Saturday, April 12, 2008

NT scan, and a ramble about "choices"...


No, my baby is not a pteradactyl, LOL... S/he just has her/his hands up by her/his face...

Well, I had my NT scan yesterday :). I wasn't sure if I was going to have any scans this pregnancy, but then I felt it was the right thing for me to do. I had concerns, especially about having twins, but also about having a missed m/c. I had been feeling movement for weeks already, and that was fueling my concerns about twins (I was excited at the idea that I might be having twins, but having mounting concerns about how Dave would cope with that, and it was impacting my experience of this pregnancy)...

My midwife is NOT a fan of scans, and I completely understand where she is coming from on this, I too have read a lot about the risks of scanning, but for me, it was a calculated risk that I was willing to take. I'd like to juxtapose this with the fact, that she supports vaccinating, which also has known risks, but she feels those risks are balanced by the benefits of vaccinating, where as I completely disagree... Everyone has risks they are willing to take, and those they are not...

I did sense a lot of "people wanting to share why they wouldn't scan" with me after I announced I was going to scan... One argument I encountered was that people often do things like scans "just because it's what you do"... When I encountered this argument I felt compelled to show that this was not an autopilot decision on my part - I have actually actively chosen NOT to do the NT scan in the past, and this time I actively chose TO DO the scan... It got me thinking about the how one of the major criticisms of the medical community is it's proscriptiveness, and yet MANY communities, including alternative community such as homebirthing communities can be highly proscriptive as well... So, let me quote from a post I did on a forum this morning...

And here comes some rambling - feel free to tune out if you've got better things to do with your time, hahahaha!

I've been thinking about this this week, just as part of my own pregnancy journey... Does anyone else feel that at times the homebirthing community can be AS proscriptive as the medical birthing community? Sometimes I do.

There is a lot of emphasis put on women "trusting themselves and their bodies, in the process" and yet, there seems to be less acknowledgement that pregnancy, every pregnancy, is a new journey that opens the woman's soul and subconscious to all those things that usually lurk deep down, unaddressed, because women (people) are mostly too busy to let themselves reflect on their deeper emotions.

If a women NEEDS to talk to a wise woman, be she a midwife or a mother figure, or sister figure, this is somehow viewed as not trusting oneself enough, and therefore being somehow weak. I find this concept rather disturbing, because even in cultures where women are not attended by persons with medical education backgrounds (doctors and midwives), they do have all the access they need to wise women who can listen to their concerns, be they pregnancy related or not, and be reassuring.

In our current society, there is such a huge emphasis on being STRONG, which is somehow equated with STANDING ALONE, managing without having to consult with others, being independant of any systems or support - and to me, this seems to completely contradict the human condition, the need for society and community and emotional support at tall stages and phases of life...

The home birthing community, though not throughly cohesive, seems to espouse a proscriptive stance... A strong homebirthing or freebirthing woman *should* only participate in certain practices sorrounding pregnancy, she *shouldn't* need to ask for advice or direction from anyone else, she *should* have an intuition about everything regarding her own body and pregnancy, even if she has never been around other pregnant women or experienced birth second hand, and especially if she HAS already experienced pregnancy and birth.

Apparently, intuition is a consensus, too, a woman is trusting her intuition ONLY if everyone else agrees that intuitively a woman would make all the same choices as "the consensus"... If a woman doesn't agree with the general consensus, she is afraid, not trusting herself enough, not caring enough for her baby's wellbeing, taking risks, putting herself and her baby in dangers path... Rofl, this sounds like a lot of medical talk, hahaha!

I'm wary of any community that proscribes for a woman how she should experience her pregnancy and birth, what choices she should make, who she should trust, what she should think and feel... These perspectives are all external to the woman and don't serve her. If a woman's intuition tells her to do ANYTHING, then isn't that HER intuition, isn't that what everyone is telling the woman to listen to?

I once heard a homebirthing advocate say that women these days don't read enough books in preparation for giving birth. They'll study for their lisence, but don't inform themselves about their bodies and babies, and the process of pregnancy and birth. Another woman said to her, "I read MANY books in my first pregnancy... They didn't help me at all..." This woman replied, "Well, you didn't read the RIGHT books, did you!"

Ok, the second woman had read books that told her not to trust her body, and might have been better off not reading books at all, but for the first woman to say, "I know what the RIGHT books are..." was, in fact, AS proscriptive as an obstetrician saying, "I know how you should birth."

If women are to truly follow their intuition, then does anyone have the right to tell them how they should feel or what they should need or do? If pregnancy and birth, like all other parts of life, is a journey that teaches us, is it right to try and force other people to walk "our" journey?

To tell others what choices they should be making in life, especially if they haven't asked for the "advice"...

Ok, rambling over...

5 comments:

Rae said...

Congratulations on the scan - I hope it helped you connect with your pregnancy and settle any fears :)

Loved your rambles too.

Sif said...

LOL, Clel, it was in the following thread...

http://members.essentialbaby.com.au/index.php?showtopic=508053&st=105&gopid=7056869&#entry7056869

The thread itself isn't contentious, I was mostly responding to an atmosphere I'd sensed in a lot of places...

Sif said...

Oh, and my post was #98, on page 7, so you don't have to trawl...

Clel said...

Oh, you are busy on other boards! That one always hurts my eyes, I can't read it much. Nice little group you are in though, must feel great to have a bunch of friendly homebirthing pals for Spring :)

Sumara said...

I totally agree with you Sif. For many reasons and you're probably aware of most of them.
I had to pretty much stop listening to many homebirthing groups because they were totally unaware of how judgmental and narrow-minded they were being.

Teenagers and the failing parent...