It's been a very long time. For lots of reasons, I took a long sabbatical from the world of birth advocacy. Kind of spontaneously, I (and some friends) decided to go to the recent ICAN conference this year (2016). I've discovered that there's still a spark there. I don't know what that means, exactly - my cesarean babies will be turning 18 this year - but I do know I still think I've got something to contribute. So, here I am again - it'll be sporadic but maybe I do still have something to write about.
This is still the place where most of what I write ends up. Hopefully it'll help you in some way - Gretchen
Where I am Now I found this recently. It’s always interesting to read things years later. I guess I’d call this the middle piece between “You Should Be Grateful” and “8 Years Later” – a look at where I was about 4 years after the cesarean. Of course, the part that makes me cringe a little is that I had such hopes that I’d learned my lesson about control…of course, that didn’t end up to be true at all, and the next 4 years have also been marked with struggles and questions, ultimately quite a few unanswered ones. I do still struggle with not being “angry” anymore and what that means…and I still can’t say with complete honesty that it was “worth it”.
8 Years Later I just wrote this, one month shy of the 8th anniversary of my boys' entrance into this world. Evidently, its the third part of what is now a trilogy of sorts. Along with Where I am Now, you can call it a companion piece to You Should Be Grateful. I guess its a look at what's there when the anger fades a bit more.
Drugs in Birth One of the areas where there is little true informed consent is the use of drugs during labor. So I decided to discuss a common side effect -- itching -- and illustrate why there isn't good informed consent and why routine use of drugs might not be such a great idea.
Feelings: Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em? This was written in response to several conversations I've had recently about healing and pain and how one even begins to navigate emotions that are so powerful and frightening. Needless to say, I'm no expert but I have been working on it. This is what I've come up with so far, with a lot of help from wiser people than myself.
How I got from There to Here: My Path to a Homebirth I’ve written this sort of explanation several times, in several forums. My journey to planning a homebirth started about a month before my cesarean, when it began to look more and more like I was going to have that cesarean I would “never have”. I think that in some ways, I’m a surprising person to be a homebirth advocate – at least I do know that I’ve been asked how I came to choose homebirth a number times. So, if that’s something you’ve ever wondered, here’s the explanation.
Cesarean Surgery: Lessons, Purpose and Reasons This is another essay that I'm not clear on exactly when I wrote it but I think it was later in the period of time when I was writing so much. It is a part of how I'm learning to integrate my experience into the whole of my life. I hope it provokes some thought in others.
Planning for Birth: Unconscious Assumptions and Compromise As women in this time and place, we have a tendency (for the most part) to worry about what "other people think". The "nice/good girl" syndrome is a very real thing, even in women like me who usually aren't particularly concerned about what most people think (pregnancy can make the most assertive woman do and say things she is shocked about later). The problem is, being a "nice girl" when it comes to planning a birth often leads to plans that aren't in the best interest of the woman or her baby.