Last night I went to my first West Valley Birth Advocates meeting. We watched "The Business of Being Born" and then discussed it. I brought along three friends who hadn't seen the film. I'm so glad we went. But that's not really what this post is about...
Our discussion reminded me, once again, how incredibly lucky I am. Many of the women at the meeting talked about how sad it is that they had to learn so much the "hard way." So many women have negative experiences with their first births and are then prompted to do research and seek a better experience with their subsequent births.
I was reminded, again, of a brief moment in my past. I was a newlywed and childless. I had an acquaintance who was pregnant with her first child. We crossed paths one day as she carried a stack of birth-related books. We chatted briefly about her pregnancy, and she happened to mention that she was planning to give birth without drugs. My response was something like, "Are you serious?! I didn't know people still did that!" Really... that's what I said. She responded, "Yeah! My mom had all her babies that way. There are tons of benefits!" Those two sentences changed my life forever.
I'm fairly convinced that I wouldn't be the person I am today if this brave woman hadn't been open about her birth plans. If no one had ever informed me that YES, in fact, people DO still give birth without drugs (and for good reason), I don't think I ever would have considered it.
So I'm feeling grateful for her today. Extremely grateful. Thanks to her, I got my own stack of books from our library (a very small library, but gratefully well stocked with natural birth literature!), determined to explore the benefits she had mentioned. Thanks to her, I was informed and able to avoid so many of the pitfalls of hospital birthing.
I can't remember her name. But I will never forget her.