Originally Posted by torio
There's no guarantee that any choice of birth place will be free of complications. We are all lucky when our children arrive healthy into this world--damn lucky. And yes, every woman works hard to bring her children into this world and shouldn't be criticized for the choices she's made. But I don't think that's the point of this thread. We need to share what has worked and acknowledge that plenty of women (the statistics support this!) continue to suffer unnecessary interventions and inappropriate treatment under the medical model.
Beautifully said. Thank you.
Aimee and Pauline - I'm very sorry if anything I said made you feel attacked or dismissed. The statistics, both the ones from scientific studies and from anecdotal evidence here on MDC, say that your experiences are the exception, rather than the rule, and I think that you both worked hard to achieve that. Thank you for standing up and saying that a good hospital birth, for women who choose to be in the hospital, can
be a beautiful, natural, empowering thing, and that it is worth struggling for. We need more women to have empowering births, no matter the location, and we need more providers to see
natural birth, so, as Dr Jen said, they can really know and understand and support what that means.
I appreciate the McDonald's comparison for emotional impact, but I think the bakery analogy is more accurate - natural birth in the hospital is
possible, and it can be beautiful and sacred, but it takes so much work that most of us would rather skip, and currently, it does have a large amount of luck involved (ie being near a hospital/bakery that has all the "ingredients" you're looking for). Choosing to birth at home requires swimming against the cultural tide, which is work itself and there's an element of luck in just knowing that it's an option, but having an intervention, med-free homebirth is
easier, it is much more likely to happen.
I don't believe women should
have to fight to have a sacred, normal, natural, ordinary experience. I feel like that is the overarching point of this thread - we just shouldn't have to fight, and there is an option that doesn't require us to. You did, and you got your amazing birth, and I think that's fabulous. I hope that your daughters, should they choose or need to go into the hospital, won't have to. If they don't, it will be in part thanks to you and women like you and doctors like Dr. Jen, who get
birth and put the effort in to create good experiences in the hospitals, and it will be in part thanks to us and women like us and midwives like Pam who work to show how easy a natural birth can
be (although, of course, even at home birth takes work! but of a very different kind than we're talking about here).
Finally, there are the intangibles - the reasons many women choose homebirth. The domesticity, the ease, the comfort, the power. When we talk about those things, and how we cannot find them in the hospital but do find them at home, this is not an attack on your
experience of the hospital or your
birth. It is often an indictment of a previous hospital experience that the homebirthing woman has had, and her negative experience is just as valid as your positive one - it also may be more representative of how MDCers have experienced hospital birth than yours, which I think is both tragic and illuminating.
No one should be saying "it's impossible to have a good birth in a hospital" any more than anyone should be saying "I had a good experience in a hospital so anyone can". Both of these statements negate someone's very real experience. It is both acceptable and common to say on these boards "I can't imagine having a good experience in a hospital" or "The odds of finding what I want from a hospital birth are basically nil" or "Hospitals just don't offer what I want" and none of these statements should be seen as an attack on the hospital births other women have had and enjoyed, but as attacks on the hospital system
which fundamentally is not set up to support and nurture the laboring woman nor the motherbaby dyad nor the new family. By its nature, it cannot be, although it can and must
do better than it does today.
Do not expect to find hospital birth apology on the Homebirth forum. If you see a statement you find false (like "a good hospital birth is impossible for anyone"), do stand up and say "I'm proof that's wrong." But also acknowledge that especially here in the homebirth forum, and also largely on MDC and in the US, yours is the exception. It's good to be reminded that exceptions happen, and it's good to know how to work to better your chances of them happening, but exceptions they still are, especially here on a forum for women who have good reason for seeking an alternate path.