Creative Loafing

Creative Loafing

Dec 02

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I don’t make it a habit of advertising my choice of birth option. Women who brag about having a natural, unmedicated birth are like those women who say they “eat and eat and never gain a pound.” We hate them, right? I’ve been in many “mommy” conversations with representatives from both camps discussing their birthing preference– those mommies who would welcome their epidural as soon as their jeans started getting snug with a post labor recovery time somewhere around their child’s first day at kindergarten; and those who birth twins sideways on their kitchen floor, immediately slip back into their 27’s, and perk up in enough time to get dinner on the table. To each his own. The worst is when the kitchen floor boasting mommy makes the pain-free birthing mommy feel like she’s weak or selfish for opting out of the natural experience– as if to say, “Oh, you had an epidural. Gee, that’s too bad. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish solving the world hunger crisis. Good luck with those tiddlywinks.” I chose to have an unmedicated hospital birth with Salem and a birth center birth where pain-meds weren’t even optional with Amelia. I’ve heard everything from, “Are you just a glutton for pain?” to “What are you trying to prove?” I’ve stopped talking about it in general unless otherwise asked because not only do I like to maintain some degree of privacy, but also because it is exhausting trying to defend or explain my decisions when it comes to child birth. I’d like to say that my reasons are purely deep and spiritual. Some of them are but truth be told, the thought of being numbed while strapped to a bed feels very “asylum horror flick” to me. Even more significant perhaps is the idea that new life is coming into the world. Someone ought to feel that, and that someone ought to be me. “Birth with a bang” as I like to say. Well, a reporter from Creative Loafing Charlotte contacted me recently to share my story surrounding Amelia’s birth back in August and my experience at the Carolina Community Maternity Center. Little did I know that it would make this week’s cover story.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article…

The born ultimatum

Why is N.C. afraid of midwives? CL travels across the state line to find answers. Story by Paula White.

“Charlotte resident Salina Beasley was sewing black-and-white bedding for her daughter’s room when her first contraction hit. It was 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4. She was home with her 1-year-old son, Salem, and her mother, who’d traveled from Orlando to help manage once the new baby arrived. Her husband, Clark, was due back in a few hours from out of town.

Salina continued sewing. She mentioned to her mother that her granddaughter may be on the way. The expectant mom then called her husband and next her midwife — it was an action that, in Charlotte, has often been done in hushed tones. Salina, however, had no worries.

The Beasley family had relocated to the area from Atlanta a couple of months earlier. And because the stay-at-home mom and singer was already more than 30 weeks pregnant at the time of the move, finding medical care quickly was imperative. She’d delivered Salem naturally in a hospital without the use of drugs, and she wanted to do the same with her daughter; however, she learned upon arriving in Charlotte that to utilize her insurance for labor and delivery, she’d have to travel back to Atlanta.

That was not acceptable. She began exploring other options.

“I knew I didn’t have the nerve to have a home birth, but I also knew I didn’t want to go through the assembly-line-strapped-to-the-bed experience at the hospital,” says Salina. “I wanted the comfort of knowing that medical interventions were close if I needed them, but otherwise, I wanted to be in a place where I felt my birth was being celebrated as a natural process and not treated like an illness”…

You can read the rest of the article here.

After I read this, I called my mother, my husband, and my pastor to say, “Check me out! I’m in the paper!” Then I had to laugh when I realized that what makes for headline coverage in the 21st century is something that women have been doing for hundreds of years, some of them right on their kitchen floor. I do hope you enjoy the read, and I hope that mommies everywhere simply remember that they have options when it comes to making decisions surrounding the birth of their child. Also, if you live in the Charlotte metropolitan area, I’d love to share more about my experience at the birth center. Those mid-wives were a Godsend, and I would plan for a rerun birth there in a heartbeat.

Ok, now I realize that by discussing childbirth, I’ve opened a can of worms. I can’t wait to hear your comments. Ready…. GO!


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Salina Beasley