Week 22: Words for the hospital and some for home

I could write these on cards, or just memorize them. Or I could look up this blog post should I need to.

“Please do not touch me.”

“I’m going to decline IV fluids, thank you.”

“I would like to decline that procedure at this time.”

“I will sue this hospital”

“Thank you for the information. We will let you know our decision.”

“I am exercising my right of informed refusal.”

“I understand your hospital’s policy of X and I decline.”

“Can I speak to the supervising nurse.”

Then there are some more interesting affirmation-type things I wrote in a journal. Riffing on the fundamental concept of my autonomy in all things.

My body, my choice.

My body, my baby.

I will decide what’s best for me and my baby.

I demand respect.

I decide when. I decide how. I decide if. I decide what.

I am a person.

I can invite, I can welcome, and I can banish.

I welcome and I bar the door.

My body is my house.

I surrender to labor but not to human fear, greed or violence.

My comfort level is the most important one.

I smile and politely refuse.

I can say “I do not consent to this.”

I can scream “Rape!”

I will take names.

I know a defensive stance.

I am running the show.

I don’t need anyone to walk with me, but I am happier in community.

I will seek, hear and welcome advice, but I may not follow it.

I will speak clearly when I say what I want.

Yes means yes. No means no. No is a word I can say whenever I want to.

I hold the power in the relationship.

I cannot compel – those who wish to leave may leave.

My wishes may challenge assumptions.

My wishes may try my advisors’ patience. If they fail, I can go alone.

I control what humans to do my body.

What God does, is God’s will.


About investigatingbirth

My investigations of birth began in 2009 when I was trained as a doula. I helped women consider the evidence on common interventions, and helped them prepare for the physical and emotional challenge of giving birth. After some time it became clear to me that there was another type of challenge that I was unable to adequately prepare them for, the challenge of the maternity system. But it was only after my own traumatic birth in 2013 that I realized how little I had understood. I began to ask questions that few around me - doulas, nurses, midwives, doctors - were comfortable hearing. Questions like: Under what circumstances, and for what reasons, do doctors not practice informed consent? How do hospitals deal with other patient populations vulnerable to abuse? How does loss of professional autonomy, for obstetricians, and professional authority, for midwives, impact the quality of care they are capable of providing - regardless of their training? This blog will collect noteworthy information that attempts to answer these and other questions. Most of what you see here will be aggregated from other sources and analyzed. You will also see original interviews, and the occasional opinion piece or personal story, as I try to piece together a clear picture of the system in which American women give birth.
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