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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My midwife is super duper alternative. She's very hands off and doesn't stick to all the guidelines about hospital transfer and such. My appointments with her vary between 1 and 2.5 hours. Perhaps you get the idea.

At a recent appointment she told me about a ritual that she and her partner organize in which some stones are laid out in a field in a spiral and pregnant women and their partners do something where they walk around on these rocks and some unknown thing happens. Maybe they chant or something. Really not my thing. I'm just not one of these people who wants to go into the woods with a circle of women and chant or do a funny dance or whatever. But I often see stuff on mailing lists that I'm on about all the people who are into that. I'm not criticizing it -- it's just not for me. If I ever have to do anything even vaguely like that I get extremely self-conscious.

At my last appointment, she mentioned a vagina ritual that she does. It involves a series of seven hot towels and God knows what else. She said something about letting go of any issues that your vagina may have or something like this. And she mentioned how I have had a lot of trouble with the pushing phase in the past. She asked if I might be interested in doing this and, always keen to not seem like the total square that I am, I said that I supposed it couldn't hurt and that I'd certainly like to have an easier time with pushing than I have had in the past, so why not? We arranged to do it at the next appointment.

My next appointment is tomorrow. Gulp, I'm kind of dreading it. DH normally goes along and she said that he could come or I could bring a friend or just come on my own. She lives an hour away and I'm sure the combination of normal appointment stuff and this ritual will take a while, so I'm leaving DH home to take care of DS rather than trying to find him a playdate. And I can't imagine why I'd want to bring a friend. Maybe I just don't have a good enough friend!

Oh well, I guess there's no backing out now....
 

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Interesting. I'm generally not one for 'whooo' things, but I would just try to relax and enjoy it! Most of these things are really about getting your mind to a good place.
 

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Ahhhh....could we trade midwives please? I think you'd like mine better, and visa versa!

I'm totally jealous of the idea of having a midwife that delves into the spiritual and deeply psychological. That's exactly what I crave...but...

However, I would say that you should not do or participate in anything your uncomfortable with. Your midwife will understand if you just aren't into that. It's HER thing, and I'm sure she wouldn't want you to compromise YOUR thing just to make her happy....
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That being said, it could be really cool....
 

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As much as my crotch has been hurting these days, a vagina ritual with towels (might they be hot? Or cold! I'd like both!) sounds great ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerging butterfly View Post

However, I would say that you should not do or participate in anything your uncomfortable with. Your midwife will understand if you just aren't into that. It's HER thing, and I'm sure she wouldn't want you to compromise YOUR thing just to make her happy....
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I'd agree... If you're not into it, it's probably not going to do you much good. Rituals work when they mean something to the people participating. Otherwise, it's just a series of events. If you feel weird about it, you probably shouldn't do it. But if you're just "meh" about it, then keep an open mind and give it a whirl.

But again, I wouldn't do anything with my vagina that I wasn't comfortable with. That includes vaginal exams, and vagina rituals. When it comes to our care, we should ALWAYS feel free to say no!

And saying no doesn't make you a "square"
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm feeling less apprehensive this morning. I will try to look at it as a relaxation opportunity. I'll update you all when I return!
 

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This is just fascinating! Sorry, due date crashing but your title just MADE me click! Wouldn't be my thing either, at all, but I think I would have to participate just to satisfy my curiosity. Will you share what happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it wasn't as strange as it could have been. She has a student midwife with her this month and she was there too. Before the ritual she explained that she would be putting seven towels drenched in hot herbal water on my vagina. I think the water had chamomile flowers and a bit of lavender and maybe one other thing. The idea was to heal trauma. She asked me about any trauma that I had experienced and there really is none. I think she probably figured that my pushing difficulties were triggered by some experience deep in my past, but if they are I sure don't know what it is! She also asked about my birth (scheduled c-section due to previous vertical c-section) and my relationship with my mother, which is pretty good but has gotten worse as I have gotten older and distinguished myself more from my parents and made vastly different parenting choices.

She asked the student midwife to be my mother for the purposes of the ritual and to sit behind me while I leaned on her and sat in basically the position that people give birth in in hospitals. She had us close our eyes and she talked for a while in an affirmationy way. Then she put the first cloth on me. It was very warm but not too hot. It felt pleasant. Each cloth was for some person or group. I can't recall what they all were but it was things like all the women and children of the world and all the women who have experienced violence and I think there was one in there for my children and the last one was for my husband.

Anyway, it wasn't so strange and was certainly pleasant. I can't say that I feel different afterwards or healed, but I wasn't harmed, that's for sure.
 

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Really cool!
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Good for you for being open minded, and I'm glad it was pleasant instead of uncomfortable. Again...I'm wishing my midwife was a little less...uh...medical, and more earthy. I long for earthy.
 

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I'm glad it wasn't as awkward as you thought it might be! Man that wouldn't fly with me though! I'm definitely not a square, and you def. shouldn't feel like one for being apprehensive :) I am a really private person, and I can totally see how this could have made you uncomfortable. But then again a little camomile and warm water to the vag probably never hurt anyone
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" always keen to not seem like the total square that I am,"

You are not a square. You are you own authentic person who does not need to practice hockey invented rituals to be spiritual.

You should not do things under the influence of peer pressure so you do not seem like square. That can lead to dangerous things.

Honestly, I am appalled at your MW. Truly spiritual sensitive person would have felt how uncomfortable you are. Ethical provider should not exercise their power over their clients like this. What else is she going to "encourage" you to do that may have serious consequences for your child and you?

What does hot towel ritual has to do with maternal health care? Nothing. It seemed weired and strange an uncomfortable to you because it is and it is outside a scope of her practice. If she ant to be shaman that is what she should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In fairness to her, I wasn't all that uncomfortable about it when she proposed it. I thought it sounded wacky and different, but I was also curious about it. It was simply that, as the day approached, I wondered a bit about what it would be like. I guess I'm just naturally a bit of a voyeur -- I like to hear about things and learn about things without actually having to commit to doing them myself. For example, my daughter goes to a Waldorf school and they do eurhythmie (I'm guessing on the English spelling but I'm talking about the standard Waldorfy dance/movement thing). They occasionally offer a class at our school for the parents so we can see what they learn. I'd love to watch and see, but the idea of doing all the dancing and being a flower or whatever is just too much for me so I haven't signed up. But the idea of that makes me way more uncomfortable than the idea of this ritual did (since there was no one around to see my making a fool of myself) so I never agreed to do that as much as I would love to see what my kid is learning more specifically.

In this country, midwives are the standard and homebirth is very common. You'd think that this was a great thing, but it actually can be a bit of a curse for those who really feel passionate about homebirth because many of the people who choose homebirth are simply doing it because it's what you do, just as Americans go to the hospital for the same reasons. Most of the midwives choose to be midwives just like Americans might choose to be nurses. It's not a career that requires everyone to be 100% committed and passionate about it. They don't have to fight for it. My midwife would fit right in with the most committed, embattled midwives in US states where homebirth is illegal and they have to put everything they have on the line to do it because they believe in it so strongly. In this country where it's slowly ebbing away and women are more and more wondering why they don't have the "rights" that Americans and other nationalities have to elective c-sections and drugs, etc., I know it's a very lonely position to be in. She's really wonderful and special and I'm so happy to be able to have her for my prenatal care and at my births.
 

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Interesting.

I am for rights. I would not be happy if I was pushed into unmedicated HB . I want to have right to cahnge my mind and get pain contorl. So, yes, I get it why the women in your country are going for it. Choice is the operational word for me.

Does not educationl system for MW in your country differs from the one in US and you have different regulations?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Interesting.

I am for rights. I would not be happy if I was pushed into unmedicated HB . I want to have right to cahnge my mind and get pain contorl. So, yes, I get it why the women in your country are going for it. Choice is the operational word for me.

Does not educationl system for MW in your country differs from the one in US and you have different regulations?
No one is pushed into homebirth. People here can choose to have a hospital birth, but at this point they can't choose an elective c-section. As for medication, epidurals and such are less readily available. In hospitals in cities and such there's usually the possibility of an epidural, but in smaller or more rural hospitals an anesthesiologist is not always on duty, or maybe there's only one and he's busy with someone who really needs one, like someone having a section, and he is therefore not available to do one for someone who simply desires one.

Some people in this country feel that most of what they've had to be proud of about their birth system is being eroded. Others feel that they're stuck in the dark ages here and they want all the choice that Americans and others have.

As with all medical education the system does differ here for midwives, but I don't think it's fundamentally different.
 
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