Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Run, Do Not Walk

A few weeks ago I posted an article about how the AMA (American Medical Association) has been stifling true medical care in this country for decades.

Tonight I had another great experience of learning about just that topic.

I've had The Business of Being Born on my Netflix queue for months now. At first it wasn't available, then it was backordered, then I got it and kind of let it sit there. I was looking at it in a wholly "see-what-the-fuss-is-about" type way. I am happy to say that it lived up to that fuss and more.

I can honestly say that going into this experience of the past hour and twenty minutes I was a firm believer in medical, hospital birth. Sterlize this, drug me with that, knock the kid out and call it a day. But now, after watching this, and after learning the misconceptions (and they really are misconceptions) about natural births, I think I may have reached a new level of conciousness.

Those of us with chronic illnesses or chronic pain often have this epiphany (well, maybe not often enough) that modern medicine just ain't cutting it for us--that there's something missing from the equation and worse yet, we're being blamed for the equation even existing. This film explores that and explores the ways in which modern medicine has stripped women of their power and the real emotion, connection, and physical metamorphosis of becoming a mother. It's mind-boggling really. And sadly, I should have known better. But I've always taken this cavelier attitude that this type of thing was just for granola-hippie types. God, am I glad I saw this long before I even got pregnant.

The moral of the story for those of us with chronic illness is that we have to learn to invest in ourselves, trust our instincts, and go with those things that are time tested. Just because they may have had a renaissance because of hippies doesn't mean that they're baseless. In fact, maybe those hippies were on to something.

In any event, I highly suggest you take a look at this film. I have to admit, I thought I was going to be grossed out and non-chalant about the whole thing, but to be honest, I was crying at one point and the only reason why was to watch this woman give birth naturally (standing up/squatting) without drugs, without pressure, without machines beeping incessantly and watching her reach down and hold her child for the first time. I am without words to describe the moment.

Run...do not walk...to get this movie.