Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do I have to go see "Business of Being Born?"

In the past month, I've received 20+ emails from people who ask me, "So, have you seen this movie? It totally looks like something you should see!" And then there's a link to "The Business of Being Born" movie.

Yes, I know about the movie. I've known about it for many, many months now.

There are three screenings in my area that I know of (many more, I'm sure).

I haven't bought any tickets yet.

My friends are right, it is totally something I should see.

But I don't want to.

I'm trying to figure out why...

Is it because my PTSD has reared up again, and I'm afraid that seeing this movie will trigger more than just a few tears about my c/s? Well, yes, that's part of it.

But it's more than that. I don't want to see this movie because I've been living and breathing the message of this movie for the past three years. It started during my pregnancy with my son, when I said No Thank You to the hospital medwives and I said Yes to homebirth. It then moved to a disastrous home meeting with my homebirth midwife at the end of my pregnancy, where my son was found footling breech, and all attempts to turn him, and find a provider who would attend a breech vaginal birth... were for naught.

I ended up with a C-section, for lack of a better option at the time. But the journey continued. With 2 years of PTSD and PPD under my belt, I've obviously still got a few remnants of the PTSD lingering (I'm trying to figure out who to go see about that).

The real reason I don't want to go see "The Business of Being Born" is because I've already bought into the message of the movie. I know that the U.S. birth scene sucks. I know about hospital interventions. I know the c-section rate is astronomically high, and it's becoming dangerous just to walk into a hospital with a bulging belly. I know that for many women, homebirth is a safe option.

That's why I PICKED homebirth in the first place, goddammit.

And yet, my birth was still taken away from me... or I was too weak to have faith that I could birth a footling breech baby on my own during my first labor.

Well, I have to forgive myself for that one... and I have. I don't look back on my birth and say, "I should have just locked myself in a closet and given birth on my own." Because I simply can't fathom a UC labor with a footling breech on my first time around. That's asking too much, even of this type A, perfectionist overachiever.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't need the movie to tell me what's going on with birth. I know it. I knew it two years ago, and it didn't change my birth outcome. So, whenever I read c/s stories, or watch movies, or hear presentations by people like Rikki Lake who are trying to educate the public about birth, I think, "But I knew all that... and I still ended up with a c/s." It makes me furious... because I feel helpless. I kind of wish I was a mom who had no idea about any of this stuff, because then the movie would make me feel like I can make a change. But I have no idea what to do about my bicornuate/septated uterus that will probably produce a breech baby next time around, too. Guess I gotta get comfortable with UC?

Seeing this movie will just make me angrier, it will make me sadder, and it will make the grieving process continue. I don't know if I need anymore cathartic experiences to dredge this birth pain out of me. I think I need an empowering birth experience, to feel the power of my own body, to be able to look at my husband and my new baby and shout, "I DID IT!!! MY BODY DID IT! I REALLY DID IT!!!!"

And no movie will give me that.


At February 2, 2008 at 5:05 PM, Blogger Carter-Ann said...

You made a really good point. I haven't had much interest to see the film even though I'm thrilled what Lake is trying to get the public to understand what is going on about birth. But when you've already lived through it, even armed with all the right information, no film will make it better.

At May 20, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Blogger Kate said...

no, you do not have to go see it, in fact it might be detrimental to you - because of all the reasons that you mentioned. i doubt you really needed someone to answer you but i thought i would - because i think that we (women) need to support one another rather than judging and criticizing each other.

stay well,


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