Wonderful homebirthing article

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jooniper's picture
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Wonderful homebirthing article

I highly recommend this fabulous article a friend posted on facebook: Home birth: "Brave has nothing to do with it" (http://bringbirthhome.com/home-birth-safety/home-birth-brave-has-nothing-to-do-with-it/)

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That was a great article, and very factual. I try to watch using the word "brave" because it has gotten such a negative response with others that I have seen. But the only thing that bothers me is that when people say the word "brave" is so irritating to them, it makes me feel like the doubts and inner conflict that I am having is unjustified. Sometimes I feel belittled a bit.

There are a lot of us that were raised with the mentality of "doctor always equals good". I would give anything to have a more naturalistic background and support from my family. This approach is something that I have come to develop on my own over the years, and after some terrible experiences with medical "professionals".

Just in my opinion, to have someone (like me) go against all the standards and norms that they have been raised with, moving forward despite a complete lack of an IRL support system, with adversity around every corner (like VBAC bans, a search for underground MWs, etc), and with the biggest source of IRL support (DH) unable to attend the birth, I do feel that it is a bit "brave" to stand up for myself and my baby by having an HBAC. I will gladly accept that title from anyone who wants to give it. Often, people who say home-birthers are "brave" (and I speak from experience) it is because they are so in awe, and can't think of a better description.

Some synonyms of the word brave are: confident, firm, forward, spirited, strong, unafraid... etc. To me, any woman who would stand up for what is best for themselves and their families and children is all of those words and so much more.

Forgive me for ranting, but this is not the first time I have heard this said. That "brave" is irritating, or an aggravation, or annoying. I guess I just don't see it that way. I rather them say that which is a positive word than something negative like stupid or careless or foolhearty, kwim? I really hope this doesn't offend anyone but I just wanted to put my take on it out there, and let everyone know that at least from me it never will be and never has been a derogatory statement.

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To me why 'brave' is annoying is because it's generally used under the tone of 'oh a homebirth? well that has much more risk than hospital, you must be so brave to risk your and your baby's life like that' as if I (or any other homebirther) is an extreme sports type person. It's not said with the intent of the definitions you listed, confident, strong, etc.

When someone is brave, it's usually because there is something scary going on. Most mainstream people see homebirth as scary, so to want to do it must mean that person is brave. But to homebirthers, it's not scary, so there is no need for bravery.

I do understand your feelings on it though. I guess it's just looking at it from a few different perspectives.

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Oh, I agree- "Brave" itself isn't the problem. I think ANY mother is brave, especially when they take responsibility for the birth process.
The problem is when most people say "homebirth? how brave" what they really mean is "how foolhardy and unnecessarily risky". They don't realize that for me, taking on a hospital would be the "braver" thing to do.

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I'm going to add my 2 cents too.

First of all, thanks for the article link Jenn. It was a great article.

I think that brave if used correctly, to do something regardless of fear, should be offensive to most homebirthers. If I fight a dragon, that's brave. If you have a homebirth, not so much.

As Ariel said, I also think homebirthers are brave, but for sort of a different reason. I think anyone that goes against societies unspoken rules is brave, whether that is having a homebirth, choosing to not vaccinate, bf'ing for past societies ideas of when it's okay, etc. You're going to catch flack for it and you know it and that's brave, to me!

I think the word brave when applied to homebirthers by most people is used sarcastically. Instead of brave, I think some people mean stupid. The research is clear that homebirth is safe, but society as a whole has yet to accept this and most people don't know the research so they don't generally mean "you're brave" in what I would consider a nice way.

Ariel- I completely agree with your post. I too think homebirthers are brave, but I think we mean it in a much different way than others do.

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Totally agreed with pp's...it's not the word "brave" if intended as you mean it, Ariel, not at all! But most people DON'T mean it that way. At all.

I'm not doing a HB this time, but this part is pretty much what I am going to say to the next person who gives me an attitude about NCB in general (in my case, "brave" meaning "what, no epidural? you must be some kind of a crazy hippie masochist!"):

"I didn’t choose a homebirth because I am brave. Bravery has little to do with it. If anything, I believe women who choose to give birth in US hospitals are the brave ones, because knowing what I know about our technocratic obstetrical system, I can’t imagine voluntarily choosing an obstetrician and a hospital for anything but absolute medical necessity."

Oh, and TFS, that was GREAT.

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"cactuswren" wrote:

Totally agreed with pp's...it's not the word "brave" if intended as you mean it, Ariel, not at all! But most people DON'T mean it that way. At all.

I'm not doing a HB this time, but this part is pretty much what I am going to say to the next person who gives me an attitude about NCB in general (in my case, "brave" meaning "what, no epidural? you must be some kind of a crazy hippie masochist!"):

"I didn’t choose a homebirth because I am brave. Bravery has little to do with it. If anything, I believe women who choose to give birth in US hospitals are the brave ones, because knowing what I know about our technocratic obstetrical system, I can’t imagine voluntarily choosing an obstetrician and a hospital for anything but absolute medical necessity."

Oh, and TFS, that was GREAT.

Haha! I would be so tongue-tied trying to get all of that out ... I have issues sometimes Biggrin Yeah, I was really afraid of asking DH's family how they felt about me HBing at their house and then they totally surprised me. They told me I could have the baby anywhere I want. It really inforced to me that they trust me and whatever decisions I make... it made me feel really good. And what's funny is they are sooooo country-fied (LOL). They live in a holler in West Virginia :eek: So I really am going to feel like one of those "Mountain Mamas"... I can't wait!! Luckily, I have not had anyone ask me about my birth preferences, so I haven't had to get into it. Although, I do go through a DAILY struggle with my mother who I think is successful in scaring me at times. I keep saying I am going to stop discussing anything birth with her, and I really think I should go on and do that.

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I think that is a good idea about your mother, also who knows she may come around after. My mom was really not comfortable with my hb before DS, but luckily she did not let me know that. I heard it through other people. After DS was born (she was present) she was much more in awe of hb. Yeah I am not a fan of when people tell me I am brave because for me it just feels like a euphanism for stupid. I think comparing it to how people view exstreme sports is good. Funnily enough last time I had all kinds of people ask me about where I was birthing, but none this time.

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Ariel- I've had to stop talking to my mom about my hb. She is SO against the hb! She went to my best friend over the weekend and b!@ched to her about it. She told her that she was sure that my DH was just letting me explore this option, but that there's no way he would "let me go through with it." Like I'm some kid that wants to color my hair purple or something. I won't be talking to her about it again until she decides to educate herself and be supportive!
How fantastic that your IL's are so open to you giving birth in their home!!!! They sound like they will be great support for you while your DH is gone! You go, mountain girl!!

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"momW" wrote:

Ariel- I've had to stop talking to my mom about my hb. She is SO against the hb! She went to my best friend over the weekend and b!@ched to her about it. She told her that she was sure that my DH was just letting me explore this option, but that there's no way he would "let me go through with it." Like I'm some kid that wants to color my hair purple or something. I won't be talking to her about it again until she decides to educate herself and be supportive!
How fantastic that your IL's are so open to you giving birth in their home!!!! They sound like they will be great support for you while your DH is gone! You go, mountain girl!!

Yeah, I think that's what I am going to do. The problem is, she was a L&D nurse for like 20 years or something and now teaches pediatric nursing, so she has some kind of come-back to EVERY single statistic that I give her. Like, yes there are countries that have lower neonatal mortality rates, but that is because they don't attempt to resuscitate babies at 20 weeks and the US does. And... then any study that was before about 2005, she discredits saying that it is out of date. Like I sent her one that was done in 2000, and she said "well, you have to remember that it is 10 years old". Then like the planned homebirth study, which has a ton of good info, she says "well, the outcomes are only similar to hospital births for moms who are low-risk, and you are not low-risk b/c you have had a prior c/s".

It's very frustrating...

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Ariel-That would be way worse. Please don't let you mom anywhere near my mom Smile She doesn't need anymore information to battle me with.

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LOL, yeah she keeps saying that as soon as I go into labor she will head that way so that she can be there. It's like a 6 hour drive or something. I hate to tell her, but if I can get away with it, she isn't going to know anything until baby he HERE lmao!

Jenn, sorry for hijacking the thread :hiding:

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"krazykat" wrote:

LOL, yeah she keeps saying that as soon as I go into labor she will head that way so that she can be there. It's like a 6 hour drive or something. I hate to tell her, but if I can get away with it, she isn't going to know anything until baby he HERE lmao!

Jenn, sorry for hijacking the thread :hiding:

Yeah I'm not telling my mom (or anyone else) until baby is here either...even knowing she was in the waiting room would make me crazy and tense!

And yeah, I probably wouldn't be quite that eloquent either, but there was one girl here at work in particular who kept announcing to anybody who would listen that I was not having an epidural and wasn't I crazy? And I finally said (sweetly, with maybe just a hint of venom) "Well, based on all the research I've done, I think having an epidural is a whole lot crazier than letting my body do something it was built for. Just a difference of opinion! :D"

She hasn't said anything about it since Wink

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"krazykat" wrote:

LOL, yeah she keeps saying that as soon as I go into labor she will head that way so that she can be there. It's like a 6 hour drive or something. I hate to tell her, but if I can get away with it, she isn't going to know anything until baby he HERE lmao!

Jenn, sorry for hijacking the thread :hiding:

Hijack away! Smile