On 4 hours sleep, after screaming at my husband and being irritated with my four-year-old for not putting on his boots, I pulled into the driveway of my doctor's office building for my annual pap smear that hadn't happened in 3 years.
I drove past bundled up protesters with giant pictures of fetuses, shouting about abortion. My doctor is one of the only providers in WNY who still makes an abortion accessible to women. You don’t have to like that fact, but I do. Her building, in addition to housing abortion services, also serves as Buffalo’s only freestanding birth center.
This place, this brick building, where I helped stage our second annual Improving Birth rally on a moments notice with another mom was also where my son was born 4 years ago at 42 weeks and 5 days. In this building, after I unceremoniously fired my home birth midwife at 41 weeks (for reasons that you don’t need or want to know about), I shared a week of waiting, consultation, labor, and birth with my husband and Katherine Morrison. My doula and friend was by my side, as was a photographer and my midwife assistant, all of which conducted themselves with professionalism and empathy.
Through our time together, Katherine discussed risks on a daily basis. I understood the risks involved in having my son’s birth after 42 weeks. Unlike my first child, my second pregnancy was fully informed and I owned every choice. I made strategic, educated decisions that included avoiding certain things that some women choose to partake in when they reach the frustrating point of 42 weeks. I avoided any kind of intervention, other than walking, swimming, and going about my regular routine. I agreed to daily NST’s and BPP’s, keeping us updated daily on our son’s overall health. While in the hospital during those repeated NST’s, I was amazed by the number of veteran nurses who commented on my overall health and expressed sadness that more women weren’t encouraged to wait, instead of inducing.
My previous birth was a hospital induction that we agreed to after a resident told us that we’d have a stillborn baby if we wanted any longer. My daughter was born at 42+1 in the hospital. It wasn’t a textbook traumatic birth, but as a longtime survivor of a pre-existing brain disorder, I left feeling violated, unheard, and confused. That experience led me down a completely different path that influenced my decisions for my next birth. No midwife, no birthing center doctor coerced me to seek out an unmedicated birth out of hospital birth: I did.
I tell you all of this, not to discredit any other woman’s story.
I tell you this to help you understand why I can’t write an objective piece on the current topic.
Before 10 AM yesterday I had nothing about the now viral expose, Failure to Deliver.
I’m reluctantly sharing the link here so that you may formulate your own opinions on the topic. Please also look at this link regarding the investigation. I think part of responsible journalism is being objective. I’m not sure if that was achieved with this article, but it’s a starting point for dialogue that we’ve failed to have as a community. And for that I’m uncomfortable, but gracious for the opportunity.
I welcome dialogue and other women’s stories. I will share them, if they want me to. I will continue to make resources and information available. Yesterday I just needed some time to think about my own feelings, obligations, and duties. Some of those duties belong to caring for my own heart and health. I’m sorry if anything I said yesterday was seen as callous or insensitive.
If anyone out there would like to share their thoughts, pleace feel free to contact me anytime.
Hi. I'm Lindsay. Daughter, sister, wife, mother and collector of useless (and useful) information.