Monday, September 25, 2006

Small Pelvis, Big Baby Pandemic

Feeling quite pregnant these days. My hip joints have gone soft and I walk with an exaggerated waddle. I feel good but move slow, what I lack in agility, I make up in pulcritude (must be that pregnancy glow, my skin is glorious). I think about the birth and the baby a lot. There's still much to do to prepare. One more baby shower, tomorrow, from my Toastmaster group. Yesterday after church, I got caught up in a conversation with a pregnant newlywed, the daughter-in-law of a long time aquaintance. She sounded so typical as she talked about her family history of cesareans and how she would probably have to have one as well, because of her small pelvis and big baby. I looked at her and shook my head, small pelvis my ass. What fool doctor would tell this big hearty robust girl she has a small pelvis? And what's with the big baby talk- SHE'S NOT EVEN SHOWING YET! How does her doctor know she's going to have a "big baby" whatever the hell that is. And so the set up begins. This young girl's thinking is sabotaged from the outset. She told how her grandmother had had 21 children, at home, yet her mother had had all her babies by cesarean. Which legacy will win out? Another generation of cesarean born children, or will she reclaim her birth right? The battles are lost and won in these casual conversations. My voice gets drowned out by so many opposing messages. Women still assume that their doctors have their best interest at heart. Its my heart-breaking job to tell them, it ain't so. Caregivers can no longer afford to act solely in their patien'ts best interest- the world of healthcare can no longer sustain such benevolence. Why should they believe me when I say such outrageous things? I have to come up with some persuasive arguing in my book. I will tell what I saw and heard as an insider and hope folks will be as shocked and appalled as I was.

2 comments:

Sage Femme said...

I'm starting to wonder if doctors are really saying this that often or if women are just saying this to themselves because of their fear of birth. I hear this alot and I know that there are TONS of situations in which the doc - at the first visit - are saying something similar (planting the seed).

But, I also know that many women are walking around truly believing that they have a maternal lineage of 'broken body syndrome'. Sign us up for cesareans, hysterectomies, mastectomies and bladder slings....we are so broken because of all our "problems". *sigh*

Laborpayne said...

Sad but true, Sage Femme, women don't seem to need much prompting to take the thought and run with it. If someone told me my pelvis was too small to birth, I'd laugh at them, but first time moms are so impressionable, so trusting, and may have a cadre of family stories to solidify their fears. I sigh at the enormity of the problem, how do you change a fundamental culturally embedded belief that women have come to embrace as their own story?