Wednesday, August 27, 2008 have got to read this article...

but its not even an actual article!!! This was just a personal rant, by Corin from's blog....I wish I could write like this...she totally needs to have this published or something!!!! Please read!!!....

"Why is it that everyone automatically assumes that midwives would be COMPLETELY unprepared for any sort of complication during labor?????

When people hear the term "midwive", what do they conjure up in their heads?

It has to be something completely off and totally devoid from all reality. Honestly, it has to be.

I'm getting really tired of hearing the same response over and Over and OVER and OVER again every time I am asked "the question"....

Q. "Oh you're pregnant! When are you due?!"

A. "August."

Q. "So what are you having?!"

A. "We don't know."

R. "Oh! I could NEVER do that!!!" {bulgy eyes}

~Okay, brace yourselves, here it comes...~

Q. "So where are you having the baby?"

A. "At home."

Q. "Which hospital?"

A. "At home."


~Oh! Here it is!!! Are you ready?!~


Deap breath in ....and *siiiiiiiiiiiiigh*

I have tried answering this question in every way possible. I have tried avoiding it. I have tried expanding on it. I have tried giving personal testimony of my own daughters birth. I have tried answering politely, I have tried answering briefly, comically, honestly, openly, shortly, informatively, with hand gestures, without hand gestures, on my head, swinging from a tree branch, army crawling, hitchhiking, making big faces, making no faces, being calm, being happy, being solemn, being overt. I have tried answering this question in every known way possible to man {um...wo-man}.

Yet, I am still left with the nagging, questioning, "I don't get it" look on the other person's face.

My usual response is something along these lines...

"Good midwives are extremely well trained professionals. They bring emergency equipment with them to every birth and are very prompt at identifying a potentially dangerous situation."

I'm not going to go into a huge diatribe on every single fact I've ever studied about homebirth and midwives. That would take hours. So I give them the best possible answer I can give in the thirty seconds our conversation is likely to last with a few kids at each of our feet.

Plus, I don't feel obligated to give them an extensive, drawn-out, sit-down, "Now look..." answer. This is why I love having a birth blog. People can come here themselves and get all the information they want. They can seek it out themselves. That way, I know I'm writing to an audience who truly wants to be informed and learn about their options.

But honestly, lately when I get asked "the question", I am starting to believe that these people aren't really asking for the sake of becoming informed, but rather as a polite {and completely ignorant} way to say, "Oh! How irresponsible, you're baby is going to die!"

The reason I have started to believe this is because most of the time, their response is not, "Really? Wow, that's really interesting. Do you know where I could read more about that?"

Usually their response is an argument. Or some sort of glossy rebuttal or sugar-coated, "Yah, but what if..."

So here's what I think.....If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

I think from now on the tables should be turned. I think this will be my new response...


A. "Hmm...that's an interesting question. Well, if something goes wrong either one of four things will happen. 1. {The most likely scenario} My midwife will identify the problem and help to resolve it. 2. My midwife will identify the problem and know that it requires greater medical attention than what she can provide and I will be transported to the nearest hospital. 3. My midwife will not identify the problem and it will self resolve. 4. My midwife will not identify the problem and one or both of my baby and I will die or suffer serious injury.

Now let me ask you a question.....

What if you're laboring in the hospital and nothing is going wrong? What if you're laboring and nothing is going wrong but because you're on the hospital's time schedule, they induce you. Then, because they induced you, your contractions are much too powerful so you need an epidural. But because you got an epidural and have also been on pitocin and possibly a few other drug concoctions, your babies heart rate starts to go crazy. Or your heart rate or blood pressure starts to go crazy. Now there is an emergency situation. Now you need a cesarean. But during the cesarean you get an infection and two days later you die.

All when nothing was going wrong. Nothing was going wrong but because you were in the hospital having a medically managed birth, complications were produced and you or your baby suffer for it. Then what?

Could you fathom that your chances of being in the hospital when nothing is going wrong, and having something done to you to make something go wrong.....are much greater than me being at home and something going wrong on it's own and not being caught in time?"

Now, I completely understand that the person asking the question will either have stopped listening by now or probably just have walked away already.

But, unfortunately I do not feel that trying to give the clean, pretty answer is working anymore. I feel like they just want to argue. And I'm not going to argue. I feel like when most people ask me, "What if something goes wrong?", what they're really wanting to ask is, "Aren't you going to feel bad if something goes wrong?" And my answer is, "Aren't you going to feel bad if something goes wrong in the hospital? We have the second worste infant mortality rate in the industrialized world, that's a pretty big possibility you have there."

Maybe next time I get asked "the question" I'll just say, "Go google it."

*Okay, I would like to take the opportunity to pre-defend myself and the midwifery model of care at this time for all of the homebirth horror stories that are about to come out of the wood work.

I would like to end this post by saying simply.....

-People have died under the care of a midwife.

-People have died under the care of an Ob/Gyn.

There are homebirth horror stories, but there are also many, many hospital horror stories. Unfortunately, homebirth horror stories are vastly glamorized while hospital horror stories are largely masked and under-reported due to a large number of influencing factors such as a society that is generally obedient to a medical authoritative figure as well as the marketing and strategic tactics of an established medical and pharmaceutical community.

If you don't believe that the midwifery model of care is safe, then don't use it. And we all can continue to enjoy the most expensive and least productive maternity care system in the industrialized world."


Stephanie said...

I love this article! It's so true! Society tends to believe whatever doctors say is the best and forget of course they are going to do what's best...for them! I can only hope that more women will become familiar with their own bodies, options, and then be able to choose what is best for them - not let other people decide what is best. If that means a home birth then great! If that means a scheduled c-section then great! The purpose is for women to have ALL the information and be able to make a decision that fits them and their families.
Oh, and I think it's amazing that you want to have a home birth...that will be such a wonderful experience.

fearlesschef said...

I actually had one of my step-sisters beg me to "promise" that if the baby wasn't born within 15 hours that I go straight to the hospital. She did nothing to educate herself on my choice and criticised my decision soundly. She was induced for both of her children's births and had an epidural. Go figure.

At first, my husband and I thought we would avoid telling people what we were doing for our birth method. Then it occured to me that this wasn't something that I was ashamed of. So talk about homebirth and the Bradley Method I did. I was SO glad we did what we did and I plan to do it again! I am very anxious to continue reading your blog and learning a bit more about how you are living with your darling!