Cathy and I were at the birth center last night, walking through all the rooms (with our hard hats on), and checking the list of requirements for Occupancy and Licensure. Since today is my “birthday”, I called Mom (Jolene) on the way home to hear her retell the story of her ”BIRTH DAYS”. I’m one of four kids. When I was born in the mid 70′s, Mom was given an enema, moved to a brightly lit surgical delivery room, given local anesthetic, wrist restraints (!!!) and gave birth in the flat on back lithotomy position. My younger sibling’s birth days were much better…natural, mom walking, born onto chest, warm water and soft lighting. Mom talked about Grandma (Martha) who gave birth in the late 40s. During that era, many women gave birth by “twilight sleep”, which resulted in a knocked out woman thrashing around, thus the wide use of wrist restraints. Mom doesn’t know if this was the case for Grandma or not. Martha died when Mom was only 34…my mom didn’t have enough time to ask her. Grandma’s mother Anna Katie (Great-Grandmother) died herself after birthing her 7th child when she was 32. My grandma was only 6 when she lost her mom. And so Anna Katie birthed Martha, and Martha birthed Jolene, and Jolene birthed Kendra and Kendra birthed Madelin. One way we rebuild our birth culture is to remember our past and understand it. The best way to do that is to remember the birth stories of our own families. To listen and not judge. But to expect something better for our daughters and sisters and friends. We shall not forget so quickly that all of us deserve incredible birth days.
Ask your mother, aunts & grandmothers about their birth stories….write them down…remember them…and pass them on to your daughters (and your sons)…and give them a big hug of thanks from New Birth Company.