Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Special Delivery

I recently read the newest issue of ALACE's journal Special Delivery. They reprinted an essay from Jeannie Babb Taylor called "May, 2052" that I had read before when it made the rounds via the internet (it is about birth in the future and is told from the perspective of a grandmother who gave birth in 2007, sharing with her granddaughter how birth was "back in the day" and the granddaughter being shocked by how horrible the birth climate was to women in the "old days" of 2007). However, I was struck afresh by the power of the closing lines (when discussing how/why things finally changed):

“We insisted on dignity. We did not let doctors push us into inductions or surgeries just to accommodate their schedules. Women who still used hospitals refused the wheelchair and the gown that were presented at check-in. Women refused to be starved, or to have their veins punctured with unnecessary IVs. Mothers refused to let doctors break their waters or insert electronic monitors in the baby’s scalp. When we pushed our babies into the world with our own fierce power, then we refused to let them out of our sight.”

...“Eventually even the medical community came to recognize that birth is an act of motherhood, not an act of medical science. Today a laboring woman is not regarded as a body on a table, as if she and the baby needed some doctor to ‘deliver’ them from each other. Today women are honored as life-bringers.”

Recognize that birth is an an act of motherhood, not an act of medical science. This is the truth! Goes along with the "disease of the uterus" mindset I discussed earlier....

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