August 20, 2010

Making Our Own Decisions

I was inspired to share this letter from one of our students.


People often talk about “defining moments” in their lives. I can now safely tell you that the conversation we had after class a few weeks ago in which you gave me Dr. Rodke’s name and hooked me up to talk to Trisca, the mother that delivered a vaginal breech baby, will always and forever be a defining moment in my life. After speaking with Trisca and meeting with Dr. Rodke, I made the most important decision I have made, to date, in my life. With only a week to go until my due date, I switched to Dr. Rodke’s care and will never look back. I felt an incredible weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and that I was, at last, at peace with my breech situation and ready to have my baby. I was so grateful to have finally found the support of a doctor that was going to allow me the opportunity to have a vaginal breech birth. My former doctor was not open to this and had set a date for a cesarean.

Last Friday, (June 25th) three days before my due date, and only one week after meeting Dr. Rodke, my daughter was born! I had the most incredible labor experience, all thanks to Dr. Rodke. From the time we arrived at the hospital to the time my daughter was born, was only 5 hours! And I was able to deliver my breech baby, vaginally and completely drug free, just as I had been wanting to all along. Add to that the fact that Dr. Rodke’s massaging during delivery made it so I did not tear at all and required no stitches, and I was truly in awe of her talent.

I cannot gush enough about my doctor, but I also cannot thank you enough for bringing her into my life. I needed to be reminded that I had a choice in how my baby was going to be born and who was going to help me with that. For that one post-it note with her contact information, I will be forever grateful.

Thank you for being a force of positive change in so many women’s lives, especially mine.


It can be easily forgotten that you, the pregnant mother, has the power and ability to make choices about how you would like to see your baby brought into this world, and how you choose to raise your child. Sometimes those choices are easy while at other times they can be met with resistance. By examining the choices that you will encounter during pregnancy, labor and delivery and motherhood, you have the opportunity to explore what is truly right you as an individual, regardless of what others think.

The decision to breastfeed, or not to breastfeed, is a perfect example of such a choice. Throughout the month of August, we celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness month. The media is extra focused on highlighting and supporting the benefits and choice to breastfeed. In a recent article, Food For Thought which was published in the Boston Globe, a woman explains her experience as a bottle feeding mother. The article does not deny the health benefits of breastfeeding; however, it discusses the judgment that bottle feeding mothers face. What I find empowering about the article are those mothers that are swimming upstream against the popular choice, and who are doing so with courage and conviction.

This is not unlike the “Home Birth Movement.” Many people do not understand this choice and immediately dismiss it as unsafe or even careless, even though many medical studies have come to the conclusion that it is just as safe, if not safer, then a hospital birth for low risk women. Similar to the breastfeeding article linked above, going against the norm is not wrong, it is a choice.

Anri’s birth story is a wonderful example of a mother making a tough, but honest and authentic decision which honored the way she needed to birth her baby. Thank you, Anri, for inspiring others to look deeply inside themselves to find their true voice and stand by their decisions.

To further explore some of the options the laboring mother may come across, please check out:

Educate Yourself, Know Your Birth Options



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