Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reflecting on UC

So I've been reading Rixa's PhD dissertation these past couple of days (along with having some sort of lymph node-swelling illness). It's a wonderful overview of UC. Here are some of the thoughts that came to me, in no particular order.

I thought it was interesting that she said that a lot of UCers reach UC through other natural living topics: breastfeeding, cloth diapering, midwife homebirth, etc. I am not one of those UCers. I found UC in a book and was so impressed that I knew that's how I wanted to give birth. Everything else: breastfeeding, ECing, cloth diapering, etc. came from reading UC boards and noticing those topics come up.

I really enjoyed her chapter on the UC "movement" and how it got started and whether or not it can be even called a movement. I really love history, so that was fun for me.

She talked about the birth/pregnancy culture in our society. This has been something that's on
my mind- I thought about how my last pregnancy I interviewed midwives, made doctor's appointments (canceled every one) and was somewhat part of that culture. I've also been thinking about my future pregnancies- and if instructed to do so, I'll UP/UC again. There won't be any talk of doctor's appointments and stuff that usually gets passed along in circles of pregnant women. It seemed lonely to do it all. But then I thought about what I'm really missing out on- do I really want to regularly see someone who's going to question my body's abilities and put fear into my mind? Nope. Do I want to just enjoy being pregnant? Yep. I think I'll be doing another blog post about this in the future.

There was a great chapter on intuition and how important it is to UCers. Heavenly inspiration was a big part of my last pregnancy and labor- and I only want to encourage that more every day.

Her dissertation also reminded me of what agency is. When she talks about UCers taking responsibility for their birth outcomes- good or bad, she mentions that some people choose an OB or midwife because then the responsibility isn't on themselves. Also, a conversation I've had with a friend recently about infertility struggles has caused me to think about agency and how we really need to own our choices. Preserving agency is why we chose to come to earth and I feel that consciously making decisions and owning them is one way to accomplish that. "This is my choice and I'm not going to blame other people for this." This is a really vague thought. I'll probably blog about this and elaborate in the future, too.

I found the whole dissertation very thought-provoking. I relived my choices and feelings for Margaret's birth and my options for future births. I'd highly recommend this to anyone interested in understand why women choose unassisted births.


  1. Looking back on my pregnancy, I can clearly see that the reason I chose to go to an OB, and ultimately to have a scheduled C-section, was that I was very scared and wanted someone else to take over. I'm sure that some of that feeling came from the culture around me, and some of it from my own personality. Hindsight is 20/20! I'm not sure if I would choose UC for myself, but I definitely want to do things differently if there's a second time around. I find your writing on the subject really interesting and inspiring so... keep up the good work!

  2. I hope you feel better soon!
    Even though we're seeing a midwife and will birth in a hospital (we hope to one day do a home birth---right now we just don't feel comfortable having a home birth in our apartment, and would like to have our own home first), this is one reason why I love Hypnobabies. I am in control of my own body, my reaction to my pressure waves (what they call contractions), and everything else---pretty much I'm relying on the midwife's knowledge to keep me grounded through the whole experience---that extra support we've decided we would like to have. I love how you talked about agency and not just handing it off to someone because of fear. You're right---our bodies know what to do and how to do it--so we can trust our instincts and the Lord in the process---after all, it's the process he designed, right?

  3. I agree with you about the other natural living topics. My impetus for eventually coming to UC had to do with not wanting my baby to go through any unnecessary drug/trauma/etc at the hospital, and I only learned about the other natural living things through my experiences around other UCers. Although I was probably leaning natural my whole life...

  4. I like what you said about taking responsibilty for your birth. That is one thing I have been thinking alot about, because it seems like that is the biggest reason people think I am "brave" for having a home birth-- "What if something went wrong, then it would be YOUR fault" is what they are really telling me. But I just can't see it that way, I think we give ourselves WAY too much credit for the whole process of giving life-- we are SO NOT in charge of it-- God is. When you really have to rely on God and on your faith birth becomes and AMAZING spiritual experience.

  5. I agree with everything you say about agency. It is so important to take responsibility for our choices. But I think that choosing to employ the help of another is still a valid choice.

    I really admire you for choosing UC and think that you are a brave and strong woman.

    But I don't think agency means we have to do everything alone.

  6. Thanks for posting this! I hope UC becomes more mainstream someday. It is such an awesome and empowering experience! Plus no one is around to bother you :) hehe

  7. I didn't mean that you should have to do everything alone. I know I didn't elaborate enough on this issue.

    There were some people who, when I was pregnant would say, "What if the baby dies?" about me having a homebirth. It made me upset and question the "if you're at the hospital you are responsibility free" idea. I think, no matter what your choices in life, you do need to own them. I did come to terms with how I would feel if I lost the baby at home vs. if I lost the baby at the hospital.

  8. Great post, Heather! I am glad that you are so articulate and that people are starting to open their eyes to different ways of doing things!


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