Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Babies For Weirdos

If you're anything like me, and have tried to find birth and baby oriented websites for people who live "alternative" lifestyles, you might have come across the same problem - there's almost nothing out there!

Whether you consider yourself a goth, punk, hippie or some other subset of freak, there is a drought of information on how to have and raise a child while still living your kind of life. Everything is pink and blue, flowers and baby rattles, and even worse a huge amount of dis-information about pregnancy and birth. So many sites seem designed to scare you these days. Don't eat cheese, don't eat fish, make sure you have vaccinations before you get pregnant, take folic acid for at least 7 years before getting pregnant, or your baby will die die DIE. And of course the ever present deluge of hospitals and doctors. Get blood drawn every other week, an ultrasound almost every month, amniocentesis, and very regular and very invasive pelvic exams. And all that before you even get to the birth part - something our bodies are made to do, something every living creature does in one form or another, that modern medicine only even noticed about 90 years ago. But of course your OB/GYN must know better than generations of women and millennia of evolution.

So we are strapped down, harnessed by IVs and Fetal Heart Rate Monitors to a bed, put on our backs, and given inducing drugs like Pitocin as soon as it can be administered. Then the contractions really do hurt, something they actually don't do very much in natural birth, but now we need an epidural to numb the pain - and the pleasure, and the excitement, and our emotions. Then the "labor" slows down, since our bodies don't know what to do when all numbed up, and we are given more Pitocin, which causes huge, long, hard contractions. Contractions which distress the baby, and more and more the solution to the slightest rise in fetal heart rate is immediate C-section. Major abdominal surgery. Huge rates of infant and mother fatality compared to non-medicated birth in developed countries. Doesn't sound like much of a joyful experience anymore, does it?

So why do we still do it? Us, the weirdos who never do anything the normal way, no matter how much we have to fight to get our right to be ourselves, how could we give in? We are the people who died our hair blue behind our parents backs, lobbied to have them sign permission slips to have our eyebrows pierced at 14, and if they said no, we did it ourselves on the bathroom floor with a safety pin. We dressed the way we wanted, went to school the way we wanted, many of us left our own homes early, vowing to never put our own children in the restrictive mainstream environment that was forced on us. But where does that radicalism go when we have a life growing in us? Why chose that moment, maybe one of the most important ones in our lives to lay back and say "Do whatever you think is best" to the establishment? This is where teaching our children to be their own people starts, and shouldn't we take the opportunity to do pregnancy and birth our way? Jump on a damn trampoline is you want to, take a nice hot bath, don't do every genetic test in the book to see if there is something "wrong" with your baby, and guess what - you are NOT a horrible person for taking a hit from a joint that one day your morning sickness was so bad you puked five times in an hour. Birth standing up, in a tee-pee, in a punk house basement bathroom, surrounded by 20+ friends, or all alone in the woods. Have sex to kickstart your dilation, don't push when gravity and your body do that for you, eat your placenta or plant it under a tree. Whatever feels safe and natural to your body probably is. Do lots of research, and use your intuition. Remember, this little thing is part of you, so treat it like it is - talk to it, feel it, listen to. If you stub your toe and your instinct is to rub it, you don't ask a doctor for permission - you just rub it till the damn thing stops hurting!

Well I've rambled on quite a bit now, but suffice it to say, I want to make this website be a place for information on our kind of pregnancy and birth. I'll be posting about my ongoing journey from trying to conceive to pregnancy to birth to motherhood, and along the way bringing as much information in as I can from outside sites as I scour the internet and chase down links so you don't have to. Please please please send me an email if you want me to feature a website you like - anything relating to the little ones and alternative culture in any shape or form.