Monday, 24 December 2012

Mary was a home birther


At every major holiday I wonder whether I can find something new to think about but this Christmas it is easy as I see the Jesus story through a doula lens.
It is interesting to note that the conditions of our births influence our ability to love and Jesus, the greatest ever advocate of love, was born among animals, humbly and without interference or fanfare. He would have been breastfed for an extended period and kept close to his parents.

Two thousand years on I want to make a professional life from returning birth, where possible, to it's earlier, earthier style and I am delighted to see the interweaving of a biblical story with scientific understanding as well as my own life. The way these long term interests of mine interconnect is a beautiful thing in my eyes and has the potential to continue to unfold amazingly for some time to come.

An unfolding mystery can make the difference between surviving and living so it is my hope and wish that you can find something joyous and amazing to focus on during this holiday season.

I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.

9 comments:

Peter said...

have a wonderful Christmas Spesh xxx

kylie said...

and you too, my love :)

The Elephant's Child said...

Have a wonderful Christmas. I do hope that the doula-life gives you a profession. You seem to be made for it, and it for you.

kylie said...

thanks so much EC!


love to you and the smaller portion
xx

Snowbrush said...

Do doulas only attend homebirths?

kylie said...

not at all, snow!

i think doulas have an important role in hospital births, possibly more than home births because at home birth the midwife has been chosen by the mother and is already a familiar, safe person. hospital birth usually means an assigned midwife who the mother might or might not have a connection with.

in answering your question i am taking a guess as to why you asked: home birth is really a very fringe option and widely regarded as almost lunatic (tho in the doula-ing world it is the fantasy ideal)
i was thinking i could make an argument that Christian women, particularly, could be inspired by mary, if not to home birth to at least take a less interventionist philosophy about birth but there is a huge tendency not to consider that as an option.
it goes with my broader observations that while many Christians talk about be cared for by God and leaving things to Him, when push comes to shove they tend to want human forms of control in their lives.

Snowbrush said...

"i was thinking i could make an argument that Christian women, particularly, could be inspired by mary, if not to home birth to at least take a less interventionist philosophy about birth"

As you know, Peggy is an L&D nurse, and has often witnessed the unnecessary deaths that can occur when a home birth goes wrong. Sometimes, the problem is that the mother was so captivated by the idea that "birth is a natural process" that she didn't go to a doctor during her pregnancy so she didn't know her baby was a risk. Other times, it's because her home was far from any hospital, but non-certified midwives are the greatest a problem because they are as ignorant as they are mistrustful of hospitals, so time after time, they refuse to get the mother to the hospital until the baby is already dead or severely harmed. For people who want less intervention, there are birthing centers near hospitals that are operated by certified nurse midwives who have a working relationship with the hospital. If it does become necessary for the mother to go to the hospital, her midwife remains central to her care in the hospital environment, unlike the lay midwives who have no more status than a visitor but who receive a great deal less respect.

Snowbrush said...

"while many Christians talk about be cared for by God and leaving things to Him, when push comes to shove they tend to want human forms of control in their lives."

Oops, I wanted to address this too. If birth is to be left to God, then why hire a doula? After all, what is a doula but someone who has special training that enables her to assist women with birth, which is also the case with doctors, nurses, and certified midwives. Why should your training count as "leaving things to God" and theirs not? I would also point out that historic mortality rates (related to birth) were far higher than current ones (except in countries where home births are still the norm), a fact that would make no sense if God could be trusted to see that everything went well. Peggy has been an L&D nurse for 23 years at a hospital that averages nine births a day, yet maternal deaths are extremely rare, and nearly all of the infant deaths were expected due to problems in the womb (there's nothing sadder for a nurse than assisting in the birth of a dead baby, some of them dead for quite awhile). Finally, as for Christians trusting God, here in America--even in my own part of America--children often die of preventable causes because their parents so trusted God that they wouldn't take them to a doctor. Finally, my own state now charges such parents with manslaughter. If someone wants to ignore the statistics when it comes to their own care, it's one thing, but when they ignore them and a child dies, they should go to prison.

kylie said...

theres a whole lot involved in your comments, snow!
we dont have uncertified midwives in australia. a homebirth will be attended by a fully qualified and registered midwife or it will be entirely unattended, which is not something i am advocating.

when i talk about less interventionist birth, birth centres are the happy medium between intervention and natural process that i would like to see for all healthy mothers

doulas offer support and the sense of safety provided by that means she is more likely to cope with the natural processes and be less likely to need interventions.

as for leaving things to God, i take your point. i get concerned when, for instance, people have an induction because it gives them control over birth date. i am not anti-intervention but i think there needs to be medical reason for these things but often people are unwilling to wait and see whether intervention is neccessary or not. to me, a Christian who is unwilling to even attempt the natural process when they are low risk is taking their human control too far