Tuesday, January 04, 2011
What childbirth lessons can we learn from my play "Birth"? Check out my recent blog post on Mothering Magazine's website for the answer!
Childbirth Secret #1: The Baby is Not Coming Out of Your Butt
I love this Dr. Seuss-inspired prose from "Birth Sense" on Facebook. I just had to share it with you.
I also appreciate her disclaimer. There is a birth crisis in many communities where doctors and hospitals do not believe in normal birth. To create art around this theme does not mean that all OBs or hospitals do not believe in normal birth. There are champions out there who get it, but when I sit down and talk with mothers about their childbirth experiences I know we still have a long way to go.
How the OB Stole Normal Birth (apologies to Dr. Seuss)
by Birth Sense
Disclaimer: My regular readers know that I support the use of modern obstetric technology when truly needed, and I know there are some awesome OBs out there, as well as some not-so-good midwives. I know that birth does not always happen normally, and it isn’t anyone’s fault. But the fact is that we interfere way too often in the normal process of birth, much of the time creating more problems than we solve. This parody of Dr. Seuss’ famous “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is my holiday rant about the state of childbirth in America today.
Lots of women in Birthville
Liked normal birth a lot.
But the OB who practiced
He hated birthing! The whole childbirth season.
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his heart wasn’t connected quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his wallet was too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that he thought
His patients’ pelvises were two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason,
His heart or his wallet,
He stood there, hating the women,
Who gave birth in Birthville without any gadgets or tools,
Who wanted to squat or give birth on a stool.
And he knew every woman in Birthville beneath
Was busy now, practicing her relaxation techniques.
“And they’re squatting and breathing!” he snarled with a sneer.
“They wait past their due dates without any fear!!”
Then he growled, with his fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to get those babies coming!”
For, if he didn’t, he knew…
All the Birthville women would tell of the joys
Of birthing without drugs
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the women in Birthville
Would wait and they’d wait.
They’d wait for their labor
Though the babies were late!
They would refuse the pitocin, they’d give him no peace
They’d write up birth plans
Which was something the OB couldn’t stand in the least!
They’d do something he liked least of all!
Every woman in Birthville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, and coach each other
These normal birthers were becoming a bother!
They’d walk! And they’d breathe!
They’d moan and they’d sway!
And the more the OB thought of the birthing day
The more the he thought, “I must stop this whole thing!
“Why for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop normal birth!
…But HOW? But HOW?”
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE OB GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
“I know just what to do!” He laughed in his throat.
And he hid a scalpel in his lab coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great OB trick!
“With this coat and this scalpel, it’ll be very quick!”
I’ll tell them their pelvises
Are two sizes too small!
I’ll tell them their babies won’t
Fit through at all!
I’ll tell them they’re risking
The lives of their babies
They’ll do what I say,
No ifs, buts, or maybes!
Then he loaded his bags
And headed on down
Toward Birthville, and the hospital
In the center of town.
He took the first patient who arrived in labor
And told her he was doing her a favor.
It would all be over in an hour or less,
She wouldn’t have to push and she wouldn’t make a mess.
Then he rushed her back to the OR with glee.
“And NOW!” grinned the OB, “I will deliver the baby!”
But the OB had scarcely pulled on his gloves,
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and he saw the small head
Of a baby who most certainly did not appear dead!
The OB had been caught by the very fast birth
And his patient now questioned, “Why on earth
Did you tell me my pelvis was too small, and my baby would die?
Why did you try to cut me, why?”
But, you know, that old OB was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
“Why, my sweet little patient,” the OB lied,
“You’re lucky you were in the hospital
Or YOU might have died!”
But his fib didn’t fool her, and
She said, “Are you sure?
I read The Unnecesarean,
And study My Best Birth.
I keep up with Lamaze and I’ve met Ina May,
I’ll put my money on normal birth any day.”
Then the OB thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe birth,” he thought, “isn’t just about the OR.
“Maybe birth…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
And what happened then…?
Well…in Birthville they say
That the OB’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his wallet didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed through the labor deck in the bright morning light
And he brought back the doulas! And took out the IVs!
He handled the birth balls and birth stools with ease!
He took off the monitors and got the women up walking,
He visted their rooms and did a little talking.
He didn’t scowl when they wanted no meds,
He didn’t keep them confined to their beds.
He didn’t complain that they were too loud,
And when his patient wanted to push, she was allowed.
And when she wanted to give birth on her hands & knees,
The OB—THE OB! delivered the baby with ease!