Friday, July 24, 2009

Conversion

Or we could call this "Part One" of the "Inspired by Martha" series. But not Martha Stewart. A different Martha. I'm finding, over time, that I hear variations on the same conversion story over and over again. My own story fits the pattern as well. Here's a rundown...

1) Woman feels certain she'll say, "Bring on the drugs!!" when she has children.
2) A friend/stranger (or two or three) recommend a "natural" birth book or plant little fact-seeds about the benefits of going natural.
3) Woman begins to let those seeds take root and proceeds to do her own reading/research.
4) Woman is astounded by what she discovers and is changed forever.
5) Woman feels certain she'll say, "No drugs for me!!" when she gives birth.

And, often, we can add a final...

6) Woman has successful, wonderful drug-free birth and feels driven to help other women achieve wonderful births as well.

Martha is a friend-of-a-friend whose own story fits this pattern to a T. I never tire of hearing these conversion stories. They make me happy and giddy and all warm and fuzzy. So I want to share her story with you, 'cause I figured you'd love the warm fuzzies too. :-) Here's what Martha had to say about her conversion:
It all began in about my sixth month of pregnancy when I was at a baby shower for two ladies [from church]. I was the only soon-to-be new mom and the others all had little kids. Someone asked me, “So, are you going to get the epidural?” I said, “Pshhh. Yes. That seems like a no-brainer.” The others laughed and agreed. About a week later I started reading The Birth Book by William and Martha Sears as recommended to me by my friend. When she handed it to me months earlier, I thought, “What’s there to know about birth? You just go to the hospital and the doctor takes care of everything.” Three pages into the book, I had an epiphany: I wanted to have a natural childbirth. No one was more surprised than me to discover this. Martha Sears was recounting each birth story of her seven kids. Her last six were without medication and the way she talked about those births in contrast to her first, where the doctor definitely “took care” of everything, was something else. It moved me spiritually and emotionally. I was on my lunch break reading the book and remember walking back to the office with tears in my eyes. For the next months I devoured that book and every other resource I could get my hands on. The two other helpful books I read were Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon, as recommended to me by my friend, and Birthing From Within by Pam England, as recommended to me by [another] friend. I also watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" as recommended to me by [another] friend. Natural childbirth just made sense to me and the more I learned about it, the more my testimony of God’s greatest creation, the human body, grew. I had complete confidence in my body’s ability to do what nature intended, and I knew God would not give me an experience they couldn’t deal with. (Caveat: I also know that God made skilled doctors and drug makers who make and use miraculous drugs that many people have a great experience with. Still, I knew that route wasn’t for me.) I became obsessed with the topic of natural birth and it became all I wanted to talk about. Adam totally understood my desires but that didn’t mean he didn’t glaze over several times when I’d bring up the subject yet AGAIN. He was very supportive, but he wasn’t the one giving birth. I was. So I decided I would learn everything I could, give him the information he needed and be prepared to work together to make this happen.
I love this stuff! And it has inspired me to be more open. It's so easy for me to keep my mouth shut in conversations about birth. I don't want to offer unsolicited advice or offend anyone. I rationalize that I'm "doing my part" by blogging here and posting articles on facebook, but I could reach more people if I'd use my vocal cords as well. I always assume the women around me don't want to hear it, but how do I know? It could be as simple as asking a question, such as, "What are your plans for your birth?" It's a risk-free way to open a dialogue on the subject. Why don't I do that more often? I will be forever indebted to the woman who introduced me to the beauties of unmedicated birth. So, Martha, thank you for this reminder to open my mouth.

Stay tuned for "Part Two" where you'll get to hear how Martha's birth experience went.

7 comments:

HollySteffen said...

If we don't, who will??

M-Ware said...

I still get teary-eyed when I read my own birth story. I just love, love, love natural birth. I could kiss it.

Missy said...

That is such a neat story. I totally agree that it's hard not to feel like you might offend someone by discussing your opinion on birth. But when you find something that changes your life for the good, you want to share it with as many people as you can. It's really about wanting others to have the best experience they can.

Faithful Lurker said...

I agree! I was totally in the epidural camp and had a friend who would NOT stop talking about natural birth. I started to listen. I got educated and it changed my life.

Baby #1 was born natural despite medically necessary induction. Baby #2 will be coming this fall....AT HOME.

Who would have guessed?? Not me! I'm so glad she talked and it makes me want to share it with everyone I meet!

Buscando la Luz said...

Faithful! A home birth! Hooray! :-)

Fig said...

I love Martha!

(And you too, Busca.)

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