Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And the pushing of the children from the vaginas

That subject line is said with my best Cliff Huxtable impression. Which isn't very good, considering I'm a 30-year-old white chick. And Cliff probably would not utter the word "vagina," in spite of being an obstetrician.

But lots of us bloggers like saying "vagina." I've noticed that, lately. I thought at first that it was just me, over here talking about that time of the month and my slowly rotting uterus, but actually it's lots of people, chattin' up the va-jay-jay.

Anyway, all of this vagina preamble is to let you know that I finished "Your Best Birth," the book by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein that's way uber-hippie-anti-drug-pro-vagina-get-a-midwife-and-you'll-be-fine. Mainly I was curious as to whether these ladies could convince me, who is not currently pregnant (*slings a shot of whiskey*), to one day birth my child au naturale, sans drugs.

The short answer is no.

The long answer is maayyyyyybe. See, I agree with them that us womenfolk have been pushing babies out of our vaginas for a long long long long time, and that our bodies are basically made to do this. There's no sense in rushing the birthing process -- I agree! No inductions for me, thanks, and no laboring on my back, thanks -- I'll be wandering the halls, cursing all within earshot. No godforsaken episiotomies, thanks -- for chrissakes keep that knife away from my vagina, evildoers! No optional C-sections, thanks, and really, no C-sections whatsoever unless someone, meaning myself or the baby, is in mortal danger. And it better be fucking Danger with a capital D, none of this, Oh, your water broke however many hours ago and therefore we must cut your belly open because we stuck our dirty fingers in your vagina, like, 50 times and now you're at risk of infection. None of that, thanks. And for that matter, keep your fingers to yourself and bring me a cheeseburger.

Essentially, I agree with a lot of Ricki and Abby's hippie ideals, and my only thought is that I am not sure I will be able to do it without an epidural. Hooray for me if I can, but seriously, ya'll? That is pain. I don't even know what that kind of pain will do to me, but I can only imagine I'll be crying uncle before it's all over and some needle-happy anesthesiologist will be priming my spine for the awesome numbing power of the epidural.

Anyway, I'm glad I read the book, because if nothing else, it makes you aware that you need to plan for these things. You cannot simply become pregnant and believe that everything will be honky dory, come time to push that sucker out. You've got to prepare, make lists, and ensure everyone who you're going to allow into the room while you're giving birth is aware of how you want things to go down, so they can back you up when the doctor lunges at your hoo-ha with a scalpel.

So, that is all for today. Welcome back from the long weekend!


  1. I laughed so hard I called my mom to make sure she read this, too.

  2. Check out the DVD by Rikki Lake the Business of Being Born.

  3. Check out the DVD by Rikki Lake the Business of Being Born.

  4. So I watched the documentary a few months ago, cuz it has been playing all over HBO- and was pretty much left with... i could do this in the future, it's how it is supposed to be, it's how it sould be, i just need to be strong... and then yesterday on the Today show they had a segment given by Matt Lauer and some other guy showing the story of a couple whom used the red haired midwife from the docu. and after 4days of labor the baby was born without a heartbeat after being strangled by the cord, never being taken to the hospital... crazy sad. Who really knows the right way I guess, there's just lots of options.

  5. Hi, Erin--I read your blog every now and then and can't stop laughing when I do. I learned about your blog through your mom :) and dad (who've also told me stories, oh, yes they have...kidding).
    (Clears throat) As a Professional Natural Childbirth Educator (Bradley Method, don't go to their site, it's lame), I'd like to clear up a couple issues: first, the taking of the epidural in and of itself causes many of the "problems" that you hope to avoid. I'm pretty sure you got that from all your reading and watching. Second, the pain is bearable. It's awful, don't get me wrong--but we bear it. We have to. 100 years ago, there were no epidurals, and no woman ever died from the pain of childbirth. Third: I like homebirth. Just like Ricki. I birth 'em big (9.5 and 10.12 pounds, thankyouverymuch). I understand the whole "being safe" issue and greatly resent the scare tactics about midwives who "kill" babies. That midwife should have transferred that woman to the hospital long before anything negative happened. We all know that, but no one truly knows why that didn't happen (well, some people do, but not the general public). My second birth greatly resembled the tragic one, with the exception that my granola-crunching, hippie-type midwife insisted that we transfer since generally midwives know that babies do not do well in 5 day births. The reason that hospital births appear safer in situations such as this is often because of advanced rescussitation equipment that heals where they screwed up. While I'm grateful for the carefully-used and judiciously applied technology that helped my second baby come into the world, this same technology--used injudiciously--harms and kills far more babies than are hurt in homebirths, even adjusting for the small number of babes born at home. Anonymous--homebirth attended by a qualified midwife has been proven to be safer for the low-risk woman for hundreds of years. I only wish more women knew they had this healthy and beautiful option. Cheers!