When it comes to birthing in our country, there are many different opinions on what is safest for mom and baby. What it comes down to is, there is not one blanket right answer. Yes, most of the time, the more unhindered the birth, the safer it is. However, every mom, pregnancy and baby are different. Each woman needs to choose the tests, interventions and place of birth that makes her feel the most comfortable and safe. The best way for this to happen is each woman being educated and informed of her choices. Making decisions for her and her baby should be made from a place of trusting not only birth, but trusting herself. This takes faith, strength and support.
I want to share a story I first heard when watching The Pursuit of Happiness. This is my friend Liz’s version.
There is a horrible storm and an entire city is flooded. A man of great faith knows that God will save him. As the water starts to fill his house, rescuers in a big truck knock on his door, “The city is being evacuated, come get in the truck.” “No,” he says, “God will save me.” Soon the water fills the first floor of his house and he climbs up and stands on his upper-level porch. Rescuers come by on a boat, “We’re here to save you, get in the boat!” “No”, he says, “God will save me!” The boat leaves. Soon he is standing on his roof, and the water is almost to the top. A helicopter comes to get him. “No!” he yells, “God will save me!” Soon he is overcome by the flood and drowns. He meets God in heaven and says “God! I believed in you, why didn’t you save me?” God replied, “I tried! I sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter!”
I do believe in God and I also believe he gave the gift of having instincts and intuition and knowing when I need help or to check things out. If I believe in God, would I not do those things? Believing in God doesn’t mean you just sit back and say ‘oh everything will be fine’. It means I have faith to follow the promptings of the Spirit and do what those promptings/my intuition tells me!
I trust birth more than most people I know. Birth Without Fear is about helping women educate themselves, letting women know they have choices and helping women overcome fears so they can trust birth. With knowledge comes responsibility. Trusting birth is very important, but of equal importance is women trusting themselves! This can go either way. If a woman feels tests in pregnancy are not right for her, she should be listened to. If she educates herself and feels a VBAC is more safe than a repeat cesarean, she should be supported in this. If a woman doesn’t want vaginal exams, no one should come near her vagina. If a woman knows in her gut that being induced early for whatever reasons she is being told is unsafe for her unborn child, that must be respected.
On the other side, if a woman will know she will feel reassured everything is OK if she hears baby’s heartbeat, then she should hear it. If she feels something is not quite right and wants an ultrasound, she should get one. If a woman feels that anything at all is off or not OK, she should get it checked out, be listened to and supported. See, it goes both ways.
Women are criticized for having too many interventions or not enough. There has to be a middle ground. Birthing Without Fear means a woman is educated and knows her choices. It also means she follows HER INTUITION and what is right for HER. It is her body, her baby, her birth. Every mama is on her own journey, every pregnancy, birth and baby are different. If a mama is making informed choices and listening to her intuition, who are we to judge? That is when we have compassion, respect and give support.