Dh and I were just talking about how Time magazine has done this a couple times lately, presenting an opinion piece as an article.
I'm on both sides of the opinion here. I do think we have some responsibility, but honestly there are SO many variables. I had a myomectomy and have had to fight tooth and nail to have vaginal births. I don't know one single person to have a vaginal delivery after myomectomy besides myself-on MDC, even. If you have, then we should start a tribe! I had to bring up a lawsuit, even, when I was barely even pregnant. During labor I had to fight the entire time against a c/section or an epidural. I didn't have much support but luckily my mother was there to tell them I will NOT have a c-section. I vaguely mentioned wanting drugs after 20 hours of hard labor and was given nubain before I had a chance to tell them I wasn't serious. There was never a time when anything was presented to me as my choice. I took childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, parenting classes. Never was anything presented as a choice-you circ so your child doesn't get HIV, you do what your doc says so your baby doesn't die, you vax so they don't call CPS, you lay down flat and be quiet because that is what good patients do. It was horrible. After 3 hours of pushing, my doc gave me a numbing shot for an episiotomy and luckily I became lucid enough to see the scalpel and say the word "lawyer" and she stopped before she cut. That was pure luck. Even though I had stated numerous times NO episiotomy at all. For any reason.
With my son, I was told my uterus would rupture and my child and I would die because he was "huge" and my first was large at 8 lbs. 1 oz. There was no way I could physically birth them. I was a single mom with a 1 year old. I worked at the hospital and knew better than to question them or their anger would arise. I wasn't given a choice-just a time and date to be there and do what they told me. I should have known better. I should have magically found money for support or a doula or something. I should have researched (with magical internet I didn't have and money I certainly did not have). I should have said no. Instead I was yelled at for being a wuss while they messed up my intrathecal twice. Then the nurse pushed my son back into me to wait for the doc to get in the room. Afterwards I had my placenta manually extracted seconds after we came out as standard protocol. This wasn't choice-they were up to their elbows before you even realized it. My son was early and had neurological and digestive delays because of their mistakes. My mistakes for trusting them.
I had one person (ever) tell me that it was my fault. That smart women have easy births and nothing goes wrong. Don't want an episiotomy? Tell them. If you're proactive and informed nothing will go wrong. I found that incredibly insulting. Things can always go wrong and there are always variables. My surgical history, like VBACs put me in a different category as your average woman who goes in in labor. Just because of the word-not because of the facts. It could depend on the mood of your nurse or doc, administrative changes, quotas, finances, insurance, that particular nurse, anything. To say that you can just call up the head of OB and explain to them that you'll have a fine VBAC and all will be dandy is absurd. To tell me that I deserved to hemorrhage and have a seizure because I didn't fight after a traumatic birth to prevent them from pulling my placenta out is very insulting and wrong. So I feel sorry for the author. I think we all need to be educated and I believe her presentation is insulting to a lot of people, but I do feel sorry for her and don't believe it's entirely her fault at all.