|You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. –Isaiah 55:12|
Some of you may think that I’m a little crazy when I put on my Activist Hat.
I am aware more and more of when to not wear that hat and when to wear it. It’s not that hard. You know, like when you are out for drinks with the girls and you aren’t wearing your Mommy Hat, or you are in the Corporate Board Room and you are not wearing your Party Girl Hat. Same thing.
How many hats do you wear?
Activist is defined as an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause. When I attend a birthing woman I am rather quiet, not very active, never vigorous, unless we go on a vigorous walk but mostly our walks are not vigorous. Vigorous is not a word I would use around birth. Birth is powerful, but it is smart for all to stay CALM. The name of the game is saving energy, exert as little adrenaline as possible because birth can be a marathon, it is rarely a 50 yard dash and you never know which way things will go. When I am doing Doula work I am NOT wearing my birth activist hat. I am serving a birthing family and I am totally in my doula gear, doula mindset, doula hat. That may surprise some but there is no room in a birthing room for an activist (doctor or doula). In the birth space there should be simple feeding, and simple words of love and endearments (like the time of conception). Feed the birthing woman food to energize her body, feed her kind acts for her soaring heart and feed her encouraging words for her strong soul. I am there to support the birthing woman’s wishes, listen as her wishes evolve, act in love and be in the moment, as we await God’s perfect gift, this baby! Even when I interview or join a family prenatally, I am ‘with woman’, I am a servant not an activist. My servant hat is very different looking than my activist hat. If questions are asked I will tell the truth and as with most things there are two sides to that truth, one may be heartbreaking, and not be very pretty, one side of the truth may be discouraging. But the other side of the answer may open doors, bring hope, may be down right amazing! Brilliant! When the truth is realized the family may wrestle with old values, belief systems, intuition and hearsay. Hopefully this angst has happened prenatally or preconception. Again, this is a time of only sharing truths, backed up by evidence, in the servant, not an activist, spirit. An activist may open wounds to bring healing, and will march and will post until wee hours. A Doula will watch and wait in the wee hours.
As a birth activist it may surprise you that I am also a pacifist. A spiritual person. A Christian. I’ve always been fighting for babies. Many years ago I fought for the babies Right to Life. My Pro Life belief has not changed. But today I fight for the right for babies to come in a gentle safe way. And for women to have choices in childbirth. I believe that one belief supports the other and the other way around. If women were supported, loved and valued, when they were born (preconception even), and when they became women (menses), and when they conceived, I believe they’d be more likely to love and value the life within them. I hate abortion, NOT the woman who is in this difficult situation. I know, love and respect many women who have been there. Giving birth can be a healing time for many who suffer with PTSD and other physical and psychological issues. Most of us know that giving birth is a big day, an exciting, happy day. When women find a safe, supportive PLACE to give birth it can be a transforming and empowering event. This can happen when we give birth surrounded by people that honor and believe in us. This knowledge can and is transforming our society – for the better. Big business (Insurance, AMA, legal systems, etc.) is not on the woman’s side…not for the family. They are for big money and big power. Okay, now for the good news! There are now lawyers, scientist, and numbers on the side of truth. Birth as a Human Rights Issue is getting some press and not going away!!!!
I thank God for the many organizations that are supporting the Improving Birth, National Rally on Labor Day, 2012. These other organizations are already also wearing many hats. They are working in their neighborhoods, towns, and countries, to improve birth; to bring awareness to the fact that the USA is not setting a good standard for maternity care world wide; that our hospitals are NOT practicing evidence based medicine as it applies to obstetrics. These organizations, these people, are concerned, like me, that in the United States of America’s maternal and neonatal mortality rate ranks way WAY below other developed countries.
It’s the coolest thing that these other organizations came together and decided to make the Improving Birth National Rally the launching pad for change!
Here are a couple of videos from Where’s My Midwife, one of the supporting organizations.
“Where’s My Midwife?” from Kirsti Kreutzer on Vimeo.
MUST SEE! Below is a common sense daddy telling it like it is. This guy is from the same state that formed Where’s My Midwife, affiliated with the NCFOM (North Carolina Friends of Midwives).
Do you know the midwifery laws in your state? Did you have options when you gave birth? Do you know your rights as a women giving birth? Birth is a Human Rights Issue.
Til next time. I am off to put on my grandma hat! See you at the Rally!
Peace out, Rosie