This morning, I watched a video my midwives posted on their website. It was a montage of images of peaceful home births they were lovingly a part of in 2010. It was set to beautiful music and it was so touching. There were pictures of my little one with my husband and one with her and I nursing. As I sat and watched, I couldn't help but feel so happy that I was blessed with the opportunity to birth my baby at home. Being blessed with the gift of comfort and peace on the day of bringing her into this world is something I will always deeply appreciate. The video got me thinking about a lot of the ignorance around birthing babies. And just ignorance in general. I believe it is time we all start asking more questions about everything. When I was pregnant, I lived in a top unit of a quadruplex. We rarely saw our neighbors. Sometimes we'd run into them picking mangoes off the tree while we sunbathed or while getting into our cars and we'd say a quick hello and go on our way. Since I knew I was going to birth at home and didn't know when it would be- daytime or nighttime- or how I would react- would I be a silent birthing momma or a vocal one?- I wrote them all a note that went something like this:
Hello. How are you? As you have surely noticed, I am very pregnant and wanted to let you know I will be birthing at home. Since birth is a sometimes long and somewhat challenging process, I wanted to take the time to let you know this was going to be happening in case the baby comes at night and you hear a lot of stirring and other noises coming from our apartment. Thankfully, it will only be one evening at the most. It is really important to my husband and myself that she is born in what we consider is the most peaceful way possible. We kindly thank you in advance for your patience and consideration and have a very happy new year!
Mr. and Mrs. _____ at #3
A few weeks later, my landlady called me and asked me if I had a few minutes to discuss some concerns that had been brought to her attention. I said "sure" as I began to review moments in my head that the neighbors could possibly have complained about. I couldn't think of any so I instantly became very curious. We always went to bed early, never played loud music, only took our share of mangoes from the tree whenever there were any to take because our downstairs neighbor was mango happy. So, I really couldn't think of what this call was about.
"A couple of your neighbors are very concerned. It seems you recently notified them you would be giving birth at home and they just want to know what is going to happen around that... what that means? For one, your downstairs neighbor is worried about blood dripping down the walls into her apartment. Also, what are you going to do with your placenta? It's not going to end up in the common area receptacle, correct? Please tell me what you are going to do about the biohazard...."
My landlady was a mother of 3. All my neighbors were women. So, in complete disbelief, I told her my licensed midwives were going to take care of the details and no one needed to worry about blood or biohazards because everything was going to be disposable, disposed of, cleaned (if even necessary) and removed without anyone seeing it or knowing anything about it. Even though she expressed no emotion or empathy on the matter I closed with "thank you for your concern and I assure you all will be well."
I laughed a LOT about this because even in my complete ignorance of what it was to bear a child, I knew that even in the worst-case scenario, no woman turns into some blood-gushing mess that sprays all over the walls and throws her precious placenta away in a common area receptacle. Well, the placenta, who knows- maybe- but certainly not the blood part.
At this point in my life, I understand everyone is on a different path and that while some things seem more absolutely right or absolutely wrong than others, "right" or "wrong" isn't even the point. Is there a point? I don't know. But if there is, it is something closer to all of us asking more questions and finding some answers to educate ourselves. To see that women (an age range of women that spanned a few decades and a couple that were already mothers) did not have all the information available about birth is- in my world- unacceptable. I know that a lot of babies are born in hospitals- some by choice, some by appointment even and some due to necessary interventions. This is all fine. But while pregnant, when people asked me what hospital I was going to birth in and I said "at home", most women said either "I didn't know you could do that" or "how?!?!?!?!" I did my share to educate the public about their choices. There is just not enough information out there. About anything. Especially not the important things. But we all seem to know that Keira Knightley wore the green Prada gown better than Lea Michele courtesy of the E channel. People need to be reminded that hospitals nowadays are a business like any other and need to turn a profit. For every mother that truly needs a c-section, there are at least three that do not but suffer through the consequences.
And it's not just about birthing. Not all women are going to be mothers but all women have a grace and a power beyond measure. A lot of women have lost touch with their connection to womanhood, their true cycles, their primal power. Even the strongest woman I know has some deprogramming to do and some serious questions to ask of herself. But if we all keep handing our decisions over to religions, to lovers, drugs, alcohol, to pharmaceuticals, the media, etc., how are we ever going to find it? We are beyond all of this.
And speaking of truths, I just read an article that indubitably reveals the beef at Taco Bell is only less than 1% beef. Everything else is chemicals and highly processed fillers. I know for a fact a large amount of people have no idea this is true and some know but eat it anyway, unsure of the consequences. If we can understand and admit that we have become complacent about and just accepted certain abominations, can we not take it one step further and realize that perhaps we have let some other ones slip through the cracks too. Maybe some big ones?
START ASKING QUESTIONS. About everything. Just start anywhere and go from there.