I'll be honest, I am not (currently) a subscriber to Mothering. A friend gave me a bunch of her old copies. I've loved some articles and been irritated by others. Then a couple of weeks ago, standing in the grocery line I picked up the March-April copy, flicked it open and it landed on the Masking Maternal Mortality article. I started to read and within seconds, and again now 2 weeks later, was a sobbing mess. Right there in the grocery line! At the end of the first page I closed the magazine, not wanting to go on, but just closing the magazine didn't make the truth stop existing. So I bought my first copy of Mothering.
The article is extremely powerful. The image of the young woman and her baby who died so needlessly will stay with me for a very long time. When we read something like this I think we subconsiously search for something that makes the victim different from us, anything so that we can pretend that it won't happen to us. The article does a magnificent job of forcing us to recognize that it could happen to ANY WOMAN, ANY CHILD, ANY FAMILY and that it happens at an unacceptable rate here in the US. My English mother was horrified to hear that there was effectively no postpartum care here in AZ. The lack of care prompted her to send money so we could employ a postpartum doula, but I am one of the fortunate to be able to afford such a 'luxury'.
This article has shaken me to my core. I've started talking to people about this issue. I would dearly like more guidance as to how I can be an activist on this matter. I applaud Ina May Gaskin for not making it about hospital vs. home birth which I have seen in discussion in some blogs. For some of us with extreme health issues a home birth would never be a choice, and we need postpartum care too. Thank you Mothering. Thank you Ina May Gaskin.