Dear Obstetrician

Honestly, I think that your presence at my birth would be somewhat similar to me taking an EMT with me to the playground every time we go, just in case one of the kids falls down and gets hurt. Not that I don’t respect the time and effort put into learning those lifesaving skills of course. But I think being able to dial 911 would be sufficient.

In other words, I am glad you are there and trained if I need you, but I don’t expect to need you. I think being able to call you in case of an emergency would suffice.

However, there is all the legal requirement of having once, many years ago, had my belly cut open by one of you to deliver my son. Despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary, and the two children I delivered vaginally since then, I am a “risk”. Since this is California, where people litigate, to cover everyone’s ass I am sent to you, the “most qualified” birth practitioner. Just in case.

So here’s the thing. It’s fine with me if you don’t even show up, if all goes well. It’s fine with me if no one shows up. I know that it will be me who delivers this baby, not you, or any one else. I’m the one who will do the hard labor of moving this child through those “perilous 10 inches” and into the light of day.

All  ask is this. Please don’t touch me. I don’t like being touched in labor. Please don’t talk or poke or prod, it’s distracting and unnecessary. I don’t want you hovering and monitoring. I don’t want a bunch of people in and out and bustling around. I don’t want that whole circus that begins when a woman starts pushing, and suddenly the lights come up and people run around with carts full of sharp sterile objects in case they’re needed. I don’t want anyone telling me to hold my breath, to push when they say so, to stick their fingers in or near my vagina while I’m working.

I know now how my body labors. I’ve learned how to cooperate with it and let it do it’s job. I trust it to take care of things as it ought. All I need is peace and quiet to focus on the task at hand.

I plan to stay home as long as I can anyway, because I prefer to labor at home.

Honestly, I hope that this labor is so precipitous that there is no chance to get to a hospital before it’s all done. I want this baby to come at home too.

I know by now though that things don’t usually go as smoothly or simply as I would like. I am glad that you are there, and I have insurance that will pay you, in case something goes wrong. It is a blessing to live where there is access to so many well trained and well equipped medical staff if there is ever an emergency.

So thank-you for your work, and your knowledge. I may be seeing you. But I hope not.

all content © Carrien Blue

2 thoughts on “Dear Obstetrician

  1. My sister had her first in a hospital on a Navajo reservation and had quite a crowd – none of the medical staff were used to a woman giving birth with no meds, not to mention a dad wanting to play an active part.
    She had her second at home with a midwife.
    For her 3rd, she was 35 and considered "advanced maternal age." Her ob/gyn was her best friend's husband, who told her that unfortunately she would have to be in the hospital. BUT…he basically had them put her in a room and everyone left her alone. It was the best hospital birth she could have hoped for.

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