UPDATE: Please note that I have updated this post at 7:55pm on Tues night.
I’m approaching this subject with the extreme caution of a bomb disposal expert. But here goes.
Last time I ventured my opinion on the subject of a particular type of home-birthing called ‘free-birthing’ (which shuns all medical assistance including a midwife) I was pretty much lynched in cyberspace.
It was mid last year when I wrote a feisty criticism of the practice, suggesting those who chose to give birth that way were taking outrageous and self-indulgent risks with the most precious thing in the world – the life of their baby.
Naively, I chose not the best place to publish this criticism. It appeared in the weekly blog I was writing at the time for parenting website Essential Baby. Many of the people who hang out at that website are fairly….strident in their beliefs. About motherhood. About birth. And particularly about home birth.
My piece ignited a absolute firestorm that raged for days and despite several attempts by the site moderator to broker some peace, things degenerated almost immediately to full-on abuse and hate-filled flaming of me. Being called an ‘asshat’ at one point was the nicest thing anyone said. That bad.
In the end, the site moderator had to close comments. That didn’t placate the angry home-birthers who started up new threads to keep abusing me. So then they had to delete my post – at my request. Within a week, we’d decided to part ways (they sacked me at the same time as I decided to quit!) and I haven’t written for them since. I’m sure the Essential Baby community doesn’t miss me. The audience just wasn’t a natural fit – no disrespect to them. We just weren’t suited.