Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Birth, Baby or Woman? (Or more than one?)

I had an epiphany today which actually helped me gain some insight into why I seem to struggle in getting my point across to some folks of late. When reading threads on Facebook what I see is a constant struggle for the preservation of the birth experience. Not necessarily that it has to go down a certain way, but in some ways, *exactly that*.

When I did my doula training (DONA) one of the exercises we did was to identify our 'priority'. We answered several questions to identify whether we were primarily invested in the baby, in the woman, or in the birth itself. For example, there is a couple right now planning to have their birth televised live on the internet. There is a really fantastic discussion (which is actually what led me to my epiphany) about what this couple is giving up and/or gaining by having their birth filmed live. Is the birth experience the most important thing? Is it the baby's experience of the birth? Or the mother's experience? (The reason we don't include Fathers in this discussion eludes me but that's a post for another time.)

Reading some of the comments I admit to feeling a little frustrated that the couple's right to choose what they wanted to do with ther own birth experience seemed to be secondary to whatever the priorities were of the people commenting- but then BING! the light went on! I come in with the perspective that the woman comes first, her rights, her wishes, come first, because as I identified almost 8 years ago when I did my training, I am pro-woman. I realized that some of these folks might have had a different result on that test, maybe they are pro-baby, or pro-birth, or maybe their pro-woman just shows up a different way than mine. Duh!

I actually wish I'd had that realization a few months ago! Oh well, it is what it is- I'm grateful to have it now, I definitely feel like I need to bring this concept more into my awareness as I continue to explore, discuss and debate with folks online about some of these seemingly simple, but more often, complex issues.

My feeling is ultimately that the couple have the right to choose for themselves what they want to experience. Would I watch the birth? No. I don't want to be a voyeur, plus, while all births are individually magical and unique, I am honestly just not terribly interested.


BookwormMama said...

I think this revelation is spot on Kristina! I love this way of looking at it and at my DONA doula training we had the same activity. I came out as ProWoman also.
Maybe from now on when we are discussing birth topics with others, we should ask, "Are you ProBaby, ProWoman or Both?" Just so we have clarity. :]