Serendipity that this book should come out while I am pregnant! I ordered The Nourishing Traditions Book of Child & Baby Care (available HERE) and had planned to read it while I babymoon but I couldn't resist and I cracked it open today. I am really glad that I did. You see, I have a dirty little secret that I have not talked about on the blog. I am having a c-section. It is not about convenience, it about being afraid of dying, and rationally fearful, too. My last delivery was a train wreck beginning to end and I ended up waking in the ICU the next morning on a ventilator, I kid you not. I have written a little about it before, see HERE, but I have tried to stay away from it all. It is pretty traumatic and unnecessarily frightening to other women, particularly those having children. I spent fifteen months recovering. We found out that I have a genetic blood clotting disorder that had never reared its ugly head before, but when it did, it was terrible. So, this pregnancy I have been taking injections of blood thinners and getting ready for another c-section. I went from raspberry leaf tea and midwives to maternal-fetal medicine specialists and intense medicalized birth. It is strange thing for me and fortunately they have been pretty understanding of me and my freaky-hippy ways.
But, I still feel very badly about the way my children are coming into the world. It is so detached and unnatural and not what my husband and I had ever wanted. C-sections are abused and abusive in some cases and certainly should not be the standard of care, I believe that still. But I also believe that they save lives, mothers and babies both, and should be reserved for the most serious of cases because of the risks they pose. It is hard not to feel badly about c-section and it really has been my little secret that I neglected to tell anyone at my WAPF meeting. I just didn't want to admit it. It's funny, because a very good friend (the most amazing and natural mother I have ever known) had an emergency c-section with her first when the baby's heart actually stopped during labor and I kept telling her to be grateful for the surgery. She later had a natural birth that I was privileged enough to witness. Yet, I could not give myself that peace.
So, tonight, for no reason other than to punish myself, I looked up c-sections in the book. I really thought I knew what I would find and I was completely wrong. The book is hopeful. The book is forgiving. The book is soothing. Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan, MD, discuss ways to come to terms with it, ways to ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship and no where do they treat it like the dirty secret I had. They discuss the entire medical process and other types of undesired but life-saving interventions with the same calm and rational tone and a reasonable balance. Yes, birth may be natural, birth may be beautiful, but the one thing it is not is risk-free. I think this book finds a balance that I was unwilling to give myself.
Finding the birth that I want in the birth that I need to have has not been easy but this book has gone a very long way to that goal. By the time the 13th rolls around, I will ready.
Interested in the very long and very detailed review of the book, chapter by chapter?
Find it HERE.