting illegally anyway. ;)

What was more interesting to me, is that a former preceptor of mine, was once partners with S. She would tell me repeatedly of how irresponsible and dangerous S is to women, and that she regretted helping her obtain her license, which she would not have, without her help supposedly. Then S, turns and tells me, in not so many words, that I am dangerous. Funny, isn't it? I guess in the area of most midwives, you have to have had the exact same training, and the exact same credentials as the next in order to be given even the least bit of respect, or support. Everyone seems to be backstabbing everyone else. And that's sad, given that every midwife is supposed to be in it to help give women better births, and see babies come into this world in a more healthy way.

And you know, I am lonely. I wish that women weren't such women. I wish that we could support each other, lean on each other, and ask each other for advice...without having such a competitive or divided nature. My plans for the future are uncertain. But I would wish that whatever I decide, I could be supported simply because I am working towards the same goal as everyone else : Helping women have better births.


Gombojav Tribe said...

:-( I feel for ya! I know what you mean.

I want to see that film. If hear of these screenings, let me know. I'm always up for it!

Blessings and hugs,

Yara said...
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litameadows said...

I agree, and as you know I was standing right there when S said all that was said and was kinda shocked myself. I agree that midwives should help each other for the common goal. But as any "title" when out in the business world (and many just look at midwifery as a business) we stab each other in the back, walk over each other, talk behind each others back and then smile in their face. That is one reason why I am glad I opted to be a SAHM. Don't have to deal with that bull crap. I am very happy and content with what I do, and am looking forward to my HBAC in a few months :)