Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom
if the right care provider is chosen, I wonder how much damage can be done by her being there?
Given that you can never guarantee that the person you've chosen will act in your best interest (even if that is their intention,) I don't know how practical this line of reasoning is. I thought I'd chosen the right care provider for my first -- she was well respected in the community, I had recommendations from people I knew, she had mounds of experience, she answered all my questions right (at least the ones I knew to ask at the time,) she had a pleasant, sweet, calm demeanor, our prenatals were pleasant and encouraging. What more could I do to ensure that she was an appropriate care provider for me? Yet she wasn't, and her actions during the birth led to a traumatic experience.
I had the "perfect" midwife the second time around. Yet the moment she walked in the house everything changed. I was in active labor, near transition, and managing beautifully, even enjoying myself. I was glad to see her when she arrived -- I like her a lot -- but I was instantly transported out of the altered state of consciousness I'd been in and I never really got back there. I was self-conscious and aware always that I was being watched. I let myself be led after the birth and so felt allowed (and also the need to get away from the eyes and activity) to "check out" a bit, which interfered with my bonding time with my son. The birth was healing and empowering in the sense that nobody tried to take over and tell me what to do, and it was quiet and gentle, and the baby was fine and I was fine. No outwardly obvious damage, no. But I lost something with her presence -- it feels like it was stolen, but to be reasonable and fair I make myself say "lost" -- and to me it was not a small thing.
|I personally don't think birth and sex are the same in as many regards. For one thing for sex to happen (in the traditional sense) a partner has to be present. Birth can happen alone. If sex is not meant to be alone, is birth also not meant to be alone?
It's a good question, and I'm going to try to answer it in a roundabout way.
In conception the essential dyad is the woman and man. As a heterosexual and monogamist, I'm pretty partial to keeping the sex act to that essential dyad. But many people are able to become sexually aroused, with their genitals fully and normally functional, in other configurations. In birth the essential dyad is mother and baby. It is natural and normal for it to remain so throughout the act. Nothing else is needed for it to be complete and whole in a biological and spiritual sense. But it's also possible to have other people involved and still have the body continue functioning normally. The key in this happening in both sex and birth is that anyone outside of the essential dyad be inside the experience also. Ideally, this should happen in midwifery. I get this feeling from reading a book like The Red Tent, and I think that it's the romantic vision of midwifery in our culture, but almost never the reality. It's probably similar with women having others attend a UC. Sometimes the husband isn't inside it with her, and that's not ideal; it might even cause problems. She might make that choice anyway for various reasons, just as a woman might make the choice to have a midwife there for various reasons, and that's valid. But neither choice is in itself the way birth is just "meant to be".
|Mostly because he had a lot to learn about childbirth but also because he isn't a woman and just didn't understand it the way that another woman does.
I hear you, although I think it's a mistake to say (and I'm not saying you're implying this, just running with it) that a man can never be a more appropriate birth attendant than a woman just because he hasn't given birth.
My husband doesn't understand birth
in the way a woman would (although it could be argued for that matter that no woman can understand birth in the way that another does) but he understands primality.
He wasn't that way with our first or second. He felt unable to be part of it, except as far as he was sort of given the approval to from the midwife, because other women were involved to the extent that it became "a woman thing". He was worthless, to be honest. But without someone there to make *him* self-conscious he was able to enter into it with me to a certain extent. No, he didn't feel the pain and he didn't feel the baby moving down through him, but he did enter a very primal, non-intellectual place with me and was fully present for me there. And for me that was far more positively affecting than support from my women friends would have been.