I was having a discussion with a fellow student of herbs. He has been a student for many years and has traveled the world in his pursuits of knowing more . He believes in the natural process of healing and very rarely uses medical practitioners of any kind. He is all natural until it comes to birth. When I mentioned something about homebirth to him he immediately said that wouldn't have worked for his wife because she or the baby would have died. My next question to him was, what makes you think that? He went on to tell me a familiar story of a labor that didn't fit the time limit, an augmentation with Pitocin, an epidural because of the pain, a drop in the baby's heartbeat and an emergency c-section. Now I don't know for sure that this was an unnecessary but it sure fits the common domino effect that happens to many women. The progression of interference causes an emergency.
What troubles me is how often birth doesn't fit into the mold of natural processes that don't need medical help in the eyes of people that in ever other way trust the natural ways. This was someone who would not look at any other bodily function in this way. The powerful word "death" makes people forget who they are and what they believe. It is an end all to discussions about birth and everything else besides trauma in birth. I had 4 healthy babies at home and I have very rarely shared my birth story because when I say homebirth I get interrupted with, "if I would have done that I or my baby would have died."
Now it is true, like in all of life, people do die, babies do die. There can be trouble in birth where medical intervention is needed and welcomed. It is also true that this is not the case most of the time. It is true that there are car crashes every day as people are driving about doing their normal activities and some people and babies die. This is not the case most of the time. We are scared into believing that it is more normal for terrible problems to arise than everything to turn out well when it concerns birth of a baby.
We can be talked into almost anything whether rational or not if someone pulls the death card which happens all too often. In some way, it is the same as saying , if you don't do it my way you'll die. This sounds very threatening to anyone, even more to a mama whose body is busy about the task of labor or to a father that is being overwhelmed by seeing the power of birth in his wife's body.
It's time to understand birth as the process that brings a baby into this world. A powerful process that rocks everyone to their core. A process that is intricate and perfect that rarely needs help. Often, if help is needed it is only a little help and rarely a full blown surgical intervention.