I am the type of person that loves to communicate. About two months ago I put a disclaimer on the blog and on some birth stories. It was just publicly noticed last night though and it has brought a fury of debate. I feel confident in my choice to do so.
I am a very passionate, opinionated woman. No doubt about that. I feel that most of the time, birth is safe. I feel that the less intervention, the better. I jumped into the ‘birth world’ a few years ago when I realized so many women did not even know they had choices in how they give birth. That needed to change!
Shortly after I started Birth Without Fear in 2010, I conceived my 5th child. If you have ever been pregnant, then you may know that everything is taken more personal. I was extremely stubborn in my views on birth, because every blog post, every question, all the answers could have been about me as a birthing woman. The swollen ankles and SPD didn’t help either.
I was attacked for that. It was awful. I kept on going though, because I knew that my Blog and Facebook page have helped countless women in making educated and informed choices. Many women have become doulas and even started midwifery training, because of being part of the BWF Community.
Then I gave birth. BAM! No longer a hormonal, sensitive woman. I was suddenly more detached. While I still have my opinions and passion, I am not as sensitive and unreasonable. I started to realize this huge gap in the birthing world.
The natural birther vs the medicated birther. It’s nasty.
The home or natural birther has had to fight for any ounce of respect to birth her baby how she feels is best. She is told left and right that she is stupid, a fool, and putting her baby in danger.
The hospital or medicated birther has now found herself needing to defend her choices to have pain relief or interventions in labor, because surely she could have avoided it and birthed the ‘right way’.
Then there are mothers who have suffered the worst of all…losing a child. When they try to reach out for support or are scared for other mothers because of their own experiences, they were shut out. Of course no mother wants to have to think about losing a child, but the mother is still here and her story and child are very real.
This has caused a divide. It has caused frustration, anger, fights and more. Media, blogs and social networking doesn’t help.
What I found once I became a sane woman again, is this HUGE gap. I realized I was being attacked by the medicated birthers and loss moms, not because they hate me, but because they hated that I was part of the group of women who did not want to hear them. They attack because they are angry and hurt and I understood. Even through the worst of it, I understood.
When I support our moms who have had interventions or cesarean births or when I add a disclaimer to protect myself and maybe an uneducated mother, I get attacked by the other side.
It’s OK, I can take it. The skin has been thickened!
Only recently have I made new relationships and been inspired to make a change, to bridge this gap. Someone has to do it!!! Not many have been willing to forgive, love, and accept all while not compromising their own principles about life, topics, birth, etc.
I am willing.
I know there are those on all sides who will still not like this or what I stand for, but I know there are MANY more women who do. Change can hurt. But when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same…it’s time to embrace change.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t support the same things I have always supported, it means that I am willing to listen, to understand and be open to how others feel.
I am inspired by Ghandi as a woman, mother, a writer, and a birthing woman.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Being a leader requires action, not just preaching, even if it means coming under fire.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
This is just the beginning of a wonderful and wild journey. I just ask for patience and understanding. I know it will all come around and work out just right.
~January (Mrs. BWF)