Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Natural Birth: The Ultimate Feminist Manifesto
Let me get this strait, there is considerable political turmoil and fighting over a woman's reproductive right to abortion, but a woman tries to have a VBAC and the crap really hits the fan?
I admit, I don't get it. I am not interested in politics necessarily, and I definitely don't want to have a conversation about abortion, but I simply do not understand how we can put up with this.
Isn't it a woman's right to birth how and where she would like?
Why must we fight an uphill battle to avoid an epidural in a hospital? Why is midwife attended home birth still illegal in some states? Why do we have to fight so that our babies are not fed man made formula from a man made plastic bottle? Why are so few of us having home births with women by our side? Why don't we believe in our ability to create and birth and feed our babies?
Here is another question-
Why do we seem to want it this way? How can we demand equal pay for equal work, but as soon as a contraction starts, scream in pain like a child and beg for a knight on a white horse (or an OB in a white coat) to save us from our bodies? Why do we buy into this culture of misogyny that tells us that we must distrust and even hate our bodies and that a surgical incision into our abdomen (of all places!!) is easier and even better for our babies?
This makes me angry. It makes me angry that doctors play the bait and switch game with new mothers, that epidurals are pushed, that when I talk to students and they tell me that they can easily have a natural birth at their hospital I fear for them. I fear for them because I know what it is really like out there. I know that most hospitals have AT LEAST an epidural rate of 80%. Even the good ones have c-section rates around 30%. I know that most woman who say in passing that they want a natural birth, WILL NOT GET IT. They won't get it because the system is working against them and they must work really hard and be pretty lucky to get it.
Do you want to know what I think? I think that this is a sick and twisted joke. I think it is a tragedy that you can get an abortion but not a VBAC.
I think that I am a 30 year old broke housewife, who put her education on hold so that her husband could go to school. And I think that because I have had natural births, I am a bigger feminist than most women out there. I know that feminism is not about equal pay for doing a mans job, it is about being respected for doing something that only a woman can do.