The Goddess lives in hospitals too.
BY: Cassie Premo Steele
There is a tendency, among those of us who believe in the Goddess and an alternative vision of life on this earth, to abandon, or at least to critique seriously, whatever we see in our society as "anti-Goddess," such as the school system, the market economy, or the medical establishment. During the years of my turn-toward-a-Goddess-centered spirituality, I too have found in alternative health practices--massage therapy, Reiki, herbs, and yoga--a gentler, more holistic medicine; one that respects all the aspects of my being, one that respects me.
So, when I decided to try to get pregnant, I consulted a prenatal massage therapist and began having regular appointments with her. I had my Tarot cards read. I paid attention to my dreams. I wrote in my journal every day. I read Susun Weed's "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" and began drinking herbal teas to promote fertility. I ate healthily and exercised regularly. All this resulted in a conception one month after beginning "trying," as well as a pregnancy with no morning sickness, lots of energy (after the first trimester nap marathons), and great joy.
I also discovered in the course of my pregnancy that midwifery, as opposed to obstetrics, provides a birth that is gentle, holistic, and respectful--and this was the kind of birth I wanted. My husband and I went to meet a midwife who did home births, fully ready to embark on such an experience.
The meeting did not go well. The midwife seemed distracted and tired. When my husband asked about pain relief, and she began talking about how "some women can handle it and others can't, and you just have to become one who can handle it," I knew that I would not be using her as my midwife. After weighing the potential consequences of delivering at home with a lay midwife (which would not be covered by insurance and would not be backed up by my physician), we decided to switch to a midwife practice in a hospital.
It felt like a good compromise. And it was. The midwives spent an average of an hour with me on each visit. I felt listened to, respected, and happy. And then, at my 20-week ultrasound, I was told that the baby was breech--she was in a "head-up" rather than "head-down" position. I thought it was too early to worry about this, but unfortunately my heart-shaped uterus meant that the baby might not have room to turn.
And she didn't.
In the final weeks of the pregnancy I did everything "alternative" I could to try to get her to turn so I could have a "normal" delivery with a midwife.
She didn't turn--despite the several chiropractic sessions I had with a very kind woman who had given birth to a breech baby at home, homeschooled her children, and refused to give them vaccinations, and encouraged me to do the same.