Why I only attend Hospital Births
(Why I love them, Why I don't and the ways in which I dream of our birth culture shifting.)
I have to say that I have always been one to fall in love with potential.
With my lovers, my homes and my jobs.
This is sometimes mistaken for naivete. Or ignorance.
I can wholeheartedly assure you that it is based out of pure love and optimism and an epic amount of faith that collectively, we all want to be doing the best we can. (And I see the beauty in the process of getting there.)
On Cape Breton island, we have no practicing Midwives.
We have no birthing centres.
We have underfunded hospitals, overworked staff and outdated policies.
Do you know what else we have?
We have a Labour and Delivery floor full of nurses who freaking love birth.
Who are as passionate as I am about all things babies.
Who see, just as I do, the potential for future growth and changes, right here, in our hospital.
We have doctors who (in general) go above and beyond for the clients who are wanting a collaborative birthing experience.
I see the flaws. I do.
I see that we could have newer equipment that would be more beneficial for a normal physiological birth.
I see that we could implement the WHO's newest recommendations (eating in labour...come on! We get damn hungry!) a heck of a lot faster.
I see that we could be funding more prenatal education and more postpartum support.
I was recently approached by a potential client who sought out my stance on home birth, specifically, free birth (this is unassisted birth, with no medical professionals).
I sincerely hope and pray, that someday, in my life, I can experience a home birth. I would love to be witness to (or participate in) a birthing journey that is able to unfold in the comfort of the nest that the family has created to welcome their newest member.
However, I would NOT love to be the only professional present, if in its unpredictable nature, the birth did not progress in an ideal manner. (I know this is a controversial statement. I welcome respectful dialogue and conversation around this topic.)
This inquiry brought up so many thoughts and feelings for me, so many of them conflicting.
How can I both trust in our bodies and our babies AND want the comfort of medical professionals?
How can I be an advocate for empowered birthing experience AND desperately want all birthing people to be close to or in the presence of assistance if needed?
How can I say that I provide non biased support AND clearly have biases?
At the end of the day, this job of mine is so intimate, so raw, so close to every part of my soul and spirit, it is impossible for me to separate myself from my profession.
I realized that I WANT to work WITH the medical professionals to create change.
I WANT to be a part of creating an environment that feels right.
I WANT to be present as our culture shifts and as we all grow and improve as birth professionals.
I also WANT to see Midwives return to our island.
I WANT to see the creation of a birthing centre, one so cozy and intimate and natural, that all will feel at home, where they can have the birth they desire, with the safety net of medical professionals close by.
I WANT to see home birth become an option here, so that our children can witness birth. So they can see it all unfold; in its magic and mystery, its mess and its chaos.
In the meantime though, I am so proud of the recent changes the hospital has introduced.
Encouraging the presence of doulas, for one!!
I am so grateful for the medical staff we have, that love what they do.
That do it damn well.
That do their absolute best to accommodate, within the boundaries and restrictions of their positions.
In all areas of life, of work, of love, of parenting, it is my goal to connect first, correct second.
The bonds we create help shape the reality we want to build.