As the year draws to a close and we focus on drawing the light back I want to say more about what I know right now:
Your birth is yours. Make sure you know that and understand the dark and light side of that. The light side of that is that you are responsible for it, that it is YOUR BIRTH. If your husband wants a cesarean and you want a homebirth, then he can go and have his cesarean. The light side is that you MUST choose wisely and on your own that where you birth is where you will birth the best and that is nonnegotiable. The dark side of that is that your birth is your responsibility. Whatever happens in your birth is your creation. You called it, you created it, you are responsible for it. That includes unexpected outcomes and death as well.
Women need Women. It is absurd to expect men, who have never been with us through the blood mysteries, move into them in the 1970's and know how to behave. It is absurd to retreat in the postpartum into a home occupied only by your husband, a man whose father barely survived by smoking cigarettes outside the labor room when his mother was knocked out for his birth, or maybe learned some Lamaze style labor coaching. It is absurd to expect this man, with all of his well intended heart to help you negotiate your shadow through breastfeeding, meeting yourself as a mother and understanding that you- YES YOU, your body, made and pushed this little baby out. It is absurd that the first and only time that women are at birth is their own birth (as a baby and as a mother) and that we expect women to be able to birth learning through classes and books. It is absurd that women are expected to peel their babies off their dripping breasts at 6 weeks, 6 months or any time, and drop them off in an institution overcrowded with other babies, bacteria and strange young "infant development experts". It is absurd that women are expected to concentrate at work knowing that their baby in day care may be screaming and in nobody's arms. It is absurd that women complain ALL THE TIME about how they don't have time for themselves, for their relationships, for their children, for anything, as they excel as mothers, leaders, goddesses, dominatrix's and more. It is absurd that women break down in Childbirth Education Class saying, "I've never told anyone this but....". Where are the other women??? They are all alone, as well, at home! Can someone please put women together??? PLEASE!
The government needs to get out of our bodies. This means that they need to stop telling us whether or not to do things (birth, mammograms, abortions), how, where, at what age, and under what conditions. It means that they need to listen to us and ask us what we want. It means they need to take us seriously. It means they need to stop assuming that because they think they can control our uterus', they know what's best for it. It means that they need to acknowledge our diversity as women and support the health of that. That means everything- abortions, homebirths, mammograms, maternity leave, equipped neonatal intensive care units... Whatever it takes to keep our mother's healthy and our communities healthy, because our new members are coming in THROUGH our mothers, and our mothers are welcoming them (or not). And how a mother and a community welcomes a new baby has everything to do with how things will go for that child later.
And may 2010 listen to me carefully, me and all other women!!