I was invited to see the first performance of the Birth play last night. It’s on this weekend at the Johannesburg School of Arts in Braamfontein.
I must say, I was a little sceptical about it after reading the blurb on the invitation. I had 2 elective caesars, and although I know a few doulas and from my years online and being a part of an online mom’s forum, I’ve heard plenty plenty birth stories with many horror stories about natural and caesar births… but even then, I really wasn’t sure what I’d get out of a play about birth… and from what I read it sounded like natural birth.
Well… I loved it!!
It wasn’t just about natural birth. The birth stories they relayed were a mixture of elective caesar, emergency caesars and natural births… some with doulas and midwifes and some without. I think any woman, who’s given birth by any means, would walk away from the play thinking about their experiences and marvelling at their bodies and about the strength of women and the need for support for mothers during birth. The need for someone to really listen to the new mother and even speak on her behalf to make sure that her needs are met.
I just loved the tag line “My body rocks”, and it’s so very true.
I’m not going to give the endings away, and after chatting to a few of the midwives, doulas and yoga practitioners during the break, I walked away still feeling that your choice of birthing method is a very personal one. And the one person I spoke to was right… it’ll be right for you when you feel empowered.
My only criticism about the play, is the portrayal of gynaes. They were only portrayed as men, and seemed to me to be quite harsh. I love my gynae, who is female, and she definitely is not like those portrayed in the play… although at one stage she asked for a second opinion from a witchy bitch of a gynae when I miscarried the last time (and the bitch just told her… not me… that’s it’s “gone” and to “just get it out”… no sorry you’ve lost your baby again)… but anyhoo enough about me…
From the Birth story website:
“Birth, a play by writer and childbirth advocate Karen Brody, is performed as part of a global activist theatre movement known as BOLD. It uncovers the secret lives of eight low-risk women in labour as they confront coercion in hospitals and uncover “my body rocks” strategies for obtaining a powerful birth experience.”
“BOLD is a global movement to make maternity care mother friendly. In 2006, there were 40 performances worldwide of the play, Birth, by Karen Brody. In September 2007, there were over 100. Book your tickets to see the first Bold Birth Play in South Africa ! “
Proceeds from the ticket sales will be going to Busfare Babies. It’s the first birthing centre that’s been set up in a rural community in South Africa, in the Eastern Cape. From what was said about it last night, it sounds like it’s being well received in the area, and they’re doing amazing work in providing gentle birthing facilities to women who would not ordinarily be able to afford it.
So if you’re at a loss for something to do this weekend… go and see it… it’ll be an empowering experience.