Monday, January 7, 2013

Faith and Trust

Here we are, 34 weeks along. Looking back on it so far, it has been a journey consistently by two things: faith and trust. Part of the reason I decided to become a surrogate is because I trust my body and because I had faith that this would work. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I just felt it in my bones that I was meant to do this. I believe our society has done a grave injustice to women in regards to how we view pregnancy and birth in general, and that injustice has been challenging our trust in our bodies and how they work and in shaking our faith in the power of women. Over the course of many decades we have gone from having pregnancy be a cause for celebration to a cause for worry. A cause of joy to a cause of fear. We used to ALL be attended by knowledgable women who loved and supported us during birth and now the vast majority of us are surrounded by machines that beep and scare us. We have traveled a path from believing pregnancy and childbirth are normal and progress on their own schedule to a place where doctors tell us our bodies aren't good enough, our labors aren't progressing quickly enough, we aren't strong enough. Our faith and our trust have been put to the test and I openly rebel against that along with an ever-increasing sisterhood of women who say we will take back this process and reestablish our power.

So a few weeks ago, I had an ultrasound that showed one baby was breech and the other was transverse. My doctor/midwife combo have both had to bring up the c-section option as a topic of discussion because it is within the realm of possibility.  In most cases in the birth world today, being this far along with twins who are not lined up in the most advantageous positions would call for a scheduled c-section. Some women don't even have the option of discussing this; they are just told their doctor won't "let them go" past a certain week and see what happens. Breech usually automatically equals c-section. Most ob-gyns aren't even taught how to do breech deliveries as they are considered too risky. Even though older doctors were taught how to do them routinely. Ask some older relatives and you may be surprised how many were breech babies or gave birth to breech babies as recently as the 40's and 50's. No more though.  There are also many different ways to help turn a breech baby but a lot of women aren't given those options either. So since my doctor is an ob/gyn, we did have to have a discussion about a c-section. I told him emphatically that I did not want one unless there was a danger to me or the babies, and that the parents feel the same way. We also talked about how we had weeks left until I was due and that at each ultrasound the babies were both in different positions, so they were still very active and not settled in to one position yet. He agreed with me but still had to let me know that the "recommended course of action" (yes he used air quotes) at this point was to at least schedule the surgery for 37 weeks. Even though he was not pushing the issue at all, and even advised me that he did a great breech delivery, I panicked inside. He was being very judicious and laying out all the options, but just the thought that a c-section was the standard course so far before my due date freaked me out.  We parted with the "wait and see" approach and both of us knew that we were on the same page with letting things happen on their own.

Then, because I was freaking out, I got on one of my birth community Facebook pages asking for advice on how to get little Miss transverse to turn. I got a couple of responses before my phone rang. It was my midwife, who point blank asked me what in the world I was doing freaking out on FB! She is a member of that group as well and she saw my post. I LOVE that she called me!!! Most ob/gyns would not have bothered. But she knew I was panicking and she called me out on it. Her words to me?? Trust in my body, trust in the babies to be in the right position when the time comes, trust her and my doctor to do everything possible to get the babies lined up right IF we needed to, trust that he did not want to do a c-section. Trust. I was in tears. She had said the magic word! She pretty much fussed at me (in a really nice way) and told me to let go of my control issues. She told me I had been so great through this whole pregnancy; why would I lose that faith now??

And this is why she is my midwife. Because she trusts me, my body, the babies; together we are a team and I am supported and surrounded by love.

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