In all the years I’ve been health coaching, I’ve been encouraging women that in order to heal they must first tune back into their intuition and take responsibility for themselves by trusting their bodies again.
Never has this message been more relevant to me than right now, at 22 weeks pregnant. Never have I been challenged with my resolve on this message than in the past few days.
Last Thursday I reluctantly went to my first appointment at our local hospital. I had previously been informed by a GP, who I saw merely for an ultrasound referral, that it was “far too risky to have my baby at home” and she would be booking me into my local hospital instead.
Weeks later and without much thought, I made my way to the first “check in” appointment out of obligation.
I spent well over an hour with a midwife going through formalities and paperwork and answering her questions. Within that appointment many things popped up that made me instinctively feel “yucky” and already disempowered.
The first was her eagerness to inform me that I haven’t been accepted into the birth centre because I’m “high risk”, all because I’m over 35 and had my first daughter by c-section. So straight up, I’m a geriatric mother despite feeling better and healthier now than I did in my twenties.
Next was her enthusiasm to remind me that “now that I’m over 20 weeks the optimum time for my flu and whooping cough vaccination would be in the next few weeks”. Ummm…”No”, I said, I won’t be getting those done, to which the midwife, obviously stunned, whispered “right” under her breathe and continued to write in the form.
Next was a question about my family history. I had heard through the grapevine that my mother, who I haven’t had contact with for 14 years, had developed diabetes (she is morbidly obese, has always been a heavy smoker, ate mostly rubbish when I knew her and regularly added 4 teaspoons of sugar to every cup of tea). Ignorantly I conveyed this fact to the midwife, who instantly advised me that I “HAVE to have the glucose test for gestational diabetes”
Having done the test with our first daughter and experiencing a racing heart, exhaustion, body twitches and severe nausea, I decided there’s no way I’m doing that again. Besides, why on earth would I drink a bright green liquid with ridiculous amounts of concentrated manufactured glucose (that can be derived from wheat so problematic for celiac and wheat intolerant people), flame retardant, artificial dyes made from petroleum, controversial preservatives and GMOs?
I asked her about the imperativeness of the test for someone who eats a wholefood based diet and extremely well and has never had any issues with blood sugar imbalances to which she couldn’t respond. However, she wouldn’t take my “no” for a “no” and persisted in telling me that she would have to seek advice from the “Diabetic Advisors” and would be passing my number onto them so they can contact me.…what!?
Anyway, next up she decided it was time to educate me on the Australian statistics of “still births” and tell me that Australia has one of the highest rates of still births and that, considering I’m over 35, I should be more mindful of my baby’s movements and that I need to “make sure” I call the hospital if the patterns of movement change “at all”.
Talk about imparting fear into every mother….geez!! I literally found myself the day after monitoring every single movement from bub and totally stuck in fear. I even said to my husband “I’m not sure bub is moving as much today” and burst into tears…WT?
Next she told me I would have to book in to see their GP in the hospital so that he can “sign me off” to have a VBAC…..WTF?!? Right, so now, not only am I geriatric and need to be told what I can and can’t do during my pregnancy but supposedly I can’t decide if I’m capable of birthing naturally either!
This whole appointment just confirmed to me again that we diminish our own authority in birthing and in mothering and we allow ourselves to be disempowered, when we put more faith in information and the opinions of others than our own internal knowing of our bodies and our babies.
I have no doubt that the increase in traumatic experiences at births, higher rates of c-sections and intervention methods are down to this simple fact….women have lost the ability to hear their own bodies!
It appalls me that pregnancy is seen as a disease rather than a very natural process that for the most part our bodies can deal with.
This is a paragraph in the book “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” By Sarah Buckley that I happened to read today that couldn’t be more appropriate right now…….”How would it be to live in a society where we are all, through giving birth or being born, in possession of our own power and our own deep knowing? Where science and technology are our tools, rather than our masters?”
To the rest of you beautiful mummas, I hope this post at least helps you start to believe and realise that you are powerful beyond measure, that you body is beautifully and wonderfully made and that you and only you are the authority on your body and that of your babies!