Midwives Can Change The World by Mary
13 things my midwives did that were revolutionary:
1. Telling me I could be an amazing mother despite being a teen. ("Tell them the Virgin Mary was thirteen, Fuckyouverymuch" was Midwife #1's suggested response to critical looks, whispers and lectures.)
2. Telling me only I know what is right for me and my babe.
3. Telling me it was all right and even natural to have moments where you feel like throwing the baby out the window.
4. Cutting through all the hearts and flowers bullshit and preparing me as best they could for the visceral, wrenching experience of labor, birth and mothering.
5. Telling me I was smart enough to take control of my own reproduction, which includes choosing to get pregnant at whatever age I deem most appropriate.
6. Getting security called on them when they intervened in a patient's hospital birth to prevent an unwanted c-section (they delivered the baby before they were escorted out).
7. Three words: sliding fee scale. I paid $350 for my homebirth, in $35 installments. They were at my home for at least 12 hours while I labored. They fucking rule heaven and earth.
8. Telling me there is more than one reasonable, rational choice when considering immunizations, circumcision and antibiotics. Telling me doctors are not gods.
9. Always treating me like a person who happens to be a mother rather than merely the incubator who must morph into a mummy-poo in order to get approval.
10. Kicking my adopted mom out and offering to kick out babydaddy because they thought labor was about them. They made it about me.
11. Showing by example that women can support other women without putting them down or helping the culture put them in their place.
12. Delivering in people's homes, rather than in hospitals.
13. Going to Ethiopia and the slums of Jamaica and delivering there. Coming back with a new perspective on the amazing power of women.
Oh, and I must add:
14. Pelvic exams that don't hurt.
One can never underestimate the power for good of a gentle hand and a little empathy.