IT’S UP TO YOU
It’s up to you whether you choose to complain and bemoan the state of OB healthcare today or choose to do something about it. I’m told that women are reluctant to speak up about what they want for their labor and birth, anxious about changing providers, hesitant about asking questions-they don’t want to “rock the boat”, appear “aggressive”, hurt anyone’s feelings. I say hogwash. Hogwash.
You really have 2 choices for most dilemmas:
DO SOMETHING or
By doing NOTHING, you can continue to whine and complain about all the things you don’t like about the system, that person (doctor, nurse, lab tech, etc.), this or that policy, etc. and remain the VICTIM. You become slogged down in a quagmire of woe. You ignore that feeling in your gut, those red flags, that undercurrent of dread or worry each time you visit your provider, even though you verbalize those feelings. Who taught you to disassociate from your true feelings? Who told you to second guess yourself?
We, as women, are famous for this! We continue to date or marry men even though we realize there were so many signs that it wasn’t the right match, we hope to change them, we hope they’ll “come around”. When we don’t get our way, we pout or don’t talk, but we continue to piss and moan to girlfriends, to spout off courageously anonymous on discussion forums, but we rarely go to the source, we choose to do NOTHING.
This holds us down, this makes us weak, this forces us to suffer the consequences of our silence. This contributes to causing the system to remain painfully the same.
Now, when you do SOMETHING, it lights a fire in your belly. It forces you out of your comfort zone. It makes your heart beat faster, your blood run quicker, you feel alive and eventually liberated.
“The other side of every fear is freedom.”
“The truth will first make you mad, then, set you free.”
The philosopher Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through 3 stages: First, it is ridiculed, then, it is violently opposed, finally, it is accepted as self-evident.”
Quote from the ’05 Coach Carter movie:
Coach Carter: “What is your deepest fear?”
One of the basketball players: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
And each time you do this, it gets easier and more familiar and it can evoke change. You are the consumers, you drive things to happen, you have all the power! But more importantly, you are the life-giving Mothers. This is YOUR body, YOUR birth and YOUR baby. And once they’re out, you will have to have the courage and tenacity to speak on their behalf, so it’s got to start now.
These are my wishes for all women of childbearing age:
Plan your pregnancy (meaning take your prenatal vitamins or at least folic acid prior to conceiving, give up bad habits and renew good ones)
Eat whole foods and get a lot of exercise to keep your immune system and placenta strong
Choose your provider carefully-interview several and ask labor/birth-specific questions early
Consider a midwife if you want to: avoid routine intervention and have options, have someone who supports the normalcy of pregnancy, labor and birth and have someone who addresses your emotional and physical well-being.
Choose your place of birth carefully-don’t just take a standard tour-make an appt with the L & D charge nurse or childbirth educator to ask specific questions, call the hospital to ask about their policies (Cesarean, Epidural rates, baby rooming-in protocol, etc.) Call some doulas and ask their opinions.
Interview several Pediatricians or Family Practitioners, asking specific questions
Do your research regarding pregnancy tests, birthing options, newborn procedures and vaccinations to help make informed choices.
Let many other people’s stories roll off your back like water-you’ll get used to unsolicited advice; you get even more once the baby’s here.
Write letters to hospital administrators regarding your care-tell them what and who you liked and why and what areas need improvement. They take this input very seriously.
Surround yourself with those who think like you and use affirmation. .
Connect with your partner because your relationship will change dramatically.
Mahalo Pat and so true