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!!