Thursday, March 25, 2010

Now THIS is an Outrage!!

I am back to blogging, and will do my best to keep up. Finally, something made me mad enough to blog about! Mostly, I have been busy with my five year old. Hence, the words "shall try" to keep up.

I had a Cesarean in 1982 (and I still have trouble spelling it!); yes, friends, that was twenty-eight years ago. The result is my very handsome and loveable, if somewhat troubled, son, Casey. The other result is that I have been an advocate for natural birth ever since! Due to a wonderful organization that offered classes for "VBAC" (vaginal birth after Cesarean), I was able to have my second and third children completely naturally. The really amazing one was Colin, born in 1984. He was the first VBAC to be executed in that particular hospital, and I used a lot of stealth methods to make it happen. I am pretty sure I wrote another piece elsewhere on this blog that tells about how I was born that day, too.

The most revolutionary thing I learned in my "hippie childbirth" class, besides how to toss out the breathing methods and subvert the hospital regimens, was that women have given birth for all of human history, naturally and successfully. This is something our bodies know how to do! Yes, there are exceptions in a small percentage of cases where intervention is required, but nowhere near 32%!!

Since then, I've taken my revolutionary battles elsewhere; religion, politics, racial justice, and on and on. But I was appalled this week when I learned that C-section rates have gone up! This NPR blog explains the statistics; be sure to read the notes that follow, about the "cascade of interventions", and the way hospitals and the business of health care interfere with the progress of natural birth.

I wrote a paper in seminary for a class on Ritual, about how the modern hospital technology has replaced what was once an intimate and community function. The upshot is that women have lost their power, the confidence in their own bodies, and their connection to Gaia and God.

One third of US births are now done by Cesarean! Let's all pray that our new beginning in health care, which might just return some authority to  the patient/client, will help turn this back around.