Wild Wednesday

For Wild Wednesday this week, I'd like to rant. Not an uneducated, emotionally charged, irrational rant. In fact, I'd like to "go off" about one of my favorite subjects, which I am very educated AND emotional about, but not irrational...at least, not according to my friends. :-P

The subject is childbirth options. No, I am not talking about abortion--that is a separate rant for another time. I'm talking about a woman's choice, or lack of choice, about where and how to give birth.

Let me just state my opinion: Barring actual medical emergencies, a woman should be allowed to choose WHERE she will birth, WHO she would like at her birth, and HOW she chooses to cope with the pain. Does this seem like a controversial point?

Well, it is for some people. We have an OB/Gyn here in our great town of Lincoln who thinks the childbirths she attends are all about HER. She controls her patients, controls the environment, and badmouths anyone who doesn't agree with her. Case in point: she has told the midwives in her practice to discourage women from using my friend as a doula (and that should be a big enough clue for anyone who wants to know who the OB is). Why did she do this? Because my friend advocated for her client (not even a patient of this doctor) and handed her HEALTHY baby to her mother, as per the mother's request--because that doctor was ignoring the patient's wishes.

Now, should the care provider have input? Yes. Should they guide and advise? Yes. But ultimately, the woman is responsible for her child from the day it is conceived until the day he or she turns 18 or 19 years old, if not longer.

Also, and here is the point I've been wanting to get to. Why is it, that as an adult in the United States of America, with all my voting privileges and rights, that I can choose to terminate the life of my "fetus" at anytime prior to 21 weeks gestation with no questions asked, BUT in order to choose a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) I must go through the third degree with an OB? Why, to have a homebirth in Nebraska, must I hide and be secretive and hire an out-of-state lay midwife and feel like I must lie to people? Why, in having a Bradley birth attended by a doula at a hospital, must I be made to feel weird or crazy?

And most of all, why do some doctors get a look on their face when I ask for more information? You know the look--the one that says, "Oh no. This one's not going to cooperate." You would think doctors would want me to know all the risks and benefits, to lessen my chance of filing a lawsuit against them.

I know--it's about control. And money. But this is one of the things that is wrong with my little part of the world. And I just needed to get it out there into the electronic abyss, like a little S.O.S. "Come rescue Nebraska from its backwards, outdated, hospital/money-driven childbirth system! Please, we have cookies!"

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