9/8/08

Is it Just Me?

Before Asher was born, I was a doula. For those of you who don't know what that is, there are birth doulas, supporting mothers in childbirth (I'm not one of those), and there are postpartum doulas (I am one of those). That means I would go be with a family when they first brought their baby home. I would work for anywhere from 3-6 hours a day, basically helping the mother recover and adjust, taking care of siblings, the newborn, doing laundry, making meals, etc. Basically the postpartum doula's job is to be the extended family that most of us don't have nearby anymore (or don't want around).

When Asher was born and he was really mad about it, and then cried for six months without stopping, it became really hard to go help and encourage other mothers. (And I was really, really, really thankful for my own postpartum doula). I lost my mind completely, never showered and didn't sleep. Six months of pure bliss I tell you. So I took a break from doing the doula work.

Anyway, my point? Oh yeah, that...

I continue to get emails on a regular basis from the doula organization that I'm a member of. This is good because it keeps me in the loop. Without emails and blogging, I'm pretty much out of the loop. Sometimes the subjects of these emails are reminders to renew memberships and such, and sometimes they're about upcoming events and meetings.

I am sick of one particular email. It just keeps coming and I can't take it anymore. Because I'm on this list, I even get all the responses to the email from every person ever who was ever a doula ever and feels like responding ever. That's a lot of emails. These emails are sent to both birth and postpartum doulas. This particular email is regarding birth. I am not a birth doula (although I would love it). But I continue to receive 5 bazillion gajillion emails a day with this subject...

Are you ready for it?

Get your registration in for Orgasmic Birth! (I guess that means there's an upcoming conference on really, really great birthing experiences.)

Hmm...yes, um...(cough and giggle)

Maybe I'm just not all that in tune with myself, but I didn't find birth to be all that orgasmic. I did end up having a C-section both times, but I did experience contractions and such and I just can't figure this out. If birth is orgasmic, or can be for some people, I don't really care to know about it, thank you very much! Sure, orgasmic something or other gets a person into the birth ordeal, but during birth, really? Hmm. I thought it hurt much too much to.... well, you know.....to go all Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." I'm pretty sure all that screaming and moaning in actual child birth has nothing to do with pleasure! And if birth is orgasmic, why don't we all have 20 children?

Have you heard of this? Am I just totally clueless? What do you think? Am I a total prude for thinking this is a bit weird? Is there something I'm missing? Just checking.

24 clicked right here to comment:

Heidi said...

Yeah, it's just you. Orgasmic birth is the way to go.

No, seriously, WHAT?

joolee said...

I guess if your lover was REALLY in tune (like mine), he might know just how to put you over the edge in the midst of a toe-curling contraction.

Not "over the edge" in a fun recreational "I can't believe this is free" kind of way, but more like an "I'm going to rip your face off if you pull those covers any tighter across my insanely huge belly" kind of way.

Are you sure it didn't say organic? That seems to be the trend.

Heather of the EO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather of the EO said...

You people are hilarious. I don't get it either, but I do know that the emails certainly say "orgasmic"

I have seen SO many of them, that I've had plenty of chances to take a good hard look.

And yup...it's orgasmic.

BUT, organic birth is also a really funny thing to think on. What would that mean? Hormone free? A woman giving birth with no hormones... that's priceless humor, joolee. You rock.

K and/or K said...

hmmmm...makes me wanna rethink this whole adoption process i'm in and give it a go...NOT!

someone is making money on this. i bet they are men too. :-)

Peanut said...

An orgasm is like the LAST thing I'm thinking about during labor... or the three months before OR after. That's what got me into this trouble in the first place!!
I read about it in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (complete with pictures) but just laughed it off and studied up on the useful stuff in the book. That's just what we moms need, one more reason to think that our childbirth experience wasn't good enough!

Lisa said...

I'm with Joolee. It must have been a typo. They want people to register for an organic birth experience. They're much better for the environment.

The Three 22nds said...

Have you googled it? I just did. Interesting stuff for sure. Seriously, what are these people on? I may want some for my next birth...

Kimberly said...

I do remember it feeling really, really good after the pain stopped, but not -that- good!

BaronessBlack said...

Well, apparently it really does happen! Have you read any Ina May Gaskin? And some women say that they don’t have painful labours. My friend phoned her midwife when she was in labour. The midwife asked if the contractions were painful; my friend replied that they were intense, but not painful – so the midwife said she probably had a while to go. And that’s the story of my friend’s homebirth!
Despite, like you, having had two c-sections; I think it’s really positive that more people are having access to different aspects of birth. Rikki Lake made this film called “The Business of Being Born” which you’ve probably heard about, and I think “Orgasmic birth” is along the same lines.
Every birth is going to be different and we all need to make the choices that are right for us and our families, but I feel that the decision should be an informed decision. We have a National Health Service here in UK, and it’s cheapest and most effective to get women to come into hospital for them to have natural births. Although there’s a big movement to have enough midwives for every woman who wants to deliver at home. Elective c-sections are only carried out if they’re really necessary (or if you go private!). As I understand it, in the US it’s encouraged to get women into hospital to have very medicalized births. I’m not sure whether this is for the health insurance companies, the hospitals, or just the prevalent culture. But as a doula, I’m really interested to hear your views on this as being a post-partum doula probably means you have to pick up some of the pieces when women have bad birth experiences!
Cheers!

PsychMamma said...

Orgasmic?? If this is actually happening, I'm a little pissed off at the Creator. Where is the justice??? Seriously. Sigh.

Heather of the EO said...

baronessblack,
YES, here in the US birth is medicalized to a fault. I'm all for natural births, avoiding as much intervention as possible. But I'm also for each individual mom's choices as long as she is well-informed, especially being a mom whose first csection was emergency, not elective, and the second was due to 11 lb baby and having had a previous csection. I was thankful for the choice to get that huge guy out of a not-so-big-body in the way that I did, after having my first experience with laboring and then ending up in a sticky situation.

I do think orgasmic birth is entirely possible because I have known people who felt very little pain in child birth.

I wrote this post because I've seen so many emails about this, I just wanted to see what moms think of it. And make some jokes because I know most of us DO NOT experience anything near orgasmic in birth. I just don't know if it's what women should shoot for - they may be very disappointed when it doesn't turn out to be all that pleasurable. If a person's birth just happens to become orgasmic, great! :)

Shooting for a natural delivery at home and such - cool with me - individual choice, and I think it's a beautiful thing.

I have only worked with one mom who had a C-section as a postpartum doula. She was actually doing quite well. My thoughts on what postpartum recovery is like for a mom who had a csection are much too long for the comments. I'll go see if you have an email on you site :)

The Three 22nds said...

My c section recovery was almost easier than my recoveries from my vaginal delieveries...

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, it's very individual. Some moms can't move for three months after a csection (especially if they have the double recovery of having labored first) and some pop right back into action.

Same as vaginal deliveries - depends on how it goes and each person. Some get up and go running the next day, and some want to stay in the hospital forever. :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I'll have to trust y'all, seeing as how I never experienced an organic birth much less as orgasmic one.

Heather, I'm thinking you should change your e-mail a bit to include this new concept... orgasmicdoula... what do you think?

Eowyn said...

Huh?

That is probably the farthest thing from my mind right then. Mostly my mind is on how fast I can get the child out.

That's hilarious.

happygeek said...

Is it really Orgasmic birth or is she just faking that too?
I have never heard of your kind of doula before. What a great concept! I still shudder when I think about infancy (that's what 10 months of colic between two kids'll do to a person.

Kristen said...

Well, let's see. I was naked and my husband was there. I did grip the sheets, and scream a little, contort my face and cry out to God . . .

but that's really where the similarties end.

I've heard about this, too, and I think these women must have nerve endings in different places than me. My childbirth experience was more like a burning ring of fire that I desperately wanted to stop.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Everyone is talking about the big O, during birth, no less, and all I can think is, You named your child Asher!?! Because, that is the name of a character in a book I wrote a billion years ago (okay, I only started it) and I thought I made it up. Love it, but have never ever heard it except in my own imagination until now. Wow! Of course, I couldn't use it when I had kids because my last name is Ashworth, which put Ashley and Aislin (pronounced Ashlynn) out of the running, as well.

MommyTime said...

You were a doula? That's really cool.

As for orgasm during childbirth, that seems just insane. BUT, one of the reasons that 19th century medicine was against the use of chloroform during childbirth (as a pain reliever) was that it seemed to produce women who were NOT feeling pain, but were making these groaning moaning noises...and long story short, the implication was that they were "enjoying" the birth process a bit too much. Queen Victoria put that objection to rest by insisting on chloroform for the birth of her 6th (I think) child. But my point is: the rumor that childbirth can be orgasmic is at least 150 years old. I've never actually met or read of anyone who said it really was, though. For whatever that's worth.

JustRandi said...

wow. That's something I wouldn't have thought of in a million billion years.
I still think it's a typo.

Ali Bray said...

I have heard of people having orgasms at the end of the birth. There was not an orgasm to be found at either of my births.

Maybe you are supposed to go to this conference and teach us all how to do that. :) Do you think you could even sign in at the check-in table to get your nametag without giggling?

Brillig said...

Since I'm all about the natural birth stuff and got all trained and prepared and "educated", I heard about this possibility while I was preparing for my first baby to be born. There are millions of stories out there, some of them possibly hear-say, others rumors stemming from the "groaning" sounds that others mentioned earlier. And some, well, some are probably true!

I also heard all about the women who didn't feel any pain, the implication being that somehow they were more in-tune with their bodies, or just better at birth, or something.

Which is why those stories piss me off (oooh, strong language from Brillig. Wait, I think it might get stronger yet...).

No woman should walk away from her birth experiences feeling like she's somehow failed, or she wasn't in tune enough, or whatever! I had four babies, completely unmedicated, and guess what. It hurts. Oh, sure, you come out feeling like superwoman, but WOWZERS! It hurts!!!

So, to all those childbirth educators who are teaching you that if you do it "right" you'll have a pain-free or even orgasmic experience, I say SHUT UP! Give me some credit for how hard it was, dammit! (I had to throw the "dammit" in there at the end, since I promised strong language. Haha.)

Looks like you hit a nerve with this one, Heather. :-D

/end rant.

Brillig said...

Oh, and Kristen's comment? HILARIOUS!!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs