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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inspirational Jealousy

Today I was having a doula consult/pow wow with my good friend Michelle. She is currently planning her second home birth and I have the privilege of being her doula!

We were exchanging birth stories and the contrast of quality between her home birth and my hospital birth was like night and day.

"It was great!" she began wistfully, "My midwife was so encouraging. She told me exactly what I needed to hear."

Yeah...I labored alone for 14 and a half hours. My OB didn't even come into the room until Korban crowned. He barely spoke to me and certainly never looked me in the eyes.

"She only checked my cervix twice."

An L&D nurse was in my room every hour on the hour to stick her fingers in my vagina without so much as a "hello".

"When I was losing energy she brought me some food to nibble on."

I only got ice chips and was allowed to suck on some hard candy. Not a single morsel of real food crossed my lips the entire day.

"The only truly painful part was the crowning."

I was so afraid of being that screaming, cursing woman in labor that I got an epidural when I no longer had the strength to whimper in silence.

She was in the privacy and comfort of her own home.

I was in an unfamiliar hospital with the door swinging open constantly without regard to who was in the hall and able to see me nude. My room was SO cold that I couldn't tell if my shaking was from hunger, cold, or the anesthesia. And all kinds of strange staff members were walking in and out without even bothering to knock.

She was surrounded by loving support.

My anesthesiologist made fun of me for wanting to labor naturally.

Her midwife delayed cord clamping as a matter of routine.

My OB had to be asked and after the fact regailed us with the alleged "risks" of delayed clamping.

Her midwife respected her birth plan.

I was warned against "reading too much".

Her midwife understood that labor should start on it's own.

I was bullied for refusing an induction.

She had an empathetic and caring woman who revered the birth process.

I had a man who thought he knew how to birth my baby better than my own body.

I'll admit I'm jealous. She got to have the birth of my dreams! But that's actually a good thing for both of us. It's a good thing for all womankind! It affirms what women have been taught they weren't even allowed to even hope, that labor could be wonderful! And dare I say it? Enjoyable.

My jealousy fuels my drive to achieve my audacious dream of emotionally, spiritually and physically fulfilling labor.

Michelle, thank you for inspiring me with the beauty of your jealousy-inducing birth story! I am looking forward to being a part of, yet another, one of your amazing home births!

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