11 October 2006

A Little Light Birth Activism

Yesterday was the day for a little light birth activism. Three vignettes, for your amusement: It's Open Enrollment time at my company. For those of you not familiar with corporate-speak, this means it's time to pick heath plans. We have the option of five different plans. I spent this morning looking at the material they put together for us, and then at their non-branded websites. And since none of them answered my #1 question, I started making phonecalls. And asking them if they covered homebirth midwives. I am not pregnant or anything; I just really feel that change in the medical paradigm has to be driven by consumer choice. You would have loved the reactions I got. Spluttering. Coughing. Denial. Shock. One woman told me that "you can't give birth at home." "Oh," says I, "but that's how I did it last time." Stunned silence. Then, "but it's not safe to birth at home! What if your baby dies???" I couldn't help myself. I laughed. Said "oh, honey, I'm so so so sorry. How did that red pill taste?" and then quickly, before she could recover, said "I bet if you ask your grandmother, or looked at your family genealogy, you'll find that everyone in your family from all the way back was born at home. It's your *heritage*." Silence. ::sigh:: I didn't get through, I know I didn't. But man, it felt good. For the record, none of the insurance companies will cover a homebirth midwife. Including the one that did, in fact, pay for mine, 16 months ago. So basically, the rule is, they will, if you lie well enough. Pretty depressing. And demoralizing, right? So I walk away from my computer to hit my chiro appointment. My chiropractor's billing person is 9 months pregnant, and ready to be done. She asks me, "you know about birth. What's a safe way to induce?" I reply, "Well, considering you go into labor when your baby's lungs are ready, there isn't a safe way, as far as the baby's concerned." She says to me.... ...brace yourselves... "My doctor never told me that!" I could scream. I could weep. I could do both at once. But at least she's now going to wait for her baby. It's a start. Finally, I ran into an old friend. She's 46, and discussing having a baby with her new man. He's been told he "can't have children." Because of... get this... "low sperm count." I ask if she's familiar with the research about such things, and she isn't. I ask if anyone's ever explained to him the difference between sperm count in a test tube and the real thing. They haven't. I ask if it's no sperm, period, or just low. She says, just low. Where, my friends, in what world, is "low" the same as "none"? It only takes one, last time I checked. We're going to have coffee later this week, and I'll bring her the research links to take a look at. All in all, not a bad day. But how did so much disinformation, disempowerment, and downright FUD get out there in the world? Makes you wonder.


At 10/12/2006 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Mama Chaos said...

*laughs* I saw a shirt once that said "Don't call me lucky, call me educated" and below that in smaller letters something about homebirths.

At 10/12/2006 08:23:00 PM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

Rock on,
As you know I am going thru something similiar with my search through the HMO's offerings of Preferred Providers that filter all other care. No one feels I will "be comfortable" with a non vacced kids in their practice and I just need a friggen speech referral so have decided to lie and go see one just to get it. Because I am tired.....and time's a wastin on the speech issue.

Again you are a walking billboard for homeschooling!!


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