Thursday, December 12, 2013

Birth IS Changing...or is it?!

It has been a while since my last post (whew...6 months)...and there are always many things The Hippie Diva can blog about...however, this right here...I couldn't help but write about it!

As we have another one on the way, in addition to continuously educating myself about childbirth and in turn educating others...BIRTH is always on my mind.

I was speaking with one of my new found "doula sistahs" the other day.  She was sharing with me that she has missed the last couple of births she was scheduled to attend.  And it wasn't a "woe is me" type situation...we are always overjoyed a little one has sprung earth side.  What it did for me, is start my hamster wheel turning.  I have been hearing more and more stories about how quick a mother's labor is (4-6 hours to be exact...sometimes sooner).  I hear more and more stories of mothers staying home to give birth versus the hospital; or, getting to the hospital just in time to push which means no time for interventions (down to the IV).

What's funny is this story is nothing new to me...this is how I came into the world according to my mother.  She was in labor maybe 6 interventions...natural vaginal the hospital!

Seeing all these things occurring I have to ask myself is birth really changing or is it us remembering how it is suppose to be?!  What is the "natural order of things"?  Along with these questions...I begin to look at how doulas are trained to be "with woman" during her labor and delivery.

Typically, you know the "due date", you know there is a 2 week window (+/-), you have an idea that the entire process is going to take a while...1st stage, 2nd stage, transition, etc...

...With all of that you have NEW research that shows there is a 5 week window (+/-), which turns it into a "due month", you have women that are more in touch with their bodies allowing nature to take its course with no interventions.  In turn, you have quicker, smoother labor and deliveries.  The more I see it and hear stories...the more fascinating I become.  There is no coincidence what is happening here.

This also makes me wonder how my work as a doula changes with this occurrence.  My doula sistah I mentioned earlier...while we were discussing the subject she said something along the lines of, ..."if birth is happening this fast, it's almost like you have to be with the mom for a month so you don't miss the birth..."  At that moment it was like a light bulb went off!  She is correct...and looking back...I was kind of already living that mindset as a doula.  I stayed with my sister in New Jersey a month before she gave birth, as well as two weeks after.  She had an non-medicated interventions...30 minutes after going to the hospital she was pushing.  Before we moved to Baltimore, I came to stay with my wife before she gave birth at least 4 months prior.  Her outcome was different, however, she was a week early from her "due date".

The other thing that has caught my attention is the mannerisms of the laboring mother.  As of late, you have mothers talking during transition as if they were in early stages of labor.  Now if you have been with a mother while in the last stages of labor...there is little talking going on, if any.  So what's happening is you have a doula on the phone...going by what she is hearing...thinking she has a while because mom is still using her words...when in fact, she is literally about to push a baby out in that moment! :-)

Now, I know that every birth is well as women having their preferences.  That is perfectly understandable and there is nothing wrong or right with it.  When you see all these different things occurring in birth as we know it to be, you cannot help but question WHY...and connect the dots from there.  I had the most medicated, induced, intervention filled birth with my daughter 14 years ago.  Amongst all of that, and what I continue to learn, I can see how my body knew what to do when having her...and having her vaginally, as well as those interventions and the role they played.  For that I am grateful! I also know that with my next one, piece of cake! ;-)

As far as my work as a makes my vision of building our communities even stronger.  When we have our communities strong, we won't worry about missing a birth.  When we have our communities strong, we really get to know what our moms are thinking and feeling...even when they are talking about it during transition.  When our communities are strong, there is continuous education of understanding our bodies, not only during pregnancy, but as WOMEN...our cycles, our connection to the earth and moon during these cycles...being allowed the space we need to go within our "red tents", respectively!  When our communities are and women are not at war with each other...we are side by side, building up one another.  And in that building up and loving one another it is becoming a physical manifestation...our children!  And YES, men, you do have a role while mom is doing most of the work WITH baby (that's for another blog on another day).

THIS is how we begin to break the cycle...the cycle of childbirth being medical...the cycle of women not knowing what is best for them and their bodies...and especially the cycle of being uneducated about what you are experiencing, whether it is your first time or your 17th! And most of all...UNITY! :-)

A change isn't's already here as a reminder of things long forgotten!

Are you paying attention yet?! Wakey Wakey! :-)