In which I write about the first birth-related book I read

August 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm 2 comments

Copyright 2009. Please do not copy or repost.



The first book about pregnancy I read was “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy.” As much as I want to denigrate the content of the book, especially from the perspective of a student midwife, I enjoyed it at the time. I recall fondly laughing out loud at some of Vicki Iovine’s descriptions of various complaints of pregnancy, because I could relate!

My first pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected, and initially I did not have the support of my family or my then-boyfriend, so laughter and lightness were hard to come by. Looking back, I cannot completely ignore that positive effect of reading it. I do remember specifically that she’d had two c-sections and two vaginal births, and she rated them about equally. At the time, I thought, “How is that possible? One is surgery!”



The first book about birth that I read was “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth,” by Henci Goer. I read it later in the same pregnancy – which turned out to be twins – while on bedrest for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. I was given the book by my doula, Gretchen Humphries, who is a VBACtivist and writer on VBAC-related topics, after she had twins by c-section and two HBACs. I had never read a birth-related book before. It was incredibly eye-opening.

Prior to reading it, I didn’t realize that I had a choice in anything relating to my pregnancy and birth. I just thought the doctor I was seeing – an obstetrician in a high-risk clinic; a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and a twins expert – had my best interest in mind. (In retrospect, I’m not saying he didn’t. But I assumed it because he was my doctor, not because of how he treated me.)



After reading The Thinking Woman’s Guide, I realized that I had to be my own advocate. I specifically remember asking about telemetry monitors, and my doctor gave me a funny look, which I later interpreted – after becoming a doula and seeing that same look exchanged between my clients and their providers – as his realization that I’d become one of “those” types of patients. The annoying type; the type who asks a lot of questions and want a lot of answers, and want to understand the research behind the protocols.



As my pregnancy with my twins progressed, I had a lot of NSTs and BPPs. Baby A, the donor twin, was smaller and seemed growth-restricted. One doctor in the clinic I attended recommended a c-section at 33 weeks, but I refused. I ended up consenting to an induction at 34 weeks due to possible IUGR in baby A. I had cervidil, and did not need pitocin; I had a vaginal birth eight hours after my induction, with a feet-first baby B who was 2lbs bigger than baby A.

I really credit reading “The Thinking Woman’s Guide” to helping empower me. In turn, I wanted to help empower others. Birth is so different when a woman can say, “I chose this,” versus “The doctor did this…” At first I thought that every woman wanted to be empowered during her pregnancy and birth. Later I realized that many don’t. However, those who do need the support of other empowered women, especially those who have had an empowered birth.

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In which I write about everything else I do In which I attend a whole bunch of births

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. navelgazingbajan  |  August 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth was the second book about birth that I had ever read, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was the first. Both books changed my perspective greatly and helped me make birth choices that I'm happy about.

    Reply
  • 2. enviromama  |  August 20, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Iovine's book was the first I read as well, given to me by my 2 childless friends. I also laughed at it and was in an unplanned, unsupported by my then-bf, pregnancy like you. I only wish I had read Henci Goer's book as well.I did avoid a c/s (barely) and went on to birth my next 2 babies at home.Jenny, who followed you here from MDC sig link (back when they allowed them), aka lovemysunshine on MDC

    Reply

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About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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