posts tagged with 'homebirth'

the photo says it all...

minutes after Elijah's birth

Dan said he didn't get any good photos from Elijah's birth day, but I saw this on his computer today and called shenanigans. The image says so much to me. How much I loved the baby in those first few minutes, despite the unpleasantness of birth and not having a name picked out and oh my goodness another child with a penis.

But look at that cutie sucking his thumb. Look how beautiful he was right off the bat.

Of course, I tried to do a little photoshopping for the sake of modesty, and Dan laughed when he saw my attempt. "Um, are you making art?" he asked.

"No, I'm making a photo for the internet, and I won't ask you to make it better, because you'll work on it for seven hours!"

"Seven hours! I'll work on it for fourteen hours!"

Then because he loves me but has real work to do, Dan gave me five minutes of his amazing photoshop skills to made my modesty curtain look passable. So that's the explanation for the photoshop you see. I put a lot of myself on this blog, but I stop short of bearing nipple.

Gratuitous homebirth propaganda: check!


Elijah Bean - a birth story

My water broke at 5am yesterday morning, but it was a slow leak which was quite different from the waterfall deluges I had come to expect with my other two children. For this reason, and also because it was five in the morning, I waited an hour to call the midwife. I was crampy but not having real contractions yet, and I wanted to rule out the possibility that I was having a reaction to all the Shrove Tuesday sausages I had eaten the night before. It's not like I routinely wake up by peeing the bed after I eat sausage. But pregnancy does weird things to the body and you can never be too sure.

I called the midwife at 6am, and she got here before the kids woke up. Harvey woke up first, a little after 7am, and he found me hanging out in the bath. By this time I was having contractions 15 seconds long and 5 minutes apart. They weren't too terrible, but they were enough to make me close my eyes and clench my fists, and Harvey was very excited to see that something was happening. He sat with me in the bathroom, and after each contraction he exclaimed brightly, "All done!" and "That was a short one!" I was overwhelmed with feeling grateful for Harvey, my sweet compassionate firstborn, especially when Dan came in to offer breakfast and Harvey said "I don't want to leave Mama."

Then Zion walked into the bathroom, looked at the two of us, and burst into a plaintive, "I WANT TO GO TO GRANDMA BETH'S HOUSE!" We had a pizza play-date already scheduled for that morning, and the way Zion saw things it looked just enough out the ordinary that he was worried about a disruption to his plans.

I didn't want to mess with their schedule, so I gave the boys the choice. Do you want to stay and watch the baby being born? or do you want to go to grandma's? Even with Harvey's doula tendencies, there was no question in either of their minds. If the baby was not going to emerge from the womb holding two personal-sized pizzas, then watching the miracle of life was inferior to grandma's.

Grandma came and picked them up at 9:30am, and I was a little sad to see them go. At the same time I was starting to have contractions so strong they made me cry, so I was equally happy to be the sole center of focus in the household. Without the boys to distract him, Dan did a champion's job of filling the birth tub and taking care of me. Within a half hour I was in warm water sipping lemon juice from a straw. Another half hour later I was holding a baby.

We do these things quick around here. As long as the kids were at a play date, I figured I'd do the hard stuff first and get in the maximum time for relaxing.

In all respects this labor went better than my previos two. It was quick, but not emergently so, which meant I had longer to face the intense sensations that made up the experience. As for the pain, all I could think of was that gospel song, "Oh sinner man, where you gonna run to?" Left, right, in or out of the water, there was nowhere I could run to hide from the awful thing that was happening inside of my body. "Run to the sea," I thought to myself, "Sea will be a boiling." No shit.

Imagining the end times made me feel a little bit better about my predicament. Also I conjured up an image of the Lord presenting his face to the smiters (incorrect biblical reference, but whatever) and those two things together made me think I could probobly bear up under a few minutes of suffering.

As it turned out the whole thing was quicker than I expected, so that the contractions that threw me into the revelations-style reverie only lasted 20 minutes, and the two pushes that followed surprised all of us with their finality. The midwives rushed a bit getting on their gloves, but this time they believe me when screamed "THIS BABY'S COMING!" and there were plenty of hands in the water to scoop up the baby, perfectly pink and crying and beautiful.

his cute newborn face

the new baby at about an hour old

Of course, at first I thought they were handing me my beautiful baby girl. I saw his sweet face and curly hair, the lower half of his body obscured by my arms, and I thought: here she is, the sweet little girl who's the answer to all our prayers.

Because before we conceived the children were praying EVERY DAY for a baby girl. "Please give Mama and Dada the seeds of a baby gu-guh" they said. How could God not listen to the sweet prayers of blond children?

And because we tried to maximize our feminine chances by timing conception four days before ovulation...

And because the baby in my belly was smaller and made me much sicker than the other two...

I thought for sure this one would be a girl. I didn't even have any boy names picked out.

I waited a few seconds for my arms to stop shaking. When I thought I had control of my limbs again I lifted the little body towards me to check. "Are you a boy or a girl?" I asked, almost for forms sake. And what did I see? A beautiful, feminine, LIGHT baby boy.

mama and another not-girl

At this moment I was glad that my kids were not present, because I cried and I cried and I let myself feel the full weight of disappointment. The long wait of pregnancy. The agony of labor. Did my family need another boy? Had I failed them all?

And though life is long and we might get the baby bug again, or we might just screw up and slip with birth control, I had really intended to make this pregnancy my last. I thought so many times over the course of this last year: this being pregnant thing is just too much. It's not even fair to my kids. It's not fair to deprive them from motherly consortium for so many evenings in the pursuit of "planned" illness.

And so I mourned a lot of things yesterday. Not only the loss of pink frilly baby clothes which I intended to buy. I thought:

I'll never watch my child in a dance recital

Or braid long hair

Or teach someone how to put on makeup.

I'll never help anyone get ready for prom

Or shop for a wedding dress

Or stand beside a birth tub holding my daughter's hand, telling her I did this and it's going to be okay.

And then I thought: Well, maybe it's better if I don't have a girl, if I clearly have such horribly oppressive expectations for her entire life trajectory.

The kids got home from grandma's and were excited to meet the little one.

"I wanted a girl," Harvey said to Dan.

"I know," Dan said. "We all did." There was a respectful pause. "But this baby is cute too."

Harvey and Zion hold their new baby brother.

The baby made some newborn mews and the boys both giggled. "I like his noises!" Zion exclaimed. "He sounds like a kitty!"

"His hands are so tiny," said Harvey, kissing them. "I love you little baby."

And just like that my sweet sensitive (surplus) boys teach me how to be loving. By holding lightly to expectations. By facing surprises. By looking at what's actually in front of them and smiling at it and then getting distracted by toys and a huge blow up birth tub in the room.

yes, it was emptied.

This is the family I love. The real people God's given me to be with and to be surprised by and to constantly challenge my expectations. It makes me glad I don't get to plan everything out myself. As much as I think my plan is the best. Real life has a way of being blessedly different.

candyland with baby Elijah


on preparing for another birth and the stomach flu

I wrote about the births of my two children immediately after they happened, but looking back I'm not really happy with either of the blog posts. They don't seem quite honest. Or at least, they're not honest to my memory of those events. I guess when you're sharing about the birth of a child there are so many different things you want to convey at the same time. You're excited about the baby, you're excited to tell everybody he's here. You want to tell the story of how he came into the world in a way that matches up with the love you feel for him. Or at the very least, the love you intend to feel for him some time later when you're not terribly ill and injured.

The truth is, my two births were each traumatic in their own special ways. The first one was a beautiful water birth at home on a Saturday evening, and I loved Harvey at first sight. But failures in my postpartum care made the first month an absolute nightmare. I couldn't walk for three weeks, I got yelled at by nurses at the ER, and the phone rang every three minutes with some member of my extended family giving me advice on how to not kill the baby. Meanwhile I felt completely unprepared for the task of caring for this tiny screaming creature. I couldn't even feed myself because I couldn't stand up to walk to the kitchen. I felt scared and abandoned and so very very hungry.

Zion's first month was a world of better, because of stitches mostly, but also because we turned off the phone and told everyone to leave us alone. But the actual delivery was a physical nightmare, a complete failure of my body to do its job in the proper order. I popped out a 9-pound baby in five minutes without the benefit of any natural pain-killing hormones, and then all the adrenaline flooded in afterwards while I was paralyzed in shock, trying desperately to keep hold of a red flat-faced baby despite being short of breath and shaking uncontrollably.

It took me a little while to get over that one.

As I prepare for my next experience of labor, possibly my last experience of labor, it's hard to feel something resembling excitement. Indeed, it's hard to face the thought of the impending ordeal with anything but grim determination. And then I say to myself, This is it? This is how you want to welcome your third child? With pessimistic resignation? With a stockpile of cold packs and the will to merely survive? Can't I do better? Aren't I older and wiser? Can't I have Harvey's nice water birth plus Zion's quick recovery plus a whole new level of humble self-awareness that allows me ask other people to bring me snacks while keeping their advice-giving mouthes shut?

Or what if I thought about it another way? What if I could believe that the birth doesn't matter, that a few bad weeks don't matter, that the when and where and how painful are inconsequential? What if I decided that what matters in the end is bringing another person into our family? What if I tried to do THAT well? What if I put all my energy into a family dynamic of as much faith and love and honesty as we can muster on weird meals and an altered sleep schedule?

For those of us in the church, there are two divergent ways to look at asking God for things. I adhere to both wholeheartedly. The first says that God will give us everything we want just because we ask. After all, he loves us. So we ask God for new jobs and for houses and apartments, and we ask for miraculous healing of all our diseases. If we don't get what we want we change the way we're asking.

The second way to look at faith is to say that whatever crap life throws at us, whatever goes terribly wrong, it'll be okay. God will show us that it wasn't as bad as we expected. God will be there in the terrible situation. He will make it not only palatable but somehow divine with his presence.

Both are fair approaches, I think. But without God's actual presence they're both crap. I actually have to connect with God (I, me, not in theory) either in the absence of suffering or despite it.

Which sounds like a boat load of work right now.

Last night I contracted some sort of sudden stomach flu. I went to be early with a headache and woke up two hours later with the undeniable knowledge that I'd soon be throwing up. Now, giving birth is hands down the worst pain I've ever experienced if we're talking about ACUTE pain. But I've always said that a stomach flu is WORSE than giving birth, because it lasts longer, and because it's not just painful one place, it's in your belly AND in your head, and there's the terrible nausea where you're just sitting there shaking and hoping you'll throw up soon so you can get ten minutes of rest before the horrible nausea starts again.

There's no one excitedly cooking meals downstairs. There's no eager expectation of a baby. There's no stomach flu doula.

There's nothing but you and your best friend the toilet, a pillow and a blanket sprawled on the bathroom floor because the bed is too far away. There are maybe screaming kids in the next room, screaming for God knows what at 2 in the morning, and a husband who's doing your normal job for the night and kinda pissed because your normal job sucks.

And because I was already working on this blog post before I got sick, I tried to think about how to invite God into this horrible situation. Should I pray for physical healing? Should I pray for some redemption within the stomach flu? I could not imagine either possibility. I did not succeed with any faithful exercise. I screamed in my heart of hearts, "Lord! I perish!" before passing out with my face on the toilet seat.

Birth, like illness, like all life, can be horrible and disgusting. It can also be imbued with beauty and wonder. But I don't think it's possible to manufacture beauty and wonder out of my own effort. It seems even impossible for me to manufacture faith. The best I can hope is that God will show up anyway. The best I can hope is that he will hear my faithless prayer, "Lord, I perish" and answer it with a reminder that he's in the same boat.


mother's day

Zion found his crying voice last night. I remember that Harvey did that too - be sweet and sleepy for a few days and then all of a sudden turn into a screaming raging monster. It probably has to do with their digestion when my milk comes in - Zion certainly was working through some burps and poops and hiccups, and he let loose with letting us know it all evening. I remember Harvey screamed for an hour or a few every day for a while... I don't really remember for how long. I wish we had written these things down, whether it was for two weeks or two months that he screamed all evening every evening. On the other hand, I know that when you have a screaming newborn all you want to do is make the screaming stop, and writing stuff down does not seem of the utmost importance.

Also, maybe you want to forget.

Today is mother's day, and I had started working on a poem a few weeks ago for the occasion. Unfortunately some other things came up, so this is how far I got:

I am mama
remover of splinters
mac and cheese maker
hat knitter in winters

I am mama
remover of bugs
song maker upper
fountain of hugs

It's not what you call a finished piece as I was hoping for 2 more stanzas, the last of which would wrap up a lighthearted list with something moving and profound. yaddah yaddah yaddah. Maybe you get the idea.

Becoming a mom has been the most real, powerful, awesome thing I've done with my life. At the same time the specific process of becoming a mother, which is to say what I've been living through this week, is kind of a bitch. I kept thinking if I just got the right team in place, if I got the right equipment, if I gave birth at home and not in a hospital, and without castor oil and with fewer visitors, if I kept tweaking the inputs just right I'd come out with an experience that was holy and empowering and blissful and transformative.

What on earth was I thinking?

Because even though nobody violated my dignity or separated me from my child, even though the care and the time of day and the general circumstances of this birth were impeccable... still it was inexplicably traumatic. It was still gross and embarrassing and nightmarishly painful. I still have to deal with a body that is a bleeding oozing pussing cramping broken disgusting exhausted mess.

And really, it's a terrible time to celebrate mother's day, four days after giving birth, because my breasts are swollen bowling balls and my abdomen hurts when I laugh and my taint burns like a warzone and I have all these boys I want to take care of but can't do my job of being a good mama.

I want this part to be over so I can go back to being chief splinter remover, chief hat knitter, chief mac and cheese maker (okay, so maybe Dan and I fight over that last one.)

And as much as I love my big boy Harvey and my cutey little piglet Zion, I will never love the cat-like cries of a newborn or the process with which they came into the world.


baby Zion's birth story - quick like lightening!

Dan must have been rather surprised yesterday morning when upon arriving at work he got a phone call telling him to turn around and come right home. "My water broke" I told him. "Oh!" he said, "Let me just tell them inside." Poor thing, he had barely set down his bicycle. He ran inside to tell the administrators he was leaving and then came zooming back home. That's 12 miles in 45 minutes and in work clothes, people! I'd only be more impressed if he'd actually given birth himself.

I too was pretty surprised when I stood up at 8:15 am to find myself covered in amniotic fluid. The baby's due date wasn't for another two weeks, and since Harvey was late we were really expecting this baby a week or two late as well. Certainly not the first week of May. Indeed, many things were surprising about the series of events yesterday. For example, when you're used to going into labor at 42 weeks and then your water breaks at 38 weeks, it really does seem as if the difference in the amount of liquid that comes out is like how much water you could possibly drink in a whole month. Seriously, it was like the friggin Hoover Dam. All those jokes from TV that I always ridiculed. All true.

Since I wasn't in labor yet the midwives decided to come around noon. By 11am the contractions were 5 minutes apart. The 5 intervening minutes felt like no labor at all, but the contractions felt like the dickens, which I told to the first midwife who arrived. She checked all my vitals and the baby's heartbeat, and then sat with me through a few contractions. Since they were between 2-5 minutes apart and not longer than 30 seconds, she figured this was still early labor and suggested I get in the shower while she set up her supplies. I stood in the shower for 5 minutes and thought it felt pretty good. Then I had a contraction in the shower and thought I was dying. Then I thought all would be better if I just made a poop, so I got out of the shower to sit on the potty. Once sitting I let out a big yell and the other midwife rushed in. "I just want to check to see what's going on," she said. She gave one poke with a gloved finger and said, "Um, I can feel the baby's head. Do you want to have this baby on the floor here? or can you make it to the bedroom?"

A plastic sheet was thrown over the bed faster than a magician's trick, and less than five minutes later a 9-pound baby plopped onto it. I don't think I gave more that four pushes and Harvey stayed asleep in the next room the whole time. The plastic tub was all ready and inflated, but we only ever got a few inches of water into it. Harvey played in it later that night.

Look, I don't recommend this type of labor. It was rather shocking and unpleasant, and the kind of pain you're mentally ready to face after 5 hours preparation is just not the kind of pain you can process in 10 minutes. Then again, I can't say I was sad to get it over with either. And how hard core is it to say that we did all of labor and delivery in the time it took Harvey to take an afternoon nap?

I have to admit I was a little shocked for the rest of the afternoon, but by evening I started to warm up to the idea that we really did just have a baby, that now we have two sons, and that the second one is a big-cheeked butter ball who loves eating just as much as his big brother did but thankfully loves sleeping just a little bit more.

So here's to baby Zion, who was apparently in a great hurry to meet us. We're pretty happy to meet you too, little guy. Now let's all just chiiiiill out for a little while.


birth announcement

Mama kissing the newborn baby

she loves him already

We have a new baby! He surprised us quite a bit, first by getting the whole labor thing started a couple weeks early, then by being born after less than two hours of labor, and finally by being a boy when all stomach analysis indicated there was a girl in there. But no, he's a boy and he was in a hurry. I give you Zion Greig Archibald:

Zion is well-built for a newborn

big and strong!

He was born at 1:16 this afternoon and weighed in at 9lb even (but he cheated and snuck in a nursing before the weigh-in so who knows). Harvey napped pretty much through the whole labor, so he was fairly surprised too when he woke up and was told he was now a big brother. After just a little uncertainty, though, he settled right into the role.

Mama reading to Harvey and Zion

look how well they get along already!

Just like he was with Harvey Rascal was very interested as soon as Zion was born and didn't want to leave the bedroom, much less the house. The two of them are already very well acquainted.

We're all doing fine, and very much appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers and well-wishes. Feel free to stop by and visit our new little guy... in a week or so, once we get used to him ourselves. In the meantime any additional photos (that we manage to refrain from putting on the blog) will appear at

And hey, we were sure quicker with this announcement than we were last time, eh?


The poor person as empowered patient

The Economist blog featured a very well-written expose yesterday on "Economism" and the way in which framing the debate over how we pay for health services really IS the debate over how we pay for health services. I won't try to rehash the blogger's argument here; he's smarter than me and actually gets paid to put words together into sentences. I do want to add, however, that from my personal experience paying directly for health services DOES influence the health services one consumes, for better and for worse.

This issue is forefront in my mind these days because I recently finished paying off the service fees for our upcoming homebirth, all $3000 of them, only to find myself having to shell out another $150 or so for sterile medical supplies to have ready for the day of. And let me tell you, even though I had the option of pushing a single button and buying the homebirth pack online, I shopped around for every stupid item on that stupid list. No way was I going to pay $.20 each for several individually wrapped bendy straws when I have a pack of bendy straws in my kitchen cabinet. I've been through this once before; I know they're not for the baby. Neither did I buy ten individually wrapped gauze pads when a pack of 20 was less expensive. Or an umbilical cord clamp. Fuggin, just use a shoelace!

No, just kidding - I bought the cord clamp. Please, no one actually use a shoe lace; it can cause major bleeding.

Also, when you're paying for everything out of pocket you're more likely to push back against your provider's recommendations. Homebirth midwives tend to be an earthy crunch bunch, and no harm there, but I take it with several grains of sea salt when they instruct me to stock homeopathic arnica for swelling, when I already own tylenol in convenient medically effective quantities. We can have a separate discussion on whether homeopathy is even a real thing, but not on my credit card. Also, I'm not buying organic olive oil to use as a lubricant. If regular olive oil is good enough for cooking in my kitchen, it's good enough to rub on my taint.

All this is to say that when offered an a-la-carte menu, as I was when filling my birth supply list, the price of things affected my choice of treatment to some extent. This may be good in the sense that a smart consumer drives medical costs down. But this is only true up to a very small point. If I was out to save money on this endeavor, after all, the easiest thing to do would have been to give birth in a hospital where the whole kit and caboodle would have been free. I didn't choose that option because my preference for homebirth over hospital birth is price inelastic. So the fixed cost part of the birth, the 3 grand to pay the midwives, did not get any haggled. And how could a patient even begin that conversation? Look, I want you to give me good attentive care and save the life of my baby in dire circumstances, but could you think about doing it at a 20% discount? Because my husband is a member of the Massachusetts Teacher's Union?

Anyway, it's a very interesting discussion from an economist's point of view, if you can keep from getting mad over the disparity of maternity care state by state. And at least for me it's all done and paid for as of today! Now just to pop out that kid some time in the next month and hope it doesn't need much in the way of new clothes...


again with the anarchist midwifery

Soon after I learned I was pregnant for the second time I started thinking about my "birth plan." The second time around would be so much better, I reasoned. So much calmer, controlled, laid-back and fearless and empowering.

Then, for some reason, I stopped giving a crap. Whether it feels spiritual or painful, whether I feel loved or irritated by the midwives, whether Harvey sleeps or heads off to the playground with dada, either way it's only half a day of my life sometime in May. In the blink of an eye it's gonna be over, and the next moment will start a much more daunting rest-of-my-life when suddenly I have two babies to care for. Seriously, I have to worry about what birth tub to rent? I have to figure out how to be a calm empowered loving mother of two children, amidst (anarchist view) a disgusting wasteland of mindless consumption or (Christian view) a broken world filled with sin and death.

Not that I'm being negative or anything... it's just that the big picture is kind of overwhelmingly big.

I keep thinking of this quote from anarchist Daniel Wilson:

Having children in a safe, comfortable, healthy and natural environment is great, but it isn't all there is. All of us inhabit a massive environmental catastrophe, a shallow and meaningless social desert, a world of box stores and seven-elevens, a massive surveillance apparatus, chemical factories, mines, plantations and sweatshops, and a giant military that rains fire from the sky onto real people. I think that if I were to worry about midwifery suffering in quality because it's being absorbed into medicine I would feel like an asshole.

Oh how I wish I could fit that whole quote in embroidery on a tea cozy. Because seriously, you could just change a couple words and use it for anything. Worried whether it's more important to eat organic or local?

Eating healthy natural produce is great, but it isn't all there is. All of us inhabit a massive environmental catastrophe, a shallow and meaningless social desert, a world of box stores and seven-elevens, a massive surveillance apparatus, chemical factories, mines, plantations and sweatshops, and a giant military that rains fire from the sky onto real people. I think that if I were to worry about my local produce suffering in quality because it's not organic I would feel like an asshole.

Oh man, I could go on like this forever.

But seriously, just two years ago I was all militant homebirth advocate. Now I feel like the whole issue is rather passe. Important, sure, but not more important than who gets to raise your children and with what values.

Anyway, go back and read the article if you want to hear midwifery likened to the re-release of the Volkswagen Beetle: "Midwifery has become a symbolic act of consumption for most people. It is marketed to feel-good eco-yuppies as a piece of the primitive." Makes me feel real non-committal about whether I want to order a birth tub with fishies on it.


Not that I have any problems with your personal choices...

So, we're giving birth at home again, which in Massachusetts is kind of a radical thing because it means going through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with NO contact with the medical establishment.

I hesitated to write "the medical industrial complex" in that last sentence, but I thought it. That should give you some insight into my opinions on the matter.

Personally, I am more than happy to give birth far far away from doctors and nurses. At med school and nursing school the primary model of thinking is "How can I fix this?" Which, um, is probably appropriate for many medical emergencies, of which birth is not one. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses look at birthing women as problems to diagnose and fix, which ushers in a whole host of actions that aren't necessarily good or right or just. I can go on but I won't. Here are some books on the subject.

Anyway, since I'm giving birth at home in Massachusetts, no OB or nurse midwife can assist me without losing their hospital accreditation. So I get care from a certified professional midwife, who is someone who went to school just for midwifery. She's very skilled and trustworthy and accommodating. She costs me $3500 out of pocket.

Which is a lot of money to avoid Pitocin, a 34% cesarian rate, or STD vaccines in my baby's eyes. But I think it's worth it.

Anyway, that's a long preamble to what I really wanted to blog about today, but hopefully those who violently disagree with me have already stopped reading. What's stressing me out this week is that I have several friends who are concurrently going through pregnancy and the process of choosing a "provider", and I can't really offer my honest opinion in conversations with these women. Because my honest opinion is if you go into the hospital, you're likely to get fucked.

I have some radical opinions on the issue, and it's hard to function in casual conversation because someone will be all, "I chose Beth Israel because you can get a private room with a couch!" and I'm all, "Yeah, I chose my living room because I'm 75% less likely to get sliced the fuck open."

Abdominally, I mean. The stats for episiotomies are worse.

Ugh, there I go again. Why don't I just open the door on one big long anarchist rant and get it over with already. You see, we've got a life-extracting medical industrial complex in this country that exploits peoples illnesses and fears and turns them into economic inputs to generate profits. At the same time this sick-loving machine bashes people as best it can into identical cogs so they fit neater into little boxes on the insurance forms. And fittinger means more tests, and more tests mean more surgeries and more surgeries mean more money. Which should be hard on the hunks of meat on the stretchers, but we don't mind, not us well-healed ladies waiting for a strong man to serve up our perfect baby, because having strangers play a game of slots with our physical integrity is much easier to take when the windows have curtains and we get to choose on our own soft ocean waves CD. Which is why I say TAKE AWAY THE SOOTHING WALLPAPER AND TREE-LINED ENTRANCE IF YOU REFUSE TO TAKE AWAY THE MANDATORY IV AND THE TIME LIMIT ON LABOR AND THE FETAL MONITORING STRIP. Don't reform the prisons, let the prisoners revolt!

Which is why I have a blog, because here's hoping I don't open my big fat mouth on some pregnant lady who won't be my friend later.


anarchist midwifery

Sometimes my interests combine on the internet for a brief shining moment and it's like penies from heaven. Today on the unnecesarean, Anarchist Midwifery. From the interview:

To be honest I don’t worry so much about midwifery becoming less available to the poor. What I really worry about how we are going to put an end to this miserable way of life that keeps us poor. Seriously, having children in a safe, comfortable, healthy and natural environment is great, but it isn’t all there is. All of us inhabit a massive environmental catastrophe, a shallow and meaningless social desert, a world of box stores and seven-elevens, a massive surveillance apparatus, chemical factories, mines, plantations and sweatshops, and a giant military that rains fire from the sky onto real people. I think that if I were to worry about midwifery suffering in quality because it’s being absorbed into medicine I would feel like an asshole.

You can always trust an anarchist midwife to put shit in perspective.