Oh oh oh , what woman who wants to feel the full ripeness of her femininity when she is pregnant wants to have a mucous plug – a glob of snot – in her vagina? The Yoni (Sanskrit word for sacred place/space) would never hold on to such a substance – it would sneeze it out, time and time again.
Let’s all start understanding that the words we use to describe the things that are going on in our bodies makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves. Baby gel is the word I use for the gooey, warm, soft – well – gel that forms at the end of the pregnancy (it is not a plug, nor does it sit there the entire nine months) and then is released as the hormones change at the end of the ninth month, or to signal that the body is getting ready to birth. Some women see their baby gel several weeks before they go into labor, some see it as the labor begins, some note is when they are on the toilet and wiping after urinating, and some never see it at all.
I refuse to use the word patient for the women who hire me as their midwives. Patients are sick people in the hospital. They are my PM’s my pregnant moms or my clients. They are not sick, nor are they in need of medications, tests, IVs the way that patients in the hospital may be.
I don’t ever use the term “due date” and we MUST get away from it. There is no such thing as a “due” date – only a guess time which spans five or six weeks. Most of my pregnancy clients come to me already having figured out their due date… either on line, or by an ultrasound. I will say it a thousand times over and again – not only may ultrasounds be even more dangerous at the beginning of pregnancies to developing babies ( and babies hate them for good reason), but they are notoriously inaccurate for dating babies. And so much goes awry as a result of that date being firebranded into everyone’s brain.
I add ten days to two weeks to all of my first time and/or healthy mothers’ “due dates.” If they have long cycles, if their mothers or sisters birthed past the EDC ( that is another term that I don’t ever use – the expected date of confinement – oh puhleeze. If only five percent or so of women birth on their due date, then it is NOT a due date, it is a not-due date. I suggest to them to add two or three weeks on to the date that the computer gave them, and to tell their entire family, and all of their friends, that the baby will come when it is ready, and not a minute sooner. Even when women know their exact conception date, and even the hour ( as was the case with a client who has husband who was on a European business trip all but one night in a month), each woman’s “oven” readies babies differently. If I put cake batter into my oven, calibrated at 350 degrees, and you put the same batter into yours calibrated at that same temperature, my cake might be finished in 56 minutes and yours might not be done until 58. When calculating an approximate time when a baby will arrive, there are so many factors to consider – genetics, diet, hormones, moods, climate, general health – to name a few.
The words we use speak volumes. What if we had a word for an obstetrician who had less than a ten percent section rate, and one for a doctor who had more than a forty percent rate – corrected of course for certain situations that absolutely require a cesarean… Um, I can’t really think of very many offhand, come to think of it. What if we called midwives in the hospital who do pretty much the same thing that obstetricians do – you know: induce, break the water, restrict food during labor, only offer a single bed to laboring women so their partners can’t get into it with her, insist upon testing, etc. – medical midwives… i.e. mEdwives (not my word, but brilliant. What if we had a better word to describe a baby in utero besides “it” when we didn’t know the gender (more on this in another blog, folks) – as in German, there is a pronoun that designates either male OR female – “es.”
What if, when we spoke to women, we used words that proved we were careproviders and not scareproviders?
And what if we called a cesarean major abdominal surgery? I am scheduling you for major abdominal surgery on Tuesday sounds different than telling you that your cesarean has been booked, doesn’t it?