Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birth Activism

Especially now since being on Facebook and seeing that explode, and having been a doula for as long as I have, I've seen many birth activism efforts over the years. Every single one has passionate, fierce people behind it, and each one, in their own way, thrusts the movement toward informed consent and true choice for women and babies a little bit closer to the target.

I was 20 when I had my first child and I was nothing if not ferociously passionate! I couldn't imagine why any woman wouldn't want to breastfeed her baby. I couldn't even speak to women who wouldn't try without feeling disgusted and superior. All my passion was mixed up in judgment but it was there! (Another post about judgment is forthcoming, methinks.)

I see these amazing orgs and groups with their machetes, chipping away at the dense, prickly and predator filled jungle that is American birth - and I no longer feel pulled to be alongside. I'll walk behind them, lifting women up to sing their birth songs and find their own machetes. I suppose maybe this is my own way of chipping away at American birth, by helping women, wide eyed, yelling, laughing, bawling, sweating, but every single one SURGING in her own way, to discover where they want to stand on this path. We all choose, even if we choose not to choose.

I sometimes feel guilty that I'm not writing letters at every opportunity, attending every conference (or any, for that matter, but it's solely due to cost), staging protests - I feel the urge to do it but realistically, it's just not realistic for me.

My heart, love, and pride is with every person out there who is working hard, every day in action and in spirit to make things better for families in our country - and soon enough my hands will be alongside yours. Is being a doula enough? Is telling women they have options, standing beside them as they tell their truth in shaky voices, and witnessing them discover the Mother Warrior within themselves - is that enough? For now, it will have to be.