I have given birth to seven children. All but one was completely natural and drug-free. My first time was an awful experience with an OB-Gyn who yelled at me throughout the whole birth and had me flat on my back, pushing up into the air. I was 19 and really quite dumb…I mean naïve about the whole thing. I had gone to childbirth education classes, but when you don’t know what to expect and when you can’t yet fathom the kind of pain you’ll be in, you relent to almost anything the doctor says. No wonder so many women end up with c-sections.
By the time I was pregnant with my second child, I was much smarter. Rather than rely on the good old, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” medical model for pregnancy and birth, I had found Ina May Gaskin and Spiritual Midwifery. Before my first birth, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Certified Nurse Midwife. I thought midwives were from the Civil War era and didn’t know they were still “legal.”