My Response to Someone Else’s BS (belief system)…

I get notice from google each time something concerning unassisted birth appears on the web. I must say I was naive in thinking I’d never come across something like this as my intent was to get notice of more of the beautiful UC births videos I’ve seen.

Instead of another beautiful video of an unassisted birth, I came across the following blog post condemning unassisted birth.

When I first saw it, I only read a portion of it, got really angry and couldn’t respond. Now, with a little inspiration from “Natural Family Today” posting a diplomatic response, I decided to give it a shot. Reading over the first part of the post, I responded with a little of the following:

“It seems to me that you are perpetuating the very fear mongering you accuse OB’s of spreading concerning homebirth. You also note that a “trained and experienced midwife can recognize the signs of a normal birth gone wrong way before it becomes a dangerous liability.” I find this to be a rather prideful and pretentious statement. It denotes that the pregnant woman is a complete moron who doesn’t know her body or baby well enough to know when something is wrong. As a mother, I am the first to know when something is awry with my body or baby as I have lived with both my body and baby the entire time. Of course there are many who are not in touch with their bodies and babies. There are many who prefer to give all responsibility for their bodies and babies over to Ob’s and midwives but there are those of us who, for many reasons, wouldn’t dream of handing over our bodies, births and babies to anyone else just because they are “trained and experienced”. Their “training and experience” does not make them an “expert” with regards to my experience.

Oh my and the “training” issue. I loved what my friend Jill McDanal said regarding licensing. She talked about how a license means that one has met what was minimally required in order to carry out whatever the work is that’s involved with that license.

So a new driver for instance, obtaining a license means that person has met the minimal requirements to operate a vehicle. It does not mean they can operate a vehicle in gusty winds, torrential downpour or snowy conditions. Furthermore, how many, when they obtain their license, continue to learn with the fervor they once employed before getting that piece of paper? Most consider themselves done and “having arrived” when they have that paper in hand.

Another point I take issue with is the pseudo “informed decision” adage that’s commonly touted by people who don’t truly mean it. It seems that one is only informed if they come to the same conclusions as they, the “experts” do which is that UC is irresponsible.

Because I don’t see birth as a medical event, I don’t see the need to have anyone with “medical training on standby”. It is a normal physiological process. One either believes it is, or it isn’t.” It’s mentioned that 5% of all births have complications (legitimate ones not caused by interventions) so, does that mean the other 95% should have someone with medical training standby just in case? This is akin to parents hiring a pediatric surgeon to babysit just in case something happens. Who lives like that?! Oh, actually it is this way with regards to birth in America, so ok, point taken.

So that’s about as far as I read but with this being a hot topic for me, I can go on deeper and further.

I personally find the whole medical training to be a huge issue with regards to regularly mixing it with normal physiological birth. Introducing pharmaceuticals in the home environment can prove to be deadly as I believe the hospital is better equipped to deal with possible ill effects of using things like oxygen and other drugs in the home. (If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of oxygen, keep a lookout for Jill McDanal’s class “Oxygen: Leave Home Without It” from the 2012 Trust Birth Conference here.)

This comment right here, “Always evaluate the risks using game theory, or common sense, by weighing the progressive, idealistic birth against a lifetime of regret if death ensues.” is precisely why I choose to give birth outside the hospital, and now without a midwife. Who besides me and my family will have to deal with the “lifetime of regret if death ensues”- or any type of trauma for that matter? I’m sure the obstetrician from my first birth does not even remember me or my daughter let alone live with the consequences of what he did to us both during that experience. He’s likely clueless about that fact that this girl, now 14 still has an extremely sensitive scalp and actually remembers being pulled out by her head with a vacuum extractor. He wasn’t there when I had to go back to have vaginal tissues repaired and painfully removed months later because of the tear he caused and botched up sewing job he did.

In another post by this same blogger, she wrote that “Where there are no midwives, there are unassisted births”. I agree and disagree. Sometimes it is indeed a matter of there being no midwives available and women feeling safer going unassisted- which speaks volumes. I wonder though, if she’s considered the advent of there being women who present themselves as “midwives” but thinking women, see through the facade and choose unassisted birth instead. Then there’s the other woman, who even when surrounded by authentic “with woman” midwives, not medwives, not women who are more “with license” than with woman, still chooses to give birth without a midwife. Has that been considered?

It actually pisses me off that any midwife would think she is an integral part of birth when she’s not the one giving birth. Of course if it’s the midwife herself giving birth, she’ll be there so carry on but seriously all that is absolutely needed for birth to happen is a woman and a baby. There are many instances where midwives arrive after the birth takes place and there was no explosion or combustion just because “the savior” wasn’t present. If I had an intention to hire a midwife, one who thinks like this would never make it to my birth. She’s too self important and seriously, this is my birth. Having such a midwife present in my opinion is akin to playing Russian roulette as the post mentioned having an unassisted birth is supposedly akin to.

Lol, she mentioned “the kool-aid” and how we shouldn’t drink it. Too late! I had some and it was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!

10 thoughts on “My Response to Someone Else’s BS (belief system)…

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but why do we force mothers to have to choose between a OB, a midwife, or to go UC? Why can’t we instead force change in the hospital system? Other countries, have figured out a way to do so, why can’t we? I know people that have birthed throughout Europe, but they all said the same thing, they could give birth, in a hospital, without the fear of being pressured into interventions, having choices on how to birth, and knowing that they would be supported. Many of these people tell me often that they cannot understand how we Americans can feel a need to see a doctor for such a normal thing as birth. In many countries an OB is reserved for complications only, they only see you after you have been referred to them. And it is not that way here because birth is a business, not a natural process. If we took the monetary factor out of the equation, what would birth look like here? What if the reimbursement for a c-section was less than a uncomplicated natural birth? Would we all of a sudden see a rise in natural births and a dramatic drop in the unneeded c-sections? Until we make natural birth profitable it won’t become common. Why would an OB want to spend 10-14 hours waiting for a mother to labor, to have to been on hand, if not in hospital, to respond when she is ready to go, while only making a mere fee, but on the other hand, if he gets that mom to consent to a c-section, whether by coercion or pushing of pitocin to the point of fetal distress, he makes easily 3-4 times that nominal fee and his daily schedule is free all of a sudden. Make natural birth profitable, and the system will change. Birth is just one piece of our incredibly screwed up medical system.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly AJ. I was one of those women who, when pregnant with my first, just wanted to have my baby in the hospital-without any interventions. I was told that was fine but found out very differently during my birthing process so that experience taught me that the hospital was not for me.

    The state of birth in America is quite pitiful. I find that women who want an unmedicated birth in the hospital have a tough rode ahead of them as this system is decidedly against such a birthing woman. I have seen very few hospital births where a woman’s wishes were respected and carried out and curiously enough, most of the few that I’ve seen go the way women wanted were with obstetricians.

    You said it best… It would be perfect if midwives would serve at births for women who want a care provider and the surgeons would stick to the few births where they are truly needed.

  3. I sometimes have no words for the stupidity of some people who believe themselves to be smarter than mammas or more important than mammas…I love you Patrice…keep talking.

  4. I love it! I sure wish I had you at least on the phone with me during Paige’s birth. I allowed the doctor talk my husband to talk me into having the epidural. It was the worst experience of my life. I am still suffering from pain associated with post epidural headaches. I wish Paige were my first child, instead of my last. Therefore, I would totally go the natural, unassisted child birth. Thank you, Patrice for always being unafraid and confident enough to speak up and out to these unsupported OPINIONS of folks like this!!

  5. Evelyn, that breaks my heart! 😦 I wish I could have been there for you too. The whole system is just so messed up and totally against anyone who just wants a natural birthing experience. It’s horrible. Thanks for reading my long rant and always supporting me. It’s not easy to do this sometimes but I can’t shut up about it.

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