When the Prophet (now 27 months) was born, I wrote a steely recap of the induction. Birth stories are usually full of sentimental, usually lovely descriptions of the amazing and overaweing process of bringing a child into the world. Mine is like a newspaper report. Not sure why, really, but as we approach the impending addition to the family, I began to recap how both births went.
I wonder if that has something to do with my lack of inspiration when writing about the birth. With both St. A and the Prophet, I had epidurals, and was assisted by midwives. Now, St. A’s birth was a long haul- about 27 hours from beginning to end, but she was a first, and firsts seem to be tougher than others. The Prophet’s was 7 hours from admittance into the hospital to ALO BEBE. After it was over, there was obviously a rush of hormones, of weepy thankfulness, and of elation, but, as I started to think about #3, I wondered if there was another way.
And so Evenshine was enlightened.
No, don’t worry- no unassisted homebirth for me, with someone chanting and burning sage. My pastor’s wife suggested it and I think I laughed in her face.
Luckily, the closest hospital to me has a “natural birthing center”, which caters to the likes of me. It’s homey and comfortable, has large birthing tubs and big beds (none of those hospital slabs for me), and they bake you bread to celebrate your birth!
(No, it’s not just the bread that tempted me…I think).
So Evenshine toddled in to her OB’s office for the first prenatal checkup. The nurse, in charge of the FBI background check that is lovingly titled “Family Health History”, sat me down, turned to me, and said:
“The first thing you should know is that Dr. OB does NOT participate in The Natural Birthing Center.”
I looked at her like she had horns. Tiny, blue stripey ones, creeping out of her prom-queen french twist.
“But we’re in the same building. This is the same hospital.”
“Yes, but Dr. OB does NOT do underwater births.”
“So, any history of venereal disease?”
Two days later, I saw an article in the local paper about how midwives are attempting to get a state license for homebirths. While I’m not particularly interested in homebirthing, I found it telling that my Dr. OB is quoted in the article as saying that hospital births are safer. I stared at the article for a while before I realized it was her, but SHOCKING. Really? It has nothing to do with the big bucks, does it?
Now, I realize that some pregnancies are hard, high-risk, or involve complications. I have nothing against hospital births- if you so choose. But mine are not, and I wanted to try it a different way. So that next morning, I called The Natural Birthing Center and asked for a referral for a practice of midwives that DO do the natural birth thing. Then I called Dr. OB’s office.
“I need to cancel my appointment.”
“Ok, when can we reschedule you for?”
“Um, no, I’ve decided to go with The Natural Birthing Center, so…”
Today, I received a bill for the “family health history”, though they had told me that I wouldn’t be charged for it, since I wasn’t seeing the actual Dr. OB, just the horned nurse. Nice. Thanks for making this easy on me, Dr. OB. I’ll send ya some bread.