Monday, February 11, 2008

The Business of Being Born

Ava's birth started it; this movie cinched it for me. I just have to be part of this. I do not know if I will have any more babies, but if I don't, I will find a way to make this whole natural birthing experience part of my life.

The movie completely BLEW ME AWAY. The movie discussed a lot of the different paradigms that birthing practices have gone through in the United States over the last 100 years, and how it has lead us to where we are today. Contrary to what many may think, it was not a bash against C-section births or against women who don't choose to have a home birth for whatever reason; they did show several circumstances where hospital intervention and/or a Cesarean were absolutely vital. I was startled to see some of the statistics. There were many births on the movie and each one was amazing. It was extraordinary. I cried several times during the movie; many tears of joy but some of sorrow as well. We, as women, have such an amazing potential. We have just been lead to believe otherwise. I am not now nor will I ever be a feminist, but I am amazed at the hold that this natural birthing philosophy has taken on me, and is still within me 3 months after my own experience.

About 150 people came to the movie and about 75 of them stayed for the panel discussion afterwards, amongst them my friend Christine who also took some pictures for me (thank you, Christine!) The panel discussion was fantastic. There were some incredible people on that panel and I was honored to be amongst them. I did get to talk a bit and answer some questions from the audience, and commented from a “consumer’s” perspective on some issues that the other panelists brought up. Before the movie, I spoke at length with one of the panelists who is a doula educator about my births and my career plans for when my children are older and in school...I'm seriously considering becoming a birth and postpartum doula.

Ava was such a perfect little baby during the entire evening. She hung out in my Maya Wrap and socialized well during the silent auction before the movie, and when the movie got started, the two of us settled in and she nursed to sleep like she does every night. She slept through the entire movie in the sling, and then stayed asleep during the panel discussion in the sling, even with all the bright lights on the stage and loud noises around her. She was amazing, such a tribute to naturally birthed babies! Tom did not get to go because our babysitter for Liesl had to cancel last-minute. To be honest, I wound up enjoying a “girl’s night out” kind of time with Christine and a few other friends who arrived at the movie. I could have stayed all night!

When I got home at 10:30 (at least an hour and a half past my normal bedtime), I was on such an adrenaline high from the entire evening that I found it hard to sleep.

I just have to be a part of this. We women have been given such an amazing gift.

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