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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A better way

I was talking with a woman the other day who had her cesarean two months ago. Although her first birth had been normal, vaginal, this one ended in a cesarean. As we talked, I could hear in her voice and see in her eyes that she was trying to be ok with it. The baby was malpositioned. You do what you have to do. In the end, you have a healthy baby.

I saw myself five years ago.

Now, this woman may end up feeling ok about her cesarean in the long run. Everyone has their own journey and process. It wasn't until two years after my cesarean that I realized I wasn't "getting over it" the way I was supposed to be. It wasn't until even later that I came to believe that I'd been bamboozled by a medical system that, despite its best intentions, tends to cause more problems in normal, healthy births than it solves. I came to feel that it wasn't me that was to blame, or my gigantic baby boy (10 lbs, 14 oz), or even the doctor who performed my surgery. Rather, it was a culture surrounding birth combined with my own ignorance about it, that landed me on that operating table.

That's why I'm excited about Orgasmic Birth, a new documentary film about what birth can really be, if women are allowed to give birth the way our bodies intend us to do. The tagline for the film is, "What if women were taught to enjoy birth rather than to endure it?" Yeah, what if?!?

ICAN Twin Cities is teaming up with several other wonderful birth organizations in the area to bring Orgasmic Birth to the Riverview Theater on September 25th. The producer, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, will also be in town to introduce the film, answer questions, and speak at two other events. You can find out more information here.

I'm glad I found ICAN three years ago. The first time I shared my cesarean story there was the beginning of my healing process - to have other women see it in my eyes and hear it in my voice that I wasn't ok with it and didn't have to be. There is a better way.

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