It’s easier to start with why I don’t want to be a midwife and it angers me deeply. I don’t mind serving women and babies at all- in fact I love that part- no, it’s licensure that annoys me. All the legal crap.
I don’t fancy being told what to do and how to do it and who I can and can’t serve. Here in NJ for instance, I would not be able to (legally) help any of my friends who’d want an HBAC (home birth after cesarean) and that’s just stupid. I find that all the legalities get in the way of true “With Woman” care. What about that woman and her baby? Aren’t Motherbaby supposed to be the main focus? Does she not deserve to have a homebirth if she wants one? Why does she have to struggle to find someone to support her in having a chance at a wonderful, hands off birth? What if she’s not ok going unassisted? Where are her options? It’s ridiculous!!
When the midwifery calling first began for me that’s what came to mind, actually it was my dear cousin who has had cesareans. I could just see her face and although we don’t live in the same state, and I’m not a midwife, I still envisioned turning her away and that infuriates me.
Even with all that anger, I think of the women and babies that I could help have better experiences. I think of various clients and how this past year, there were times I wanted to scream and take them out of the hospital. Some things that were happening seemed so obviously wrong to me- cruel even, but as a doula I’m to be seen and not heard. It’s not my birth after all.
Which is bull when I’m supposed to be an advocate!
There are so many things happening that are just sooooo wrong but these things go unnoticed and are even expected and celebrated at births. Meanwhile, I want to throw up.
This past year, I’ve been to births where the provider and nurse are conversing about a common friend they have, baseball and their children as my client is pushing out her firstborn. Um, really?!? This is their sacred moment- the birth of their sweet baby and you can’t just shut up and observe?!? Really?!?
I keep seeing the following scenario and it’s driving me nuts!!! The woman pushes out the babies head only to have the baby pulled out (by the head) the rest of the way. What the franks and beans is that about?!?
Then this baby is rubbed vigoriously like a ragdoll by a nurse (
as if she’s always held a deep hatred for this child or children in general), the baby starts wailing, and then to add insult to injury she gags the baby with the bulb syringe and the baby is struggling to breathe through it all. What must that baby be thinking? Meanwhile everyone cheers and mumbles some crap about good lungs. WHAT?!?! You take this out of context and some folk would be facing off for an epic battle. Why is this ok at birth?! Surely it’s not necessary. Even when the bulb syringe is needed or the baby needs to be coaxed to breathe what I keep seeing is a gross exaggeration of what is actually needed. And don’t even get me started on the baby getting the first bath. UGH!!
These babies are people who deserve the utmost respect and care yet they are treated as rag dolls as their parents watch with delight. If it weren’t happening in the hospital and with the people it’s happening with, it wouldn’t be accepted. What’s wrong with society that they allow their babies to be abused right from the womb? How is it that the baby can be handled so callously and then when the parents take the baby they hold him/her as if she’s fine china but what just happened to this sweet new person a moment ago is ok?
I am seeing things in such a different light it’s disturbing and I’m not the only one. I just showed my 12 year old daughter a picture of a brand new baby in the little box
(that’s what I call it) and asked her what she thought and she replied, “That looks horrible!” She wasn’t referring to the baby- well yes she was in a sense. The baby is in a box, not with mom. The baby’s eyes are glistening and shut and judging by the open mouth, tongue, positioning of the baby’s arms and legs- this baby is distressed possibly cold and wailing. There’s a blue gloved arm in the picture that resembles that of a monster coming for the baby. Looks like a horror flick for babies but again this is accepted as normal. It’s NOT normal. Babies don’t have to cry at all let alone cry like that after they are born. Any other time the baby cries, we know and accept that it’s because something is wrong! Why is it ok fresh from the womb?!
So I’m starting my education this year. I don’t know what I’ll do with it just yet but I have to start or I’ll go nuts. Really, it seems that being a doula, walking into the hospital with my clients and a midwifery education will only make things worse because then I’ll truly know better but I suppose I must start somewhere. Maybe I’ll become a midwife… Maybe.