Monday, February 11, 2008

reframing and acceptance

This post by NavelGazing Midwife is very very helpful, (especially to the people who are having such a hard time understanding and supporting mothers who are going through these processes.)

I am happy to say that I am at re-framing and acceptance, and I couldnt have done so without KneelingWoman being back in my life. I'll never forget when I told her my tearful story of Charlie's birth at what is now our favorite Thai restaurant, (along with all of the angry wording, the blaming of anyone,anything, myself, the streaming tears) and she simply said, "sometimes the babies just don't line up, no matter what you or anyone do or don't do. I'm so sorry."

This was so new to me, being immersed for years in both (radical) realms of on-line cesarean mourning/doctor blaming/self-blaming and my real-life people whose overall chant seemed quite stuck in the "let go of your anger! you're too angry! anger is so bad! let it go! Be glad your baby is fine!"....what was this new logical calm factual unemotionally-charged idea of (to massively paraphrase) Shit Happens and It sucks But You Dont Suck, and There Really Really Is a Good Chance That That Baby Was Not Gonna Come Out Your Vagina And Thats Just The Way It Sometimes Goes???? I didnt even know what to think or say right away, but it was so new, so non-blamey, that my stomach unraveled and I enjoyed my meal in a way that I really dont think could have been possible after so recently discussing my birth story of Charlie!

From someone who knows. From someone who knows about helping women with grief, from someone who has had cesareans and losses far worse than mine, from someone who has caught one of my own babies, with no strings attached about me needing to buck up or me needing to really do or be anything other than Joy who had another C section and it started me on the fast track to ReFraming and Acceptance.

My entire attitudes about homebirth, unnassisted birth, and what birthing for me and my body and my future might be have been changed over the last few months. There has been a trend in the midwife blogs that I frequent of discussing stuff that can go wrong, discussing reality, and discussing where we go from here. Its all cosmic karmic amazing timing for me, being pregnant and starting my apprenticeship in midwifery.....Im in a very different place than I was last year, 2 years ago, and yet there is no blog entry that I would "take back". Every step of the way on this journey has been raw and real and important to me, even if my thoughts are totally different now.

I still believe with all of my heart that home is a fine and safe place to give birth for many many women.
I still beleive with all of my heart that the "habits", I will call them, of many many OB practices of popping everyone on the pitocin as a part of their late-pregnancy "care", or using ultrasound to determine that our babies are "too big" is a terrible idea.
I still believe with all of my heart that far too many women have no idea that they have other options, and I now believe that being completely realistic is, for me, my only way of being a Sage woman.

I have been through alot with my births, and I have been quietly coming to realize how much of my upset has absolutely nothing to do with what hole the baby came through. With time, I hope that the people who are still way back in the earlier stages that are outlined so eloquently by NavelGazing Midwife can get to where I am and where I am going to.


Kelley said...

Wow, Joy! What a great post. I've lately had to do this to some extent with all my births, and I'm much more okay with EVERYTHING that happened than I was a few months ago. Is it the pregnancies that have allowed us to heal like this? Why now and not earlier? Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you are able to do this, and I look forward to hearing more.

Rixa said...

I am glad you are in this new place and feeling more at peace. You are fortunate to have such a midwife in your life.

Jill said...

This made me smile. You are at a good place! I really enjoyed Barb's post about acceptance too.

What a lot of people don't get, though, is that you can't just jump from the incident right to've got to go through all the other stages first. And sometimes, even after you've "finished", you still go back and visit them briefly (but not too long). And that's okay!

You are indeed a Sage Woman. :)

Judit said...

Navelgazing's essay really is awesome and super inspiring, especially the end. That'll be the stage you're in when you have this baby!! I too love reading our circle of blogs and re-discovering how to be completely realistic about birth, realistic but not cynical, a realistic romantic idealist... I love hearing that all your hard work of grieving is paying off. And I love that you have such a wonderful brilliant dear woman as a midwife. (And, I love Thai food!) :)

Kim said...

Sounds to me like you are growing up!

Judit said...

"Sounds to me like you are growing up!" -- I am not sure how this comment sounds to me... there are just so many different ways a sentence like this can be uttered. There is certainly a very profound sense in which this journey is one of becoming wise, mature, and accepting. It is not, however, the process of becoming like the typical adult woman. We are not striving to be just normal here. Whatever that is.

Housefairy said...

Thanks, Judit...wasn't quite sure how to take that one, but not really up for an argument lately...:)

Judit said...

On the other hand, I re-read what I wrote LOL and I'm not sure how *that* sounds... so, to clarify: I did NOT mean to imply that typical adult women are unwise or immature. Oops. Bleh. See? Of course I didn't mean that, whatever Kim meant with her comment.

emjaybee said...

I think you are plenty grown up...but midwifery/birth rights in this country is what is having growing pains. It took the brave, sometimes wacky (god bless em)hippie types and iconoclasts to keep midwifery alive at all. We owe them a great debt.

At the same time...we don't do ourselves any favors by rejecting truths about birth and our bodies that we don't like because they have been used as weapons against us. It's very hard to find a place where you can say "this c/section was the only way through" in a climate of fear and hostility that obstetrics has created. I don't think we would have this ambivalence and pain to the same extent if we had not been so abused by the OB system. If we could make enough changes that most caregivers in birth could be trusted, then c/sections might make us grieve, but would not be so devastating.

Lynette said...

Joy -- Your comment that "being completely realistic is, for me, my only way of being a Sage woman" really rang true for me. I've had some unrealistic expectations lately, and made some choices based on unrealistic assumptions, and I've paid a bit of a price for it. When I read your comment I recognized what I'd been doing, and realized that it would be so much better to be realistic, rather than over- or underestimating myself or a situation. Thank-you for sharing your wise thoughts. I'm glad you've found a new way (and a more confident way, I think) to approach your feelings and experiences.

CNH said...

My therapist once said something very wise to me:

"Why do you feel you have to 'grow up'? Why isn't 'growing' enough? Is there a destination?"


Your wonderful MW has been teaching me much as well, and it's also perfect cosmic timing here too.

I'm glad you're in a good place. :)

Angi said...

Very well put! Maybe a better way to put it is "sounds like you are growing". I'm glad you are feeling more at peace!

Marie said...

As a proponent for natural birth I'm often "put-off" by women who are so far insistent in their ways that they completely disregard actual dangers that, although are much less frequent than some would have you believe, DO happen to some women/babies and they do need to be addressed somehow. If we continue to promote "natural" (unmed, intervention-free) childbirth as the ONLY way to go, as if all women really could do it, ignoring the reality that there are real dangers and real challenges in childbirth, we not only will lose half our audience who could have been won over to 'our' side because they will see the holes in our arguments but we will also dig a knife in the women who really did try, with all their might and everything in them, and still ended up cut and/or with a tradgedy. Reality is, things happen and it is the WISE woman who can admit when she really does need help.

I am a Monkey's Momma said...

Hoping you are's been very quiet here.

Thinking of you Mama!