Monday, December 02, 2013

Rally to Improve Birth September 2013

Let's start with some background:

So here I am pregnant with my fifth child in a place I have not given birth in before. I have previously had two babies in a hospital setting and two at birthing centers. I personally preferred the birthing center environment and was happy to find one birthing center in the area. However after meeting with the midwife and doing some research, it turns out I was unable to have my prenatal care and birth experience at this birthing center because it did not accept my insurance and I could not pay several thousand dollars cash instead. The next closest birthing center was over an hour drive away. I would either have a ton of driving to do over this pregnancy and birth or I would need to choose an alternative. Alternatives include a home birth with a midwife (insurance doesn't cover, can't afford to pay myself), an unassisted homebirth (Fixitman and I both did not wish to choose this), temporarily moving elsewhere that had better care or a hospital birth.

I really prayed about this a ton. I did not know what to do! If ever someone felt they needed Heavenly guidance and inspiration about a difficult decision, it was me. I knew my wonderful husband would support me in whatever decision I made.

The impression came several times to meet with a certain doctor some of my friends had used. They all had positive experiences and had spontaneously told me what a great doctor he was. I resisted the impression and kept trying to figure out what to do. I tried to choose moving away and did not feel good about it. I tried to choose driving to the further away birth center that did accept my insurance and did not feel good about that decision. The impression came again that I should use this doctor. So reluctantly I called his office and scheduled a visit.

I told the doctor I was unhappy with having to give birth in a hospital setting and he recommended the birth center. I explained that I had already explored that option and it was unavailable to me. We talked for quite a while and I felt like we might be able to make it work at the hospital. He seemed willing to work with me and my desire for an unmedicated birth with as little intervention as possible.

Fast forward to late summer. Because of my experience having choices unavailable to me, I was doing a lot of research about birth interventions and standard practices and procedures. I came across a group called Improving Birth. Their goal isto make the best care available to all women. This did not mean telling women they could not use pain relief drugs or what kind of care provider to choose. It meant using scientific research to inform the practices of care providers all over the USA.

I really liked what I read and found many useful articles. They were planning a nationwide birth rally on Labor Day 2013 and I wanted to participate! However the closest planned rally to me was 90 miles away. I would either have to drive to it or start a rally in my own town. I resisted this idea because it was so outside my comfort zone. Eventually I decided to do it, feeling that my own lack of options in birth could be turned to some good by trying to bring change to my community. So I jumped into the uncomfortable planning with both feet. It was not easy for me, but I kept at it.
My kids mostly played on a playground at the local park and ate popsicles but they did hold up signs for a little bit. (It was HOT!)

Because I started planning with less than a month to go and did not get the word out all over the community and there turned out to be another birth event in my town on the same day that I had not known about, I didn't have super high attendance. I did have people join me though and we did get on a local TV station so we took the message to more people that way. I did feel happy about making the effort. I did my best and I shared a message I really believed in.I joined the movement, I tried. Overall the rally happened nationwide in more than 160 cities. Women everywhere want to have more options and better care when giving birth.

You can see more about the local rally and find great articles about improving the state of maternity care in this nation at my local rally page on Facebook.

You can watch the local TV station news clip at this link.

Yes I am planning to participate in the rally next year and hope to make it bigger and better. It is a peace rally intent only on helping bring education and information to the community. It is something I have a little bit of a passion about also. Women deserve better care! I have not gone into details in this post about what can be improved because this is my personal blog and that is not the point of this post. But you can find lots of details in the links I have created above.

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