Hey, Sunbaby. Here's a big warm hug. And an apology if it was my note that you responded defensively to. It was not my intent to create friction. May I clarify?
I have two seemingly opposing belief systems operating here, and I may have come across strongly as a result. My first belief is that each individual's decision is right for him/her and that there is no universal right or wrong. Inherent in that is accepting that someone else's "right" may be my "wrong" and that doesn't make either of us bad, or poor parents, or poor decision makers or anything like that.
My second belief is that our society puts a lot of stock in modern medicine and that the modern medicine community is fairly one-sided in it's views of things. What often ends up happening, in my view, is that individuals then make decisions based on limited information. (This can be true whether the person is involved in the modern medical world for a disease such as cancer or a wellness such as birth.) I do get mad about that.
In terms of birthing, I think every obstetrician should be aware of the very different approach of midwives and make that information available to their potential patients, and that midwives should similarly make their potential patients aware of the very different approaches of obstetricians and provide pertinent information on that method.
The more I have researched and learned about birthing practices, the angrier I have gotten at the medical system. Having said that, I know that there are some instances in which it is provides miracles and is a God-send. I just think that it has become over-protective and over-used to the point of doing damage. (It is hard to swallow, for example, that the US national average for C-sections is 25% - and the World Health Organization's recommended rate is no higher than10%!!!) That over-zealousness is at the basis of my personal concern about the various tests that are offered and is part of my reason for not taking them.
The best book that I have read thus far that highlights, in an unbiased, direct and scientific way (yet is exceedingly easy to read!) the differences and the pros and cons of hospital and midwifery care is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
by Ina May Gaskin. (The first part of the book is filled with stories of natural childbirth at home or at a midwifery birth center, the second part is written by Ina May and covers what I mentioned above. While Ina May is a midwife and clearly thinks that for most births it is a preferable way to go, she admirably keeps this out of her reporting about various options and procedures available to birthing women.) I highly recommend it as a way of gathering information so that decisions can be made based on a more well-rounded basis of knowledge.
My wish for you, Sunbaby, and all of the other expectant mothers & fathers out there (including myself!), is that each of us makes decisions that we feel really good about - that fit into our individual mix of knowledge, belief, emotion, spirituality, desires etc. And that no matter what the results are we can look forward with pride knowing that we did the best we could do at the moments of decision making.
i am feeling a little defensive right now. maybe no one is really trying to correct my chioce, but i am feeling bad. i thought we'd just talk about our choices as individual families, and didnt ever think it would come out feeling kind of like a debate about the merits vs. risks of ultrasound. maybe i am just sensetive. i am all outa sorts from the election and many of my interactions this week seem to leave me feeling stressed. sorry if i am being really emtional. could someone pls just give me a hug now?