Apparently Midwife is a BAD Word…

I say this because as soon as I told my doctor that I had a midwife and was planning to use her. She gave me an attitude like I’d just dropped the C-bomb in her office.

My doctor’s demeanor completely changed; she went from this super-friendly lady I’d met 6 months ago to Omarosa. She didn’t come right out and say, “So, Karith when did you become a traitor to the medical profession?” But she did ask me what my reasoning was. When I proclaimed that I wanted to do as natural a birth as possible, you would have thought I’d just removed my panties and peed right there on her floor (something that could have happened had I sneezed too hard – see: Didja Pee A Little?) Then to add insult to injury I said, “Plus I don’t want to be shot up with Pitocin if I don’t need it.” Well, that was the dump on her floor heard ’round the world.

Since becoming pregnant and trying to do as much research as we could without becoming overly obsessed (which can happen) my husband CJ and I have found that there is a HUGE disparity between how women should be allowed to have babies in America and what years of medicine and the people who practice medicine want women to give birth. And what it seems to come down to is $$$ MONEY $$$ and a matter of convenience for doctors.

It’s not just my opinion- it’s fact- women are NOT meant to be lying flat on their backs pushing a 6 -10lb baby out of their vaginas. The pelvis gets in the way big time and makes it harder and more painful for the body to do what it was designed to do.

We’re supposed to squat or lie on our sides or contort our bodies to the most comfortable positions we can like MOST women outside of America currently do now and how women have been doing it for centuries. We’re only supposed to have cesarean sections when absolutely necessary– not for convenience- the doctors or our own designer baby birthdates.

It is MAJOR surgery meant to save either the woman’s life or the life of the baby. (It also happens to be faster and more money can be made from doing them.) I’m not judging anyone who chooses to do it that way. It absolutely should be “your body, your choice”; but it’s not set up that way in hospitals today.

After making dozens of calls I couldn’t find ONE SINGLE hospital in NYC or SoCal that would let me a) use a birthing bar or b) have Baby Bean in water. Hence why we made the decision going to a birthing center and pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. But ironically what we’re paying is still 1/4 of what the hospitals charge and the insurance pays. So you’d think from a financial standpoint insurance companies would be behind midwifery 110%. So not the case and it’s SO incredibly frustrating when you really get to look at the facts and stats.

Here’s the deal: hospitals are for SICK people and EMERGENCIES – I visited them frequently as a patient while a teenager so I can speak to this. Having a baby is one of THE most natural things that can happen and if it’s treated that way- not rushed because Dr. So-and-so wants to go on get to the Katy Perry concert on time or go vacay a little early. Don’t get me wrong I 100% believe hospitals have their place which is why I won’t be more than 15 minutes from one when Baby Bean does come into the world.

But I don’t want someone rushing me OR my baby. I don’t want extra bacteria exposure (because hospitals ARE for sick people!) I don’t want drugs shot into me to make my contractions come harder and faster because America’s Got Talent Finals are on. I don’t want florescent lights shining down on me and Baby Bean when we’re trying to be as relaxed as possible. I also don’t want different strangers coming in and out of my room telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing.

Not ACTUALLY Karith & CJ, but the image we hope to capture.

I want to be free to move around, to have my husband behind me, rubbing my back and loving me and cheering me on in a giant tub of warm water. (We’re Cancerians- so nothing could be more soothing). I want to be comfortable and fully cognizant when I’m experiencing the most magical amazing thing I will EVER do on this planet. And I want more than anything to bring a happy healthy alert baby into the world. I pray that that isn’t just my birth “plan” but reality. And I hope that everyone has or has had an equally wonderful birth experience.

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  • I think natural births are a wonderful thing for the women who decide to try them. Laying flat on your back is literally the medically worst position in which to give birth, and the cocktail of drugs that frequently comes with a hospital birth can actually make labor both physically harder and take a longer amount of time. While women with high risk pregnancies should definitely follow medical advice for the well being of themselves and their children, there’s no reason a woman with a healthy pregnancy can’t give birth naturally. Taking your cues from your body can actually prevent some of the negative results of delivery. For example, tearing is almost always avoidable if the delivery happens at the right pace and the woman is not encouraged to push too hard too quickly.

    Insurance seems to be slowly getting on the natural birth train, but it really depends on where you live. I know right now Florida has a law that actually requires insurance companies to cover midwives, doulas, and birthing centers. Hopefully as insurance companies begin to reevaluate how much money they’re spending per birth, more companies will begin to support the natural process for more women.

  • Hi. It does seem that your OB reacted badly, but getting your prenatal care from an OB and then using a midwife to deliver is an unusual situation. Usually you get your prenatal care from your delivery person (or team, if it’s a group). Although I am thinking of certified nurse midwives, so maybe what you’re describing is completely normal in the case of certified professional midwives.

    If the midwife is a CPM and not a CNM, I can see why your doctor would be concerned. Somehow you’re going to have to get everyone on the same page; maybe ask the midwife to come with you to an appointment so she and the OB can meet, or switch to a different prenatal care provider (maybe your midwife can suggest someone). But I do think that continuous care by either the same people or people who are in agreement is ideal. I can see your doctor’s perspective, too, “Does she think I hand out pitocin like lollipops? So if she needs to be induced, she’s just going to refuse? Exactly how much distress would her baby have to be in?” You don’t want too many chefs in the kitchen. Good luck! I agree with you on your conclusions about the research, but I also think that OB’s are doing their best with the training they have. (And they are lifesavers – literally – when things go wrong.)