Thursday, January 7, 2010

Birth Preparation and Empowerment

I recently had a dream about birth.

In my dream I was pregnant with my 6th child very soon after the birth of my 5th. I was so busy with my family and life in general that I didn't take any time to make plans for my baby's birth. I went into spontaneous labor earlier than expected and went to the hospital. While the hospital staff tried to find me a room my labor progressed very quickly and I birthed my baby and caught it myself in the hallway of the hospital. I had my husband with me and no one else. It was chaotic and confusing, and I wondered why I was even in the hospital to begin with.

This story is unlikely to happen personally to me, but it does happen in reality to other women. Rather than birthing a baby in a hospital hallway, many women give birth in a car on the way to the hospital, or within minutes of arriving at the hospital before they can get checked in, or at home without assistance before they have a chance to go anywhere. The details may differ, but this story is not as far-fetched as it may sound. These situations sound scary for the unprepared.

I woke up feeling unsettled. I thought about my dream and how I felt about it. If I had planned in my dream for my upcoming birth I would have been better prepared and known what to do, and the story would have unfolded very differently and much more peacefully.

If we fail to educate ourselves about pregnancy and birth, we don't make informed choices or plan for our baby's birth, we are then subjecting ourselves to management by others. We leave the decisions to them rather than take ownership of our own bodies and trust in the natural process of birth. I would even go so far as to say that by ignorantly trusting in other people we show a lack of faith in not only ourselves and our bodies, but also in God.

I recently found a quote by Henci Goer that I really like:

"You can’t be said to make a choice when you only have one option."

When we fail to educate ourselves and prepare, we severely limit our options.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post! What a dream! Good lesson though for every woman---couple, even---preparing for pregnancy and birth.