Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Twilight Saga and Modern Birth Stories
Warning- Spoiler Alert!
If you haven't read the Twilight Saga and don't want to know how it ends- stop reading now!
I admit- I was totally addicted to the Twilight Saga (yeah - I know I am too old for that) and I like the movies too, but when I read the last one I hated the birth!
I realize it makes me a nut job to actually be upset by a fictional vampire birth but- hear me out- I have a few good reasons.
If you haven't read the books, the last one ends with the heroine (a human) pregnant with a vampire baby. Of course, who knows how this will work out! Can a human woman survive a vampire birth!?
As we get closer to the rapidly approaching due date mama is sick, this crazy baby is hurting her from the inside out, and then, suddenly, emergency strikes!
Mama starts bleeding and the only thing that can save her is- you guessed it- a vampire c-section! Things are pretty touch and go for a while but with the help of some blood transfusions, lots of emergency medicine, (luckily there was a doctor present for this home birth) and narcotics, mom and baby pull through. Their survival of the horrors of birth are of course all due to the emergency c-section that mom received! (Don't even get me started on the breastfeeding situation. You think it hurts to nurse a regular baby, try one with fangs!)
Real Birth Stories-
So this is all pretty dramatic and silly, but how similar does it sound to almost ALL of the birth stories I hear from women? Very similar in fact (except for the vampire part). Most women I talk to are so afraid of birth, especially home birth because they had to be "saved" from their last birth.
How many times have you heard this or similar phrases coming from the lips of a recently delivered woman:
"It's a good thing I was in the hospital, because XYZ went wrong and we just wouldn't have survived without the technology."
Does anybody notice that technology ABC (insert here continuous fetal monitoring, epidural, supine pushing or any other number of standard procedures) are what caused the need for emergency medicine in the first place?!
Birth Stories MATTER!
I love those books- I really do. But what kind of message are we sending to the women and young women in this country when all the birth stories they hear are like this? Why are so many of our birth stories actually horror stories that end with the damsel in distress (IE, mother in stirrups) being saved by her knight in shining armor (IE, obstetrical surgeon and his knife)?
Not only do women hear these same scary stories from almost every woman they meet- they are now in books and teenage literature.
Good Birth Stories
For all you mamas out there with good birth stories, I think it is time we started sharing them. I don't mean tell everybody how much better you think you are because you suffered without that epidural, I mean tell people about the JOY of natural birth. Let's give some of those new mamas the confidence they need to have a happy and beautiful, even orgasmic birth experience.
If you are looking to read some good birth stories, check out either of Ina Mae Gaskin's books, "Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth" or "Spiritual Midwifery". Both have lots of safe natural births and both give you an idea of how different labor is for every woman.
Oh- and there are a TON on the blog!