Monday, March 18, 2013

Knowledge Is Power: Part 2

Three weeks ago  Nearly two years ago (yikes!) I started on this train of thought (and on this blog post).  I think I got busy and distracted again.  Story of my life!  Can I even remember why I hopped aboard this train?  What was my destination?  Who planned this trip, anyway?  And where is the conductor?

I am a Mom (which has already been established, I know), but what you may not know is that I've done the whole pregnancy/birth/Mom thing more than once.  Something else you may not know is that I have birthed at home, with only my husband present.  Yes, it was intentional, and even if it hadn't been, things happened too quickly for any other option.  What does this have to do with "Knowledge is Power"?  Let me tell you.

Back before I got pregnant with my very first (20 22 years ago!) I was fortunate to have started learning about natural healing, healthy foods, and how drugs/doctors can mess things up in an otherwise normal healthy body.  I decided then that I wanted a home birth, and found a midwife.  She was awesome!

I know I took up much time with my midwife, talking to her and asking questions, and borrowing her books.  I learned so much and loved to share my knowledge with my friends.  I know that having my baby born outside a hospital was the best choice I could have made, and I wanted all my friends to have the same wonderful experience.  Sadly most of them went the route of doctors and hospitals without even reading about it, or talking to a midwife.  "It's my first, so I'd be too afraid."  "My husband wants me to be where it's safe."

If only they had sought some KNOWLEDGE then I know that they would have had the POWER to do as I did without fear.  (Lest I get some negative feedback, I'm not saying that all women should birth at home, or that all hospital births are bad; hospitals and doctors are supposed to be for non-normal, emergency situations, and in those instances are the absolute best place for you to be.)  I wasn't sad that my friends chose a doctor and hospital; rather I was disappointed that they didn't make an informed decision.  They didn't have the knowledge and facts necessary for that, and instead simply bowed to peer pressure: they went with the status quo.  They chose to remain ignorant.

Because I studied this issue I had knowledge, which gave me courage; I wasn't afraid.  I then gained experience because of this knowledge.  Because of this experience, when we were "on our own" we were confident and unafraid.

This is a lesson that applies to many aspects of life, not just pregnancy and childbirth.  This was a personal example of something where I was emPOWERed to act based on my knowledge, but let me see if I can come up with more.

What do you choose to eat or feed your family?  Some people don't give it much thought, and just go off what they like, or what they think is the cheapest.  But what if you or your child are ill, or have allergies?  Again, some people never seek knowledge, and continue down the same path, only to cause greater problems.  But what if you educated yourself, armed yourself with knowledge and understanding?  Then you would be able to make better choices on what food to eat, maybe what herbs to help with healing, possibly even what medicine to use or avoid.  You can learn how to save money by cooking from scratch with Real Food.  Then maybe expand that to learning how to grow that Real Food.

You don't just jump in the deep end of the pool or hop into the driver's seat of a car without knowledge of what you're doing.  And even then you will be cautious as you try things, usually with supervision and instruction from someone who knows more than you.  As you increase in understanding and experience then you will have power to actually swim or control the car safely.

Knowledge gives you the power to make informed decisions about everything in life.  We can't just go with our feelings, or tradition, or peer pressure, not if we really want to be responsible for our own life.  Do you head off on a big trip without knowing where you're going or how to get there?  Do you marry someone without knowing them?  Not usually, at least not in our culture.  Should you allow your child to have vaccines without knowing what they are, what they do (and don't do), and if it's safe for your child?

I do not claim to know everything, and I do not know what is right for you.  What I do know is that I need to be educated to make the right choices for me and my family, and I hope that you would feel the same.

I think I remember where I was headed with my original thought, so I will be working on Part 3 next.  Stay tuned:  I don't think it will hope it won't take another 2 years for the next post.  :)

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