Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Woman's Choice, A Woman's Wisdom

Giving birth at home is among the best choices I have ever made in my life.

Before I got pregnant I knew I wanted to birth at home, for so many reasons, one being that I don't visit hospitals frequently and would not feel comfortable opening up (in the biggest way possible) there.  When I found out I was pregnant, I realized for the first time how limited my birthing choices were.  In North Carolina there is currently no licensure in place to legalize midwife-attended home births.  What that means is, sure, I can have my babies at home alone, or with the assistance of my partner, but if I hire a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) to assist us, then she risks arrests.  For the rest of this post I aim to look for the good.  I promise; this is my way.  However, the fact that a CPM, a highly trained professional with specialized skills in pregnancy, birth and infant care, risks serious criminal charges for assisting a NC woman during her childbearing year is incredibly disturbing to me.  This has got to change.

Now there are some fabulous midwives (that are also Registered Nurses)  that attend births in the hospitals, and I know many people that have had beautiful experiences with them in the hospital.  This is a wonderful, women-centered way to give birth if your comfort level desires, (or your insurance requires), a hospital birth.  That said, there are exactly 3 Nurse-Midwives in my area that attend hospital births; 2 of them at 1 hospital, 1 at the other.  The numbers alone are limiting.  And became more limiting when I began to look at home birth options, as I only knew 1 CPM in my area.

I had a choice of course, for where and how and with whom I gave birth, but I had to be reminded of that after getting bogged down in the limitations.  I had to expand my vision.  I was introduced to more midwives, and found out exactly what the laws surrounding midwives were, as well as what the loopholes are.  I had to learn a lot for myself.  This is perhaps the most wonderful thing about limited choices - one has the opportunity to educate themselves, to find a way to get what they really want, and from this education become empowered.  When I expanded my view of things and took initiative in learning how to create what I really want, the community of women around me blossomed, eager to assist.  

I had incredibly thorough and attentive care through out my pregnancy by a few CPMs working together.  I also utilized my pregnancy as inspiration to learn about all things birthy that I could get my hands on.  I read books, watched movies, researched homebirth and hospital birth statistics, took childbirth education classes, heard women's birth stories, learned about nutrition and herbs for the health of mama and baby, talked to my baby, and listened to my heart like never before.  Pregnancy was an opportunity for me to reconnect with women's wisdom that has been around since the beginning of time.  The flame deep inside me was re-lit.  Now I have a thirst to collect more and more of the Woman's Wisdom ... 

As long as there have been humans, we have been pro-creating.  In some cultures, women went off by themselves to birth, trusting their own wisdom, and that of the Goddess.  In many other cultures, a woman was supported in birth by other women.  They were held up in love by the care of a midwife, their mother or their sisters.  And the knowledge of assisting a birth was passed down, naturally taught to other women since they are the ones that birth the babies.  Women's knowledge holds natural remedies for miscarriage, hemorrhage, fertility, postpartum depression, milk supply, labor pain, labor stimulation, infant resuscitation, colic and on and on.  It also holds the loving ritual of celebrating the journey of birth, and the initiation of a woman to her fertile years.  I do not doubt the benefits of modern medicine in any woman's life.  I do not doubt the power in the tradition of women helping and teaching women either.

We've become distanced from the world of the Red Tent, though this world is not completely lost to us.  I feel so strongly that we must reconnect, remember, and join together as women.  We resurrect the Red Tent whenever we come into circle together, when we share our hearts with one another, when we listen fully, when we hold each other in love, and as we pass down or learn the traditional wisdom of women's work.

I feel so blessed to be in a community of women who share and love so willingly.  So blessed to be a mother, and therefor becoming more deeply threaded into the circle of wise women.  I am thankful for a  day this weekend of families gathering to support legislative change in NC for CPMs, for all of us coming together to honor and protect our midwives.  I give thanks for the knowledge that there is always a choice.  A choice to remember, a choice to reconnect, a choice to live the best possible life.

1 comment:

  1. To any blog followers...this cutey shirt can now be purchased at Green Mother Goods (brick and mortar store in Boone or online at Warning: your baby will look super cute and get lots of attention while wearing this tee!


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