Nature

The big excitement of the morning was guiding the bird stuck in our garage for 3 days to freedom. Stupid bird. For 3 days it flew into the window of the garage trying desperately to escape. The side door was wide open, but the bird refused to come down off the window sill. Yesterday, I walked over the open side door with Levi on my hip and yelled to the bird. “Over here bird! Door’s wide open!” The bird definitely saw me. Levi saw the bird, too. “Oooooooooo! Oooooooo!” he said lurching forward. That’s how I know he saw the bird. I’m going to assume it was a boy bird because he was so focused on getting out of the window that he refused to explore the other exit options. Furthermore, he was clearly uncomfortable getting help from me and would not admit that he needed to ask for directions from any other mammal. Well, he was either a boy bird or an Aries.

It broke my heart that the bird was stuck in that garage. He could easily have spent the rest of his numbered days pounding on the window pane while the door behind him offered an easy escape. I confess that I was terrified to get near the bird. I could have walked into the garage and herded him out the door, but I was petrified. There are those of you, and you know who you are, who are probably very disappointed in me that I couldn’t walk into that garage and shoo the bird out of darkness and into the light. But nature scares me. It is wild and unpredictable and a little dirty. I know I’m bigger than the bird. The bird is more scared of me than I am of it. Blah, blah, blah.

I recall walking home from school one day minding my own business when a big, black bird swooped right over my head and screeched at me while its bird toe caught a clump of my hair. It took 3 more nose dives at my head before I had run far enough away for it to cease and desist. Frightening I tell you. Maybe it was protecting its eggs or maybe my Mork & Mindy t-shirt understandably offended. I don’t know, and I don’t care. It just goes to show you that nature is scary.

This morning, Asher and Levi and I were headed to the mini van to take Asher to summer camp. The bird was still at the window on day 3. It’s amazing that this thing can survive in the wild and yet find itself trapped in an open garage. I went around to the front of the garage and pulled open the main door. I should have done it sooner, but the door is ready to fall off completely, so I wanted to wait to see if the bird would find the side door. I went back to the window where he was stationed and started tossing pebbles and sticks at the glass to scare the bird towards the door. Success. He was frightened into abandoning his post on the sill and making his way to the garage door. After a few minutes of cautiously hopping to the exit, he left and I closed the garage door behind him. “We saved the bird!” I told the boys. Then we sang a round of the Wonder Pets theme song from a favorite program on Noggin.

I know that there are many of you who are brave in the face of insects and animals, and I wish I were more so. I can’t even usher a spider into a cup so I can set it free. But we’re all afraid of nature, aren’t we? I just read PUSHED by Jennifer Block. It’s an account of the state of maternity care and childbirth in the U.S. If you are planning on having a baby or know anyone who is planning on having a baby, this book is in my humble opinion required reading.

My friend Lisa invited me to a reading of the book after we had come out to each other. We didn’t come out as Jews or lesbians (Lisa is only one of the two) but as women who had chosen physiological birth – meaning childbirth without intervention. It’s a funny thing, but I am more comfortable talking to people, friends or strangers, about being Jewish or being in a same sex relationship than I am discussing my reasons for choosing a natural, drug-free birth. Reactions vary but mostly people are horrified and think I’ve lost my mind. For low-risk pregnancies, there is nothing safer for baby or mother than a physiological birth. Anyone tells you differently, they’ve got an agenda that is not in keeping with the health and safety of mother or child or they just don’t know the facts. Sadly, we have all learned to fear and mistrust nature. It is wild and unpredictable and even a little dirty. Who better to tame nature than our educated, sterilized doctors in white?

I honestly do not mean to judge women or disrespect doctors. Why, some of my best friends are women and doctors. Thank goodness for modern medicine and the skilled doctors who deliver babies of high risk pregnancies or whose births take a dangerous turn. Nor could I possibly judge women whose doctors have misinformed or pressured or even threatened them into inductions or episiotomies or caesareans. Doctors are the experts, right? And we have so much faith in them that we don’t even question. Shouldn’t we put as much thought into birth as we do behind buying a car….maybe even a little more? Educate yourselves and ask questions.

PUSHED by Jennifer Block. check out http://www.amazon.com or http://www.jenniferblock.com

Gabriella also has a set of questions given to her by our midwife. Should we have gone into labor without the presence of our midwife, we would have had some notes to help us work with the doctors. Gabriella has carried these questions in her wallet ever since Asher’s birth as she finds them applicable to many of life’s events. Feel free to request a copy of Cheat Sheet for Birth.

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