Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gratitude and Angst

First, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has shared such kind thoughts about our recent posts, both in the blog comments and in emails to me and Chris.  It warms my heart to know so many people care so much about the Bubba, and it is especially gratifying to know that his birth story touched you all so deeply.  

And that brings me to the angst.  Caitlin's birthday is in a few days and I've written her birth story too.  I want to post it, but as some of you know, it isn't a pretty story, and so I hesitate.  Over the years I've written it again and again, trying to understand what happened and make my peace with it, and by in large, I feel I've succeeded.   What I've come up with now is as close to a straight re-telling as I can manage.  I've learned an awful lot since her birth and I've been politicized and mobilized by what I've learned about birth and the way in which birth happens in America.  I realize that that knowledge cannot help but color my story.  But my aim is not to use this story as a shot at mainstream American obstetrics, women who chose to schedule an induction, have an epidural, or anything else.  Its just my story, good bad and ugly.  

Chris and I have been round and round about whether or not such a thing has a place on our blog, and if so, if in what form.  In the end I've decided it does belong here, in the place where we write about what we are doing, seeing and thinking.  Caitlin's birth is something I still think about an awful lot, and it would feel like a glaring omission not to share it with you all this year. I won't apologize for what I've written, but I guess I do want to preface it a bit.  I trust all of you out there in blog-land are here because you care about us in some fashion, but I realize that doesn't mean everyone is going to be up for reading an admittedly long and bleak birth story, and that is perfectly fine.  Take what you like and leave the rest.  

For those of you who do chose to read, please be forewarned that it is a disturbing story.  Caitlin and I have come an awful long way from our rocky start and I love her dearly.  If there are things in the story that don't make sense, seem impossible or shocking, I hope you will speak up and explore those topics, if not here with us, somewhere.  I'm very open to talking about the birth and have a wealth of birth-related resources to share.  Sadly, my experience is not unique - recent literature tells us that roughly one fifth of all women have their labor induced, a number which does not include labors augmented by Pitocin, or women who undergo cesarean sections after an attempted induction.  Yet the telling of these birth stories is all too rare.  Every birth is important and transformative, even if it is not joyful and uplifting.  I feel grateful for both of my birth experiences, especially Caitlin's, and privledged to have so many caring readers to share them with.

Stay tuned...

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