Not so much brave

No big surprise, Mothering.com has a wonderful article about home birth. I really appreciate this one in particular and chose to link to it because it is honest and personal. It explains the way this couple went from thinking home birth was a reckless and selfish fringe political statement to the safest way to have their baby. Also, the article is written with painful honesty, not the holier-than-thou judgment that I honestly think is rare but happens.

Here is a great quote about how hard it is can be to communicate with people who subscribe to the conventional medicalized view of birth:

“While some family and close friends expressed concern and apprehension at our decision, the response of strangers or acquaintances was often neither concerned nor supportive, but some variation of “Oh my gosh, you/she must be brave; I/we could never do that.” This response was maddening because it negated the only important reason for our decision to have a home birth: We had decided that it was the safest approach for Windy and the baby. Our decision had nothing to do with bravely forgoing anesthesia or making a political statement. But it seemed that any response I might make, however polite, appeared to be a critique of the other person’s choice of a hospital birth.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Not so much brave

  1. I get the point the author of the article is making, but I have to be honest, as much as I wanted to MJ born at home the ONLY reason I didn’t do it was because I was not brave enough. I figured that it would be much better to have her born at the birth center since as a first time mom I didn’t think I needed fear to complicate the issue.

    I don’t think that someone who calls a person who chooses to have a home birth “brave” is anything other than a compliment. Sure, it is probably in the end, a safer way to go, but it does still take a lot of guts and faith that nothing will go wrong .

  2. Yes, I totally understand the comment, too. Same for me, I didn’t have a home birth with either child, and now I totally regret it. For me, I was more unfamiliar than truly afraid. But, unfamiliarity breeds fear, and there should be a healthy fear of complications.

    But, I understand their reaction to the comment, because I react the same way to people who think I have some sort of high pain threshold or that I am somehow extra determined or brave to have foregone an epidural. No way. I am scared shitless of anesthesia and major surgery.

  3. Yes, I get the point. It does irritate me when people act like having a natural birth is the most unnatural thing in the world. And if there is a second baby I’d really like to have him/her at home… now that I’ve been through birth once before and I’m brave enough to try it.

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