Our first child was born by emergency ceasarean after the placenta gave way at 34 weeks.
We hadn’t got to unusual events at ante-natal classes so I had no idea how dangerous this was for the baby and me and I had only the vaguest idea about ceasars.
That might have been a good thing because almost everything I read about them after the birth was negative. Women who’d had them had wanted to have “natural” deliveries and because they hadn’t been able to they felt cheated, they felt they’d failed, they felt guilty.
That was 24 years ago and I’d hoped that things might have improved in the interim but today I came across the story of a baby who died after an unassisted home birth and the Did I cheat . . . post at The Hand Mirror which in turn reminded me of Plan C, from last year which included this:
I was very very unhappy with the caesarean black-out the midwife seemed intent on, especially as our ante-natal class facilitator had gone on at some length about the evilness of any intervention in the birth process, practically portraying the various drugs as Death Eaters and casting the C-section as Voldemort himself.
How can anyone who regards themselves as a health professional make a woman feel this way?
And why do women put so much pressure on ourselves and each other to have “natural” deliveries?
Birth is a natural process but so too is death and you only have to wander round old cemetries with so many graves of young women and their babies to realise what happened when it was all left to nature.
The whole point of being pregnant is to have a healthy baby and if delivering one requires assitance from health professionals, midwives and/or doctors, then we should be grateful they’re available.
Rather than seeing this as a failure we should be thankful that we’re not like women in other times who didn’t have access to modern medical practices, or those in other countries now who still don’t have the luxury of first world health services.
Every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, every delivery is different. But pregnancy and delivery aren’t competitions and they shouldn’t be political campaigns either.
Hat Tip: Clint Heine
UPDATE: In light of Sandra’s comment – the baby in the link above didn’t die because it was a home birth, it was because the mother refused any assistanace.
UPDATE 2: Azlemed posts on birth . . . why do women feel like failures.