trust your gut

When I was pregnant, I read a book called “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin Derossi It detailed how your intuition, the way you know things without knowing how, was your most powerful weapon against violence and abuse. Humans have a tendency to ignore their intuition in favor of fairness or facts, but it may not be the wisest choice.

I remember one of my first appointments at Better Birth of SLC. I was teary eyed and very, very nauseated. Susan Smith was rather short with me, and didnt’ even acknowledge that I had been crying during the whole appointment. She said something like “its probably not worth it to listen for a heart beat yet”, and I felt even worse. That might have made it easier to hold on a bit longer before resorting to nausea medication, and it would have taken a few minutes. I had read so many descriptions of how joyous pregnancy could be, and I felt like she treated my extreme nausea (I seriously could not drive, read, or watch tv) as an attitude problem. In the week after that I practiced telling her how her reaction made me feel, but I couldn’t get up the nerve to confront her about it. I actually ended up having only one other appointment with her after that (if I recall correctly), so I didn’t have much of a chance. I had some uneasiness about Ester as well, but I told myself that these feelings probably stemmed from me not examining my privilege as a white person enough, that I was probably just projecting stereotypes onto an undeserving woman of color. Sounds pretty foolish in retrospect, but its the truth. I wanted very badly to believe that I had made the right choice and that this was the place to go to have my autonomy respected during labor. When you want to believe something badly you can twist yourself into knots trying to justify it. If you never say it out loud its hard to recognize the absurdity.

If there is one thing that I have learned from birth trauma it is this: it doesn’t matter what someone says, or what title they have, you should trust what your gut says. If you have a bad feeling, leave. You don’t have to justify leaving a practitioner for any reason, you don’t owe them anything. You know what is best for you and you baby.

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