Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Working Hard For Normal

Why is it that we must fight so hard for what is normal in birth?

Normal is not what you would find if you took a glimpse into an L&D ward at any hospital around the U.S. Normal is what you'd find if you took a look at birth through history and various cultures around the world.

What is Normal?

Normal is women up and moving in labor.

Normal is women wearing what is comfortable for them in labor.

Normal is women eating when they are hungry and drinking when they are thirsty.

Normal is women being free from wires, lines, pokes, prods, straps, and needles.

Normal is a laboring woman being at the center of the childbearing drama while a group of supporting women surrounds her.

Normal is a woman having instincts and trusting them.

Normal is a familiar room full of peace and love.

Normal is knowing those who are with you in labor.

Normal is a woman knowing that she was made to give birth.

Normal is women rushing with a power that their own bodies provide.

Normal is trusting that birth has a ton of fail-safes set in place.

Normal is understanding that there is a reason for what happens.

Normal is a woman surrendering in labor -- not to others, but to her self.

Normal is knowing that most variances of labor can be handled in a calm and competent manner.

Normal is trusting that mothers are responsible for making decisions for themselves and their babies.

Normal is being touched by loving and caring hands.

Why is this not normal for our country? Because we are all wearing glasses tinted with a film of medical superiority. Instead of normal, we have handed birth over to an atmosphere steeped in danger, fear and pain, where women are martyrs and doctors are saviors.

We need to put on a different set of glasses. We need a shift in paradigm. When viewed in a light that our bodies were made to give birth. That this is something women have done for all time and the human race still exists. That our bodies are capable of growing and delivering a baby into the world. That it is a normal human function. It seems a little ridiculous to create such chaos around every single birth when it is obviously unnecessary.


swelb21 said...

Hi, thanks for the blog! I have had two babies at home in Poulsbo but am having one at Harrison after much husbandly pressure (four years and running).
I am wondering if you know of any good doctors or cnms that you can recommend--ones who are going to respect a natural birth plan, etc.?
I have heard good things about Jennifer quimby and dr. kennedy, though I would prefer a woman. thank you!


Amy said...

Hi Shelby!

I'm sorry that you're having to switch from homebirthing to hospital birthing. It will be quite a change! I have a female doctor to recommend, but would rather do so in a non public space. If you want to email me at, I would be happy to provide you with some names!
Thank you for your comment!