Breaking Dawn: One Midwife’s Review…

…of the trailer.  I admit I have not seen this movie.  Nor am I likely to.  I watched the first Twilight movie with my mother and sister-in-law and although they are planning to go the latest Twilight installment, I am not likely to be invited given the loud guffawing and shouts of “Oh my god!” and “is this for real?!” that came out of me.  Ahem, back to my review of this movie, in particular, of this movie’s birth scene…

Now I warn you, watching a “movie with a birth scene” with a midwife is probably something you should reconsider doing.  Unless you are a midwife and/or are into the “misery loves company” type of get together.  As a midwife, watching Hollywood birth scenes is excruciatingly painful.  Watching a midwife watching a birth scene one might think the midwife herself is actually in labour what with the teeth clenching, pillow gripping, profanity yelling, crying, inappropriate outbursts of laughing and, on occasion, she might lash out at her companion in a physical violence kind of way as she wonders why said companion is not as troubled by the scene in front of them.  It is like a bad parody of every TV/movie birth scene ever made only it is happening right beside you on the couch or worse, in the movie theatre.

The latest Hollywood attempt at depicting birth on-screen promises to be just as nausea-inducing as any other.  Click here if you dare:

You can tell just from this trailer that Bella is of course on her back to deliver and of course it is an emergency and of course she attended by an inexperienced ‘care provider’ who (I’m just guessing) will probably instruct her to push as if she didn’t feel that urge herself AND (again, just guessing) who will likely need to take off his shirt to dry said baby (c’mon you KNOW he is going to at least once in this movie). The worst part of this is that this scene will be burned into the minds of all young men and women of this generation and it will reinforce all negative stereotypes and misinformation regarding childbirth just like all Hollywood birth scenes before it.  Press play.  Repeat.

CBC’s own Eli Glasner wrote this scathing review:—part-1.html.  He hits the nail on the head with this description: “This is a delivery that makes the Alien chestbursting scene look like a scraped knee”.  Mr. Glasner, wherever you are, I think I love you!

Unfortunately given this country’s Twilight addiction, I know many of you will go to see this despite my warning.  The only thing I can offer you is “Labouring Under An Illusion”, a brilliant movie, as an antidote to the birth insanity in Breaking Dawn:

Time will tell if Bella’s birth scene surpasses my “favourite” Hollywood birth scene in”Where the Heart is” where Natalie Portman gives birth in Walmart, on her back with some guy who jumped through a plate-glass window to “save” her.   If it does I think I feel a “midwives only” film festival coming on, where we watch all of our “favourite” birth scenes together.  The movies of course will be on mute and a microphone will be provided for spontaneous commentary and alternative dialogue.  Maybe this is the sort of get together that should be taking place in living rooms across Canada, midwives or not. Who is with me?


An Ode to the drive home after a birth…

This photo essay of driving home after a birth seemed like a lovely way to end my on-call week.   Early this morning I attended another lovely homebirth “out in the country” (the second in less than 24 hours).  And so I was given the gift of this glorious ride home.
Quite a sight – hundreds of bikes lined up against this farm fence…

I have been driving these now familiar roads for the past 7 years and today as I drove, I smiled as I passed the houses where I had attended a birth or a postpartum visit in the past.  And I thought of the  mothers and our visits spent admiring their little ones or enjoying a cup of tea together or taking a deep breath as we worked through some breastfeeding challenges.  I remembered the excited siblings who woke groggy-eyed to meet their new brother or sister.  My smile grew wider as I thought of each of them still snug in their beds or just getting up to start the day, totally unaware that the person who was there the moment they were born was driving past and thinking of them.

Imagine the sound of running water under your feet - wonderfully relaxing or dangerous for deep sleepers

I felt gratitude for the wonderful and skilled women I work with and for be able to do the work I do.  And although these photos were taken with a horrible Blackberry camera, they still capture the beauty of where I live and where I see life, beautifully.

Wishing I had more time to sit and dip my toes in...but off to the office I go!

I stopped for a few moments every time I passed a particularly gorgeous spot, aware that I couldn’t linger too long.  A drive home from a birth doesn’t always end in a bed and today it ended with a shower, some food, a trip to the real estate agent’s office, a meeting, some clinic, a homevisit, parent-teacher interviews, a lovely drive home with my family and now, a blog post to capture it all!

Okay, one more deep breath...trying to soak it all in quickly which is never as good as taking your time

So.  Finally, it is time to partake in the midwives’ time-honoured tradition of…falling asleep, truly tired from a days work, with wonderful and warm images like these dancing in my head.  Good night!