In blog posts, videos and everyday conversation, I am often comparing the two seemingly opposite worlds of “medical/hospital birth” and “holistic/midwifery care/homebirth”. I have been focusing, as you may know, on the differences in actual healthcare between the two, as well as reasons to consider one or the other.
There is one huge, underlying point which I am afraid had gone undetected by some readers/watchers of the opinion I have been putting out there. I totally take the blame, as I am continually reminded (by lack of addressing this point) that I cannot gloss over anything or assume that anybody already has certain information. This one eluded me, though ironically, because if you know me it is the foundation of how I operate both with my homebirth clients and in providing natural birth education to the internet world as well.
So, I know I am killing you with suspense. What is all this about?
I guess I have forgotten to spell out my underlying philosophy. Well, here it is.
Information-it’s for everyone and anyone that wants it. Natural birth, homebirth, midwifery care–I do not draw any boundaries, cultural or financially, or based on any stereotype. I have attended births and cared for women in teepees, Amish women, Lesbian women, etc. I could care less who you are (in a stereotypical way) or where you come from. We, as WOMEN, are ALL entitled to information and we are all entitled to birthing our babies as we see fit; and in gaining our own empowerment from that experience. I am no more “expert” than you are; especially about yourself. Being “midwife” (unlike being “doctor”) does not change me in my mind when compared to any other woman. I am a woman- one that has chosen, as my life’s work, to educate and love and guide other women and babies.
So, would it matter to you if I looked or presented myself differently to the world? Seems silly, right? It’s hard to believe that a well-meaning reader (of Indie Birth) would be concerned with me having a (purposefully) “hippie” appearance. Actually, she wrote, “it’d be best if you wore some clothes and a hairstyle that’s a little more formal”. It made me “appear uneducated”. So, after I got over wondering where she got that nerve, it got me thinking about the bigger issue. The one that affects all of us.
It’s not REALLY about me. It’s about all of us that have chosen, will choose or are choosing our right to birth our babies in love and privacy, not violence. Since when does that have to LOOK a certain way? To make a difference in the world, we have got to get away from the idea that those with “authority” are above us, “formal”, more educated. That, as midwives, as WOMEN, we have got to appeal to the doctors and the men out there wanting to tell us how to birth anyway. Let me tell you, a lab coat or scrubs is not going to change anyone’s world. And in my world, it’s not for the better.
I know she meant well. This reader, that is. But the truth is, the problem is hers. My appearance bothered her husband; but if either of them, or you, is looking for someone to be the authority, to tell you what to do, and then believe them because they look a certain way… then you are probably not ready for a homebirth. That is the simple truth.
Would I address a council of doctors or stand in a courtroom with my hippie midwife attire? No. But when I address the women of this country, this world, about their power as women, I will not try to put myself above them. Above YOU. We are all sisters, if not in this lifetime, than another. There is no one more powerful, more authoritative in your life and your decisions than YOU.
So, thank you, dear reader. You have enlightened me to the fact that there is even more work to be done here than I thought. There’s no discrimination here–any volunteers??