While birth is immense and amazing, it’s really only the first sentence in the book of someone’s life.
If there was a tornado outside and trees blocked the driveway, if there were flesh eating zombies banging on your door, or you were just an hour away from scoring an Oroton handbag on ebay for $20 – then maybe we’d understand. But if you have access to first world care in a first world hospital – then why would you choose a third world labour?
After four uncomplicated deliveries in hospital-provided birthing centres, where I laboured without drugs in the water with my partner and loved ones around me providing love and encouragement, I too wondered why anyone would put themselves and their baby at risk.
Watch Jessa Duggar announce her pregnancy here:
Birth is always an unknown. While it’s generally more likely that you will have a straightforward labour, its certainly no guarantee. One misplaced placenta, a cord around the neck, or a baby inhaling its meconium and the ‘natural birth’ plan goes out the window being replaced by urgent medical intervention.
You see, at the end of the day, all that really matters is that you and the kid get out of this alive. While birth is immense and amazing, it’s really only the first sentence in the book of someone’s life. And birthing ceasarian isn’t a sign you flunked the birth test.
The choices that women have today for giving birth to their babies are extraordinary, with they being able to choose a drug-free natural birth in a setting where intervention is at hand only if required. It wasn’t always like this.
When my mother gave birth to me, she did it in a hospital, with on her back in a bed where she was expected to deliver her newborn into the waiting hands of medical attendants. This was clearly the best vagina ‘viewing’ platform for doctors and didn’t involve bending, squatting, or god forbid, jumping in the bath in your speedos.
The absence of gravity to quicken the baby’s arrival also meant doctors got to use their scissors a little more, snipping off bits of vagina in order to ensure safe passage for the new arrival.