"Selena," my mom whispered in Korean, "are you using
a midwife because you don't have any money?"
I had to laugh; Not at my mom, whose first-generation
immigrant-informed perspective I can understand, but, well, kind of
at my mom after all, because that seemingly narrow-minded
perspective is probably a pretty accurate picture of what most
people might think.
Including myself, at one point. I used to never understand why
women would willingly subject themselves to such excruciating pain
when modern medicine offered relief. I mean, hey; my own two
deliveries went pretty well. Five hour labors for each, an epidural
towards the end for both, and healthy babies all around.
Still, I couldn't shake off this feeling that everything felt…
passive. Lying back, looking at doctors and nurses and students
looking back at me (just down yonder) and barking
orders to pushpushpushpushpush, "like you're doing a really big
poop!" just didn't feel quite right.
So this time around, I figured, heck why not. Why not trust my
body to know what to do, and even do it well? It'll be our last
pregnancy-three kids is enough for us-and my last chance to embrace
childbirth as nature intended. I did some research and settled on
the Swedish Covenant Midwife Group-more accurately,
certified nurse-midwives. They deliver at Swedish Covenant Hospital
(because I'm not ready to pull a Ricki Lake) and are open to the
use of medicine if that's what you really want or need (because a
little drug insurance couldn't hurt).
And they've been fantastic. I look forward to my prenatal visits
and the genuine "how are you doing?" that greets me. They've
pointed me to a wealth of resources about this whole other paradigm
that I had been used to writing off as "not for me". I feel
empowered; scared sometimes, yes, and even a little crazy, but
empowered and excited to be taking a different path on this
Selena Kohng is a mom of two living in Sauganash.
See more of Selena's stories here.
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