Great Expectations: Pamela @ 28 weeks

Third trimester!!  How quickly this pregnancy has gone…yeah right.  I had the sad realization the other day that I still have 12 weeks to go and I got very sad.  As much as I love the miracle of pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby at the end, I’m very ready to meet this little baby.

Update from my prenatal appointment last week:  I’m doing alright.  My blood pressure is normal and healthy.  I’ve gained four lbs in the last four weeks which my midwife assured me is very healthy at this point in my pregnancy.  With the blood sugar monitoring I am already doing, I decided to forgo the glucose tolerance test and am continuing with my diet and tracking.  So far, so good, although it has been interesting to see what kind of foods spike my blood sugar and what doesn’t.  What I’ve found is that if I eat a lot of protein with my carbs, my blood sugar tends to be in a safe and healthy range.  Unfortunately, though, I haven’t been able to keep my blood sugar consistently under my maximum number so tomorrow I am going to start taking chromium to help out.  I am hoping it makes a difference.

Family picture at a recent trip downtown

Over the past couple of weeks I have been a part of two situations that really bothered me and I want to get this off my chest.

Situation One:  There was another pregnant mama working out with a trainer at the same time as me up until a couple of weeks ago.  I hadn’t seen her so I asked her trainer about her to make sure she was okay.  She stopped working with the trainer about a week before her due date and up until that point she was doing really well just waiting for baby.  This was her first child.  Last week she was still pregnant and her OB wanted to induce her at about one week overdue but she declined because she didn’t feel it was necessary yet.  The trainers were discussing this with me and they couldn’t believe this mom wouldn’t take the induction because, really, who wants to be pregnant any longer than they should have.  Their reason she didn’t want to be induced – “she’s a first time mom, she doesn’t know any better.”  This week I found out that she *just* had her baby at almost two full weeks overdue and her baby was just barely over seven pounds.

Situation Two:  A friend of mine from my pre-baby life of racing triathlons asked me to join a Facebook group for women who used to race but now have babies or are pregnant and somehow trying to get racing back into our lives.  Fun premise for  a group but the execution of it, for me, was poor and I have since left the group.  This week a woman posted about how pro-induction (early) she is and how important medical interventions are to birth.  Other women started responding to this post about how grateful they were to be induced and they can’t imagine doing it another way, etc.  One woman went so far as to say that before we had OB-assisted births the death rate for newborns was 9 out of 10!
Here’s my beef.  It saddens me that women can look so disdainfully upon another woman’s birthing choices (in the first situation the mom’s decision not to be induced and in the second situation the audacity of women to choose differently from them).  We are so lucky to have the choices that we have as birthing women in this country and we are lucky to have the option of medical intervention if its necessary, or if a woman chooses it.  For the women on the FB group, I’m glad that their inductions and medical interventions worked out in their favor, but for anyone who has worked with healing women, this isn’t always the case.

Three years ago when I was pregnant with my second and people found out I was choosing an out of hospital birth for us, I had a lot of people question my sanity and the safety of our family.  I realized that people may not be informed of the birthing options that we have, so I educated as much as I could.  After everything went smoothly with our birth, the naysayers around me became believers.  It’s sad to me that it took a ‘perfect birth’ to prove that non-OB care can be safe as there are plenty of hospital births that aren’t so perfect.

This time around, maybe it’s because of the people around us, I do not feel that I have to defend my decision for another home birth.  When I am around women, though, who feel that their experiences were the ‘correct’ ones and anyone who choose differently were ‘incorrect’ I get very frustrated at the lack of support women are getting, especially if it is a difficult time for them.

As I’m writing this I didn’t mean for this post to become an ‘us-versus-them’ post.  I get so annoyed that despite that a woman has the right to choose her care, her choice is judged.  Ultimately, it is OUR choice to how we birth.  We should honor each other and that choice because this is the community – the women community – above all others that should stick together.

Avatar of Pamela LurieAbout Pamela Lurie
Pamela is a mother of two boys with a baby on the way later this year. After taking a Bradley Method class for natural childbirth to prepare for the birth of her first child, she ended up having a traumatic labor followed by an unplanned cesarean section. After this experience, it became important for her to understand how to recover from traumatic birth and make sure other women find the support they need. It was during her pregnancy with her second child that this passion really grew. After a successful home birth after cesarean (HBAC) with a Certified Professional Midwife, her goal to help other women recover became even more important. Together with friends she started Mothers Healing Together, a local support group for women suffering from birth trauma. Pamela is also a La Leche League leader in Virginia and she just began work as a postpartum doula.

Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    Having had an out of hospital birth myself, I find that when I talk about natural childbirth, I get the most backlash from women who perhaps did not have great experiences in hospital. I often feel like they are perhaps defending their experience as a way to justify something that they found dissatisfying. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. It’s just interesting that as women we feel that we need to justify our situations, even if it ended up being a birth that didn’t go the way we planned. It’s like before we open our mouths we project judgement onto ourselves and so immediately come out with a defense.

    I’m glad your workout Mom was able to avoid an induction, since she didn’t want one. No baby stays in forever.

    I hope you keep educating. I try to do the same, and I think I’m getting a little better at embracing a non-”us vs them” tone when i do. It’s hard when I feel like women are coming from a place where they don’t necessarily understand all the choices they have.

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