What bugs me….

Why am I not writing more in my blog recently? I’m not sure – I’ve started writing probably 5 different blog posts and end up deleting them because in so many ways it seems like it’s all been written before. I like the posts that I’ve made that are ‘educational’ – explaining inductions, Pitocin, episiotomies, etc. The problem is that there is already so much out there that I don’t want to waste my time re-writing the books that are already written.

Then I think about doing an opinion blog…and then I think, “Will it matter?” Amid the oceans of opinions that are on the internet, why would anyone care what I think?

If it’s not an educational post, and it’s not an opinion post – then what is there to write about? You see my dilemma? So let me be selfish for a bit and post a short opinionated vent that might even be a little educational for some people (heh).



When I hear someone say, “I had a natural birth” – only to find out that they were induced at 39 weeks because they were tired, had an epidural, episiotomy….etc. I suppose you had a “natural” BIRTH in that you had a baby come out your vagina, but that’s as much natural as you had it.   What does the term natural mean?  Not that….

When I am talking to someone who finds out that I’m a midwife and their response is, “Oh, I LOVE my epidurals!!” (wait – I’m not to what bugs me yet! That’s fine and dandy with me, I totally get that and I’m glad that they had positive experiences with an epidural!) But as we continue the conversation and they start telling me about how they have horrible heartburn and their doctor gave them some prescription but they don’t want to take it because they don’t want the drugs to get to the baby….that they won’t even take Tylenol because they are pregnant….they are M-O-R-T-I-F-I-E-D if they see someone pregnant take a sip of wine!! But on the day in which their baby will go through the largest physical transformation they will ever have, the ONE day in which drugs will have the biggest possible impact on that baby….on that day they almost proudly declare, “Load me up!”

Let me make this clear….no, it is not just that your baby’s lungs start breathing, it’s so much more than that. Let’s look at just your baby’s heart! What happens IMMEDIATELY at birth…
… As soon as the baby is born, the foramen ovale, ductus arteriosus ductus venosus and umbilical vessels are no longer needed.
… The sphincter in the ductus venosus constricts, so that all blood entering the liver passes through the hepatic sinusoids.
… Occlusion of the placental circulation causes an immediate fall of blood pressure in the IVC and right atrium.
– Increasing uptake of oxygen by lungs (first and subsequent breaths) induces a vasoconstriction of ductus venosus and ductus arteriosis

What does that mean? It means that there are a whole lot of changes to your baby’s lungs, heart, liver, blood pressure, kidneys…..so many changes happen RIGHT AT BIRTH!! Your little tadpole, in the space of a couple of minutes, becomes a frog! And it’s at that moment that you will gladly take “as many drugs as they are willing to give me!” Can you hear yourself? When did this become acceptable??

It’s socially unacceptable to take a sip of wine when you are 28 weeks pregnant…but totally okay to do Stadol and get an epidural with Fentanyl in it (Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than Morphine) – in fact, it’s weird if you don’t do that. I don’t get it.

When people spend more time researching their next car they intend to buy, looking up what type of mattress is best when they need a new bed, scouring the online reviews to see what type and size of television they should get…..and yet hire the doctor that their neighbor used without so much as a thought. The only thing they research is what size fruit their baby is this week – and don’t research interventions, options, tests, procedures.

They will spend $9 per person to go and see a movie, $30 to go to dinner with their spouse – or even $175 on a crib bedding set even though they KNOW they shouldn’t put that comforter in the crib with the baby and that it’s JUST FOR LOOKS!!! Yet that same person will claim that they can’t afford a doula, or that homebirth is just too expensive.

Where are your priorities? You’d rather spend money on toys your baby won’t give a care about, and paint for the nursery, and gadgets like swings and exersaucers – than you would on making the birth better and safer for you and your baby? Your television and car were more important purchases than your medical care.

When I work SO HARD to respect the process, give the mom as much patience as I can muster, fight to keep my hands off of a woman (and out of her!)….and then I hear someone at the birth say, “You guys don’t do very much, do you..” like it’s a negative. To those who would say that my response is this: If you’re lucky, I won’t do much because that means everything is healthy and good. But I promise you…if I DO have to do much, I earn my keep and you will be very very glad I’m there! But can you imagine looking at a lifeguard by a big pool and saying to them, “Wow, you don’t do much but just sit there, do you!” You don’t EXPECT them to jump in unless someone is drowning…and when your child is the one he jumps in to save, you will be glad he was watching over things! Be grateful when his job is boring and he’s able to just sit in his chair…that’s a good thing, not a bad thing! And if there’s nothing for me to do, that’s a good thing.

And finally, when someone on the computer types like this, “How RU? going 2 the game 2nite? I have 2 go cuz bff is..” IT IS THE INTERNET, NOT TEXTS….AND IT MAKES YOU SOUND STUPID! OH, AND FOR THE RECORD, TAKE YOUR CAPS LOCK OFF BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE YELLING!

Phew….I feel better now.


  1. Angela Padilla wrote:

    Ah, I love you Stephanie =)

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  2. LOL I love it. and – Agreed on all counts!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
  3. mishalee wrote:

    Yesterday in line at the store two women behind me were talking about how they HAD to start their babies on formula IN THE HOSPITAL, because they didn’t make enough milk. I feel angry, sad and determined all at once when I hear crap like this. Keep on educating Stephanie, you never know what seeds you might plant, that may lead to better births for those women down the road. (And vent so you don’t go crazy!)

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  4. Tatiana wrote:

    You’re so awesome Stephanie. I just love you!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  5. Lynn wrote:

    Love it!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Kelli wrote:

    You are not alone at all, I feel your frustrations too.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  7. breanna ledner wrote:

    I talk like that ALL the time bcuz I nurse whem im on the computer and I’m always 1 handed! 🙂
    I love ur blogs!!!!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
  8. Shannon Guse wrote:

    NO, I’M NOT ANGRY!!! I JUST LOVE THIS BLOG!! 🙂 I agree Stephanie! Keep blogging for your sanity & for those out there that need more education!! Love ya! Muah!!!

    Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
  9. Shari wrote:

    Soooo true, if people would just listen to themselves and THINK about what they are saying. It’s definitely an uphill battle but you are fighting the good fight Stephanie! Love ya!

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 12:51 am | Permalink
  10. lael wrote:

    Oh Stephanie, I have been following your blog since you began. Everyday I log on hoping there is some new insight of wisdom from your soul. And todays post… It made me laugh outloud and yell “yes yes”z at the computer screen. I hear the same things over and over. We could add…. my doctor said my baby is to big so it wont fit out or my favourite one I just heard….. I have to have a c section because I have Excema. Are you kidding me!!
    And the one about we cant afford extra childbirth classes, but they just dropped $1000 on the latest pram!!! Buy a sling.

    Anyway, this ranting feels so much better. Keep up the amazing work. You are a true angel of birth.

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 1:57 am | Permalink
  11. Jenny Brost wrote:

    Love it, love you, love your passion!

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  12. Beth wrote:

    Heck yes! I agree with *everything* you just said! Rage on!

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink
  13. Crys wrote:


    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  14. Amy Drorbaugh wrote:

    Mwhahahah…this is totally my favorite line “The only thing they research is what size fruit their baby is this week” because it’s so true!

    Here’s why you should keep blogging Stephanie: yes everything may have been written in a book before but let’s face it; the vast majority of pregnant women are not going to pick up a book that’s actually going to educate them! They’re going to read “What to expect when you’re…” which is pretty worthless. But most women WILL read blog posts. So you keep educating and I’ll keep bugging every woman I know to read your blog. OK? 🙂

    Oh, and ditto on the texting typing. One of my biggest pet peeves ever! Especially people who use no capitalization and no punctuation.

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  15. Jennifer wrote:

    I so agree with everything… And on top of not affording a Doula or MW, I focus on your comment about the paint in the nursery… Speaking of putting chemicals in your body! Won’t take a Tylenol, but did you open the windows (and leave them open for a couple weeks) to help fight the off-gassing of typical paint you would buy at HD or Lowe’s? OR Spend a little more for a no-VOC paint, or even better, a milk paint… But I digress 🙂

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  16. Rachel wrote:

    I LOVE your blog! I’m so glad you vented, because it made me feel better, too.
    I understand this feeling you have: Why say the things that have been said so many times before? Well, because we care about what *you* are thinking *right now*. Thank you for letting us in on the battle, too.

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  17. maria wrote:

    Your posts matter to me and even if only one woman is changed by what you write, you will have made a difference.

    I can very much relate to your frustration. I often pull my hair out as well. In fact today is such a day. I go back to what I believe is true: Every mom wants what is best for their baby. So get this out of your system, and keep educating, meeting every woman where she is. One change for one person, even if it does not embrace everything, will still make a difference.

    Thanks for all that you do!

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  18. Maggie wrote:


    My husband and I got into it the other day because I told him I wanted to hire a doula (we’re not, becuase he isn’t comfortable with it). He told me, “there’s always something new with you. Stop reading all that CRAP on the internet and just let things be.” I looked him straight in the face and gave him the lecture about how I had decided to take the “red pill” and there was no going back now. He hasn’t said much of anything about my “wierdness” since, even though he makes google eyes at me when he finds me in the back room sewing my own cloth pads.

    Your blog is AMAZING and so full of information and passion…I love reading it, and you have planted so many seeds in my brain. I wish I had the pleasure of knowing you in real life.



    Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  19. Sara wrote:

    Along with those comments…what bugs me is when I *mention* homebirth or birthing without an epidural to a pregnant woman and she Immediately has a horror story about someone she knew having a homebirth and their child almost died, or her last child would have died if she wasn’t in the hospital. I mean, that’s not even statistically possible with how many women have homebirths! And I keep hearing “the cord was wrapped around his neck OMG and he almost died- thank god I was in a hospital and had a c-section..”

    Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  20. Trena wrote:

    Stephanie – I will have my first meeting with you next week and already feel so connected with you! I love reading your blogs because you have some personality and SPUNK, which I absolutely ADORE! People are so brainwashed by fear (of all the “what-if’s”) into hospital births and c-sections. Gag me with a spoon already!! I love that you challenge the status quo – I like to think of it this way…Just because everyone else is jumping off a cliff, would I? Uhhh, not today thanks! Anyway, as already mentioned, we want to know *your* thoughts and philosophy and this is one way for us to do that. I am so encouraged by your posts, and even comments from others, that I CAN have a home birth, even as a first time mom, and that I am NOT crazy (as all the horrified people suddenly make me feel when mentioning that I want to ** GASP ** have a natural birth – for real – at home). I think I’ll stick with Mother Nature as long as I can, and trust my OB, the hospital, and modern EMERGENCY medicine should an emergency arise. I do believe that with better communication, and the ability of individuals to educate themselves, that your vision of the future will come to be some day – hopefully sooner rather than later. God Bless!!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
  21. Mandy wrote:

    AMEN! (sorry for the caps lock, but yes, i did mean to yell that amen!)

    or how about when they sing the praises of the epidural, you ask if they had side effects, they say no, then go on to tell you how they passed out or itched, or were freezing cold? i would call those side effects!

    Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  22. Stacey wrote:

    So very well said. The epidural part is the one that hits home for me. It’s hard core drugs – how is that ok? Anyway – venting is good – feel free to do that again. :0)

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

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