Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies, Miss Scarlett

Monday: 25 minutes bike on random, 20 minutes elliptical.

Tuesday: Full weight circuit, 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes crunches/leg lifts

I was supposed to do some free weight stuff too but I didn't eat enough at lunch yesterday and I was feeling lightheaded and nauseated before I even got to the gym. Once there I did my workout but I just couldn't make myself go into the sweaty stinky freeweight room and decided to do my bicep work at home instead.

I wasn't really ranting on Monday when I wrote about the whole wanting to get married outside somewhere near where I grew up and I can't afford to do it because the Bridezillas got to it first. It was mostly just an aside in an issue I've been mulling over for the past couple of weeks. I'm sure that when/if the time comes my person and I will figure out what to do and how we'll make it work. It was more of just a hey, the WIC has a huge influence on my choices even if I don't choose to be a part of it.

I don't have as much to say about the birthing process, since I'm even more removed from that than I am the wedding process. It is more just an observation I've made from reading a lot of blogs over the past year or so. It seems to me that, like weddings, the whole pregnancy/birth thing has become more and more of a Big Deal, what with the infertility industry and the rise in elective C-sections (too posh to push, for example) and the difficulty in having a home birth or a low-intervention birthing center birth as opposed to a Tubes and Wires Hospital birth. I think a big part of it has to do with our society's focus on saving/healing everyone. While I don't begrudge the women who have struggled with infertility and such, it seems like there are so many more babies being born premature/with lots of health problems/etc. and since the hospitals are able to save them younger and younger, society thinks they SHOULD be saved, regardless of the expense, the stress on the parents/baby, and the future problems the child might have as a result of having been born months before he/she should have.

Another part of it, I'm sure, has to do with the insurance industry. These days you really can't have a kid without having insurance unless you somehow are independantly wealthy. And so many people are uninsured or underinsured but aren't poor enough to qualify for public health insurance (Medicaid etc.). In a lot of cases, the insurance companies don't want to pay for the "alternative" birthing situations - even though really, it's only been within the last 50 years or so that most babies have been born in the hospital. And it's only been within the last 20 years that you really had to have insurance in order to be in the hospital for whatever reason. I bet my parents probably would have had me at home if I'd been born 15 years ago instead of nearly 27 years ago (gah, am feeling old today), because they could never have afforded the cost, and both my mom and I probably would have died (it was complicated; I got stuck and was a forceps baby. Now they would have just done an emergency C.) Or they would have been in debt for years and years to pay for it. They didn't have health insurance when either my sister or I were born, and I'm not even sure about the younger one.

I've read the blogs of women who had elective sections, emergency sections, home births, birthing center births, regular old hospital births. I've gotten the feeling from reading that many women don't really feel empowered or in control of their own process. The industry tells them that this is how it will be when they give birth, and it takes some doing, and definitely more money than a lot of people have, to circumvent that status quo. And this is something that women have been doing since God was a boy, but they're told that they don't know best and are handled by the Birthing Industry for their own good. Just like brides are told "You have to do it this way and spend this much to really be married," women are told "You have to do it this way because that's the only way the outrageous cost will be somewhat offset" and it's all a much bigger and more invasive thing than it often needs to be.

I'm probably just mostly talking out of my ass, since I don't have firsthand or even second hand experience with this topic, and I'm a Loooooong time away from it personally affecting me. It just seems like hospitals are places for sick or injured people, and a woman in labor is not necessarily either. It's one thing if there have been complications or the doctor knows there might be problems during birth. It's another thing when women are told that the doctor is in a hurry to go on vacation so could we please get you to sign the consent form for a c-section so he doesn't have to wait around another couple of hours to push the baby out. Kthx.

1 comment:

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Have you read the thread on SDMB about that chick's baby that was born at the age of 4 months or some insanely low foetal age via emergency c-section? I wonder at that...I can't imagine the kid won't have problems. From the pics she posts, it doesn't even have any hair yet. I don't begrudge her her child but why on earth would you even want to put a child through that when it's obvious that it would have just been a natural miscarriage?

My parents elected to have me be born in the nicest hospital in Belgaum (also where Gazelle was born 6 weeks prior to moi) because they still maintain that the small clinic where my older sister was born had something to do with her getting sick (not enough sanitation, giving her formula against my parents wishes when she wouldn't latch etc.). Then again obstetrics in India is way closer to midwifery than here so it would be akin to a nice birthing centre-probably why they are among the most courted OBs in the world. Apparently Indian medical schools are still among the few in the world that teach doctors how to turn the baby around in the stomach if it's in an improper position.

If possible, I would prefer to have my baby at home without foetal monitors etc. etc.. Wow, that's so granola for me but I just think any hospital experience is kinda humiliating and I'd prefer to whelp my hellspawn in secrecy, the way mammals do in nature.