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North Carolina Loves Hospital Birth

I should be sleeping but — UGH! I’M TOO MAD!

I moved here from a small town in Arizona. It was weirdly small — not small in the way that there are rural towns and then you drive 45 minutes down the highway and hit a city. I mean small like, there was nothing but even smaller towns for three hours in any direction. Once one of our dogs was attacked on a Saturday night at 10pm; I had to choose between the emergency vet (which was one of the three local vets who was on-call for the weekend, like, the answering machine gave the vets’ home numbers and you called whoever was mentioned on your weekend) putting the dog down, or sedating the dog so I could drive three hours to an open 24h emergency vet.

There wasn’t a psychiatrist. I always found that really amusing. There’s no mental illness in small towns!

Anyway, I was the only doula, and the hospital was a fairly typical small-town hospital. There were a few OB groups in town who had CNMs, but they were all basically the same except for the one renegade CNM (there’s usually one). There were no homebirth midwives, although the CPM credential was recognized.

I was so excited to move to North Carolina where I thought birth would be so much more progressive. After all, my city is the banking capital of the southeast! It’s a big city! We even have sports teams!

And, of course, birth is more progressive here than in Arizona. Here there are many many hospitals; there are two entire healthcare systems. However, it’s the classic case of the machine that goes ping; these hospitals are big and fancy and expensive and they want to make the most out of every birth.

Newer and better and fancier and more expensive does not make it better.

And putting perfume on a pig does not make homebirthing women want to go to the hospital! That’s another thing NC doesn’t seem to understand; they seem to think that if they make midwives illegal, the rest of us will say, “Okay then, we’ll go to the hospital.” No, we’ll still home birth. Or we’ll go across the border to a birth center, which is making a killing because the legislators and hospitals in NC are not listening to women, and the birth center is.

I’m writing this because tonight I read yet another biased article including an interview with a hospital CNM who talked about the wonderful new “maternity center” that includes jacuzzi tubs and pictures of babies on the wall. Is it in the same building where one might go if one had flesh-eating bacteria? In the same building where one might go if one had bacterial meningitis? MRSA? Rabies? A tapeworm? If so, there’s no way in hell I’m having a baby there, queen size beds or not. My bed is king sized. And my toilet is the perfect size for having a baby.

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