I'm copying the whole thing, because I can't seem to quote the embedded quote...
I was well informed about the risks of HBA3C. I did months and months of research, starting before I got pregnant. (In fact, I knew far more about the risks than I'd have known if I'd stayed with the OB, because he never told me about the risks - just pulled the dead baby card on me at every visit. I also knew the risks of multiple c-sections, which is something the medical community never once mentioned to me...except for the OB pressuring me to have a tubal after ds2.)
The results of my HBA3C were disastrous. My son died, and I was broken. I'm still broken. I didn't even try to fight my fifth c-section, because I was broken (I'm sure the doctors actually thought I'd seen the light - they're wrong). I will never, ever be the same. The thing is...people like you point at the HBA3C gone wrong and the damage it did, and that's what you see. You don't see everything that led up to it. It's easy to point at the HBA3C as the reason I broke and my baby died. But, if I could do my reproductive life all over again, I wouldn't even see the inside of a doctor's office or hospital, except if there were an emergency.
It was your choice and going by your posts, I believe that yours was indeed an educated, well-researched one.
With birth, there's more than just the risk to the baby that figures into a mom's choice. Going by some stuff I've read, care in the L&D departments in the US can be abysmally bad, and I understand if a mom is so daunted by the prospect of facing that, that she decides to take her chances with a HB and I think that's perfectly fine...as long as the mom is truly completely aware of all the risks and implications. Which you were.
I'm not actually in the US. I'm Canadian. I have no idea whether the care I received would be considered good or bad by anyone else, but I found it horrifying. (Okay - I lie. I'm pretty sure most people would be upset, at least, about being drugged and cut open after refusing consent...but that one was a looonnng time ago. Their butts were legally covered, beause I signed the blanket consent and the only people who heard me refuse were my ex, who would be considered biased, and a bunch of hospital staff.)
Your definitions are different than mine. If I know the pilot has very few hours of flying experience (or has only used a simulator) and I get in the plane, anyway, then I've got to own it when I get injured in a crash (or killed, but I can't own it if I'm dead, yk?). If I choose a midwife that I know has only attended 20 births, then that's my choice.
And I very much appreciate that you will share your definitions with me. Even though I'm sticking to mine where my life and the life of my family are concerned, getting input from somebody from the "other side" makes it easier to understand where people are coming from, what influenced their choices....and ultimately to respect those choices.
Fair enough. I talk a lot, and it usually seems that I'm talking to no purpose. Maybe not...
But, unlike you, I don't see care providers as the person responsible for the baby. I see the mom as that person. You and I are coming at this entire discussion from completely different places. (You know, I was responsible for my children's conception. I was responsible for their health during my pregnancies. I'm responsible for their medical care and decisions since they were born. Why is that time of transition from in utero to outside the one time when the woman is expected to shut up and do what she's told?)
Yes, a mom is responsible for making the best choices for her kids that she can. But I also believe that no mom is superman (or rather supermom). Being a mom doesn't suddenly confer the power to gain deep insight into complex medical problems within just a few months that have taken others (midwives / OB's) years to comprehend and appreciate. Yes, a mom is responsible. But as they say here: no man (or rather no woman) is an island and we shouldn't have to shoulder the weight of the world on our shoulders alone.
And if there IS someone, be it a friend or a hired professional, who offers to help us carry the weight of that responsibility, they should make sure beforehand that they are able to indeed carry that weight with us.
There's nothing more horrible than relaxing for a moment, thinking you are safe, because the other (implicitly or explicitly) promised they would look out for us and we trusted them....only to find that trust, that promise betrayed.
Well, I've never really relaxed in the moment in the hospital, because it was made clear to me very early on that I couldn't trust them. I sort of get what you're saying, but if we're trying to establish a situation where a woman can only make her birth choices under the rules someone else has set out (ie. no underground midwives), then she's not responsible, because she has no autonomy. (I find it interesting that you say women shouldn't have to be Superwoman. The only time I've ever felt that I was expected to be Superwoman was when I was expected to get through massive psychological trauma with a smile on my face, because I had a heatthy baby...and when I was sent home to look after all my children, when I couldn't physically look after myself.) I'm not sure what the licensed midwives are like, because I wasn't allowed to use them by the time I knew about them (I'd already had two c-sections, and once the doctors have mangled your body twice, you lose a lot of choices...which was NOT disclosed to me when I was pushed into section number two). I know that the doctors have absolutely no interest in "helping me carry the weight of that responsibility". They want to take over and don't acknowledge that I have any more involvement than signing a consent form. I'd trust an underground midwife over a medical professional any day of the week. My last OB was pretty good, but even she made a few decisions that sent me around the bend.
ETA: I also don't see midwifery as a medical profession, which is one of the reasons I don't feel that a license should be required.
*g* Different worlds again. I always thought of midwives as some of the first medical specialists EVER, boldly offering health care and medical assistance long before anybody else came up with it.
Health care and medical care are two different things, imo (one of the reasons all the talk about "health care" in the US makes me nuts). Medical care, imo, is about treating illness. Pregnancy isn't an illness.